Dennis Rasku wins World Amateur Handicap Championship
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (August 29, 2014) -- Dennis Rasku of Pompano Beach, Fl., made a net birdie (gross par) on the first hole to win a 3-way, sudden death playoff and the World Championship Playoff at 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club.

The three players in the playoff were Rasku (who carries a 9 handicap); Tony Wallace (a 5 handicapper from Fayetteville, N.C.); and Ben Hamby, a 7 handicap from Winter Springs, Florida. They all shot rounds of net 72 to get into the playoff.

In the playoff, Rasku hit his approach to 22 feet and two-putted for par on the Dye Club's 410-yard ninth hole, besting Wallace and Hamby, neither of whom received a stroke on the hole. “From the weather to the World’s Largest 19th Hole, we enjoyed a wonderful week at the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship,” said Jeff Monday, World Am tournament director. “Congratulations to Dennis on earning the right to call himself World Champion and to our entire field for a great week of golf.”


Mark Gardiner

Mark Gardiner of Mascoutah, Ill., (30 minutes from St. Louis) shot a 1-under par 71 to win the World’s Am first Gross Division Championship. Gardiner’s score was the best of the day, net or gross. Gardiner, 51, a retired Air Force chief, qualified for the US Senior Open earlier this year. Read a story about Mark's U.S. Senior Open experience here.

Gardiner, a first time participant, knew about the World Am because many of his military friends play each year. What pushed him over the edge to enter this year was the addition of the Gross Division.

"It was really fun to come down and have a chance to play and hang out with my military friends," Gardiner told AmateurGolf.com in a phone interview. "My goal was to finish in the top 10 in order to qualify for the USA team in next year's SINO-USA Cup matches," he continued. "Myrtle Beach is a really fun place and I'm really looking forward to that next year."

There is no doubt that Gardiner will be a welcome addition to the USA team that needs to capture a home-country victory next year in order to even the record at 1-1. (Read about this year's World Amateur SINO-USA Cup matches in China)


Additionally, Brazilians Joao Tomazelli and Denis Song Min Cho shot a team total of 155 to win the International Pairs event and earn the right to compete in Scotland next year in the IP World Finals.


The World Championship Playoff is the annual culmination of the Myrtle Beach World Am, a 72-hole net, stroke play event. This year, more than 3,400 players from 48 states and 34 countries vied for the honor of hoisting the victor’s trophy. Players were arranged into flights according to their handicap and at the conclusion of the four rounds, all flight winners (and ties) advanced to the 18-hole world championship playoff. The World Am features five competitive divisions, ranging from men and women 49 years-of-age and under to the super seniors, who are 70 years-of-age and older. Players with handicaps as low as three and as high as 34 have won the event.

The weather throughout the week was ideal. The Dye Club, which has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, was in pristine condition and provided an excellent test of golf for the finals. The World Am web site www.worldamgolf.com offers a daily glimpse of the tournament with updated standings, news releases and photographs.

The 32nd annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship will be held August 31 – Sept. 4, 2015.

- The World Amateur tournament committee contributed to this story

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