Myrtle Beach World Am winner Terry Ream
Four years ago, Terry Ream accomplished what anyone hopes to do at the Myrtle Beach World Amateur -- play their way into the final day.
Only problem? It got rained out. Ream never teed it up, missing out on his only opportunity so far to play for the Myrtle Beach World Amateur title.
He redeemed himself this year by playing his way in again. But before Ream teed it up in the finals this year, once again, he faced a complication. The tournament lowered Ream's index, taking two net strokes away from him.
Losing that may have helped, as he had no expectations given the adjustment.
“I didn't think I had a shot,” Ream said, “so I just relaxed and played. I figured a 15 handicapper would come in. I was only getting three strokes, so that's a little tough.”
His gross 74 for a net 71 won by a stroke.
Ream teed off the first with two strokes coming on the opening side. He finished with a 38, carding two birdies and four bogeys. Ream steadied the ship after that, as he didn't post another bogey until the 15th, closing his 74 with another 38.
Along with taking home his well-earned hardware, Ream planned to grab a drink with family and friends, who filmed him getting interviewed following his victory.
“It feels great,” Ream explained, “As I said, I'm still in a little bit of a shock.”
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Related: What's it really like to play in the world's biggest amateur tournament
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David Hunt Wins Gross Title in 18-hole Playoff for First Amateur Victory
Hunt played the Myrtle Beach World Amateur for the first time this week. His friend, Jerry Flemming, who he plays with in Orlando, convinced him to sign up.
“We play and practice a lot together,” Hunt said, “and he's like, Dave, your game is good enough. Let's go play so fine.”
Like Ream, he shot a 74 at TPC Myrle Beach, earning his first amateur victory.
“I'm pushing 49 years old,” Hunt said, “and six rounds in six days, I don't think I've ever done it in a competitive way. It was a grind, especially yesterday, the fourth round where I knew I had the league going into the fourth round, and I think I was one over with three to play.
"I kind of knew based on how hard the golf course was if I could get it in. I was feeling it the last four holes. I was three over my last four holes, and I was fortunate to be tied. And then I knew today was going to be, let's tee it up and let's see what happens. And I played really, really well today. I'm very happy with the way I played.”
Hunt played his way into an 18-hole playoff against Danny Oh, a player agent on the PGA Tour. Hunt picked the game up in his 30s, playing baseball growing up and won the 1993 NCAA Division III baseball championship at Montclair State University. He’s worked with PGA Tour winner Chris Couch near Orlando on breaking his baseball habits in his golf swing.
“Baseball swings and golf swings,” Hunt explained, “people think are similar. They're really not at the point of contact. So he's been helping me gain lag at impact. And if I play with even a little bit of lag, I hit the ball really well.”
That showed in Hunt’s iron play and ball striking today, putting him in good positions at TPC Myrtle Beach’s quick greens, which ran at a 12 on the stimp meter during the final round. Those speeds would test anyone's nerves, let alone someone sleeping on his first lead.
"It was a weird feeling yesterday morning," Hunt said, "Today I was less nervous because it was one on one. I got myself to the Friday (round), which I didn't know if I could do and today was just fun. I kind of know this course a little bit, so I wasn't intimidated by it."
He'll need his strong play to continue when he heads to the 2023 Caso de Campo Open with the exemption he earned due to his victory.
“I'll look forward to playing [the Caso de Campo Open],” Hunt said, “you know, I'm hitting the ball probably the best I've ever hit into my life as I'm approaching 50. And we'll see how long that continues. But if I can get my putting in gear, I'm still competing with you young guys, so that's fun. That's fun for me.”
Steve Crossland won the Men’s Senior Gross division, Mike Bivins won the Men’s Mid-Senior Gross Division and Alexis Bennett took home the Women’s Gross Division.View results for Myrtle Beach World Amateur