In South Africa at Benoni Country Club, former professional, Ryan Dreyer, took the Glacier South African Amateur after beating Adrian Ford 5&3 in the final. Dreyer, who runs the All-Africa Poker Channel and the All Africa Poker Challenge as well as editing a poker magazine, only started playing golf again at the end of last year after a 12 year hiatus and insists on describing himself as a “part-time golfer”. He has, however, re-started his amateur career in impressive style with a 12th place finish at the South African Stroke Play and 3rd at the Central Gauteng, as well as this week’s victory. Consequently, Dreyer makes a mammoth 1182-place climb up the Ranking to 805th.
Across in Florida, Texas Tech senior, Santiago Rivas, shared medallist honours with Florida Southern’s Matt Stauch at the Ron Smith/USF Invitational at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. The Colombian birdied the final two holes in carding a final-round 68, enough to tie with Stauch who could only manage a 73 after opening with two 67s. Both make strides in the Ranking as a result of their performance: Rivas is up 77 positions to WAGRank 117 while Stauch advances 322 places to 729th.
Staying in Florida, Ryan Haselden won the 2009 Seminole Intercollegiate at the Golden Eagle Country Club after a dramatic finish. Standing on the tee at the par-5 18th, the Vanderbilt sophomore was one stroke off the lead. One drive, one 5-iron, and one putt later, Haselden had won the individual title for himself, the team title for his college, and secured a 410-place leap up the Ranking to WAGRank 1359.
Next we travel the 200 miles from Tallahassee to Pensacola for Tom Whitney’s victory at the Argonaut Invitational. A final-round 72 gave the Air Force Academy Junior a three-round total of 207 (9 under-par), enough for a four stroke win. The second title of Whitney’s collegiate career – the first coming at the 2006 Service Academy Golf Classic – sees him WAGRanked 211 after moving up 105 positions.
Finally, last week saw the completion of the 29th Arab Golf Championship, held at Al Hamra Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates. Saber Barhoumi took individual honours at the event, which also includes a team stroke play element, and becomes the first Tunisian to enter the World Amateur Golf Ranking.