Organizers of the 34th Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship will attempt to play through the effects of a tropical depression that threatened to strengthen into Tropical Storm Irma on Monday.
Forecasters were calling for a potential of 5-7 inches of rain for coastal communities and 3-5 inches of rain for more inland parts of Horry County through mid-afternoon Tuesday, with even higher amounts of rainfall possible for isolated parts of the coast. Some inland flooding was predicted, and wind gusts were expected to exceed 30 mph.
The World Am is the world’s largest single-site golf tournament with 3,010 players from 22 countries and 49 states.
It features rounds on 32 courses each day from Monday through Thursday, leading to Friday’s championship round at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club. A total of 52 courses will be used for the tournament.
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All 64 tournament flights completed the first round Monday. The worst of the storm was expected overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning hours.
“It looks like the weather should roll through overnight and we should be good to go for the rounds throughout the week,” said Jeff Monday, tournaments director for marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, which operates the event.
The amount of rainfall could result in unplayable conditions on hard-hit participating courses throughout Georgetown, Horry and Brunswick counties.
“If there are any issues they would be course specific and more than likely not on a large scale,” Monday said. “We will handle any of those on a case-by-case basis if they arise.
“It will be wet, but we should be able to play and the rules of golf accommodate casual water on the course. Hopefully that is what we are faced with. There should not be any dangerous travel or playing conditions, so there is no need to make any decisions until we see what it brings.”
The event includes the World’s Largest 19th Hole expo and celebration for participants from 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center featuring food, drinks, entertainment, vendors and contests.