Chris Williams, University of Washington senior, is the world’s top amateur golfer, according to the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland. The R&A announced Thursday that Williams, of Moscow, ID., was the sixth recipient of the Mark H. McCormack Medal, given to the top-ranked amateur at the end the season follow the U.S. and European amateur championships.
Williams is the second Huskies golfer to win the honor. His former teammate, Nick Taylor, was named in 2009 after spending 13 weeks as the top amateur golfer.
Williams moved into the top spot before play began last week at the U.S. Amateur Championship and held on to No. 1 after tying for seventh in stroke play and advancing to the quarterfinals of match play.
The No. 1 ranking means Williams is exempt for the 2013 U.S. and British Open championships.
“I don’t think about the rankings or look at them very often,” Williams said in a release from the UW. “This was a surprise and a shock to me when I learned that I had won.”
Williams has been on an impressive run this season, including wins at the NCAA Southwest Regional, both the stroke play and match play portions of the Western Amateur Championship and a dominating victory in the Washington Amateur Championship.
Williams also sported a 3-1 record in the Palmer Cup, led the Sahalee Players Championship after 71 holes before losing in a three-way playoff and had a top-10 finish in stroke play at the U.S. Public Links Championship before falling in the opening round of match play.
Williams had a strong three years at Washington. He holds the school record for career wins (6) and is third in top-10 finishes (20). His scoring average of 70.61 as a junior is the second-lowest in UW history. H has also represented the U.S. in the 2011 Walker Cup and has twice been on the Palmer Cup squad (2012 and 2011).
In 2011 he qualified for the U.S. Open and missed the cut by two strokes.