Saltman defends hickory title against record number of entries
THE World Hickory championship continues to go from strength to strength with a record number of entries for this year's tournament.
More than 50 professionals and 20 amateurs will turn back the clock for the event, now in its fourth year, at Craigielaw Golf Club tomorrow.
The 18-hole tournament, which will be defended by Scotland's Lloyd Saltman, will conclude a week-long festival that has also attracted players from the USA and Sweden.
A professional prize fund of 10,000 is on offer, in addition to 7,500 for the tournament pro-am today.
Sanctioned by the PGA, the event has attracted the support of the St Andrews Golf Company, the last remaining independent club manufacturer in Scotland.
Entrants are only allowed to use a maximum of six hickory shafted clubs and they must pre-date 1935, or be replicas of clubs from the period.
Lionel Freedman, a director of the championship, is relishing this year's event.
"The tournament certainly looks like it has got legs given the increased numbers this year," he said. "Again we'll have a lot of players here, some with their own clubs and dressed in Plus Fours, to enjoy the week.
"It's good to have the St Andrews Golf Company on board, both for them and us, however we're continuing to look for a major sponsor, which the tournament really needs if it is to continue growing. The PGA captain Parnell Reilly attended last year and said he'd love to see something similar over the border, which is something we'd also like to be able to do."
Among those hoping to dethrone Saltman is his brother Zack, champion in 2006, and America's Mike Stewart who won on the tournament's debut.
Scot Iain Forrester, who works in the Netherlands, is also making the trip across the North Sea to compete.
• Only Paul Doherty and Graham Gordon of the seven Scots in the field survived the cut at one-under-par 71 in the rain-reduced Ivobank PGA EuroPro Tour Ladbrokescasino.com Masters at La Cala Resort, Malaga on the Spanish Costa del Sol yesterday.
Doherty shot a 67 to be two behind the joint leaders, Daniel Brooks, Jason Kelly and Adam Frayne.
Graham Gordon had a creditable 69. But it was goodbye to Elliot Saltman (73), Mark Kerr (74), Jack Doherty (74), Graeme Brown (74) and Barry Hume (76).
This is the final event before the top 60 in the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit head to Les Bordes in France for the Tour Championship.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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