Sandy Lyle, winner of the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters, is this year’s World Hickory champion following a two-day tournament on the Panmure course in Carnoustie, Scotland. The first British winner of the Masters and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Lyle has played hickory golf for three years. He said, “I came into the tournament quite late when I decided as I was in this corner of Scotland for the Dunhill. Staying on for the World Hickory Open would be a great opportunity to test my hickory skills while also helping to advance hickory golf in Scotland. It’s been a very good experience which certainly got my ticker going, especially over the last two or three holes of the last round, which were very nerve-wracking.” The World Hickory Open 2014 was the main event in this year’s Carnoustie Country Festival of Golf, which ran from October 4-12, with aims to increase the number of local and visiting golfers playing on Carnoustie Country’s 30 golf courses – which the tournament is certainly contributing towards. In fact, tournament director Lionel Freedman revealed that 130 players entered this year’s World Hickory Open, with high numbers of hickory golfers from Germany, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. “Over the years, the World Hickory Open has built up a loyal following and, thanks to global media attention over the last couple of years, it is now considered one of the main events in the hickory golf calendar,” said Freedman.Many of the world’s top hickory golfers competed in this year’s World Hickory Open, which was made even more attractive to professional golfers thanks to our new £3,000 prize fund, sponsored by the World Golf Teachers Federation. A prize of £1,000 was awarded to the top golf professional, with the remainder split between the golf professionals in second to fifth place. At the awards ceremony, Freedman expressed his sincere gratitude to Geoff Bryant, president of the World Golf Teachers Federation, for his support and leadership in recognizing the history and traditions of the game. In the United States, the USGTF sponsors the United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship, held annually each year in Temple Terrace, Florida, just outside Tampa. USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens is the founder and director of the tournament, and is the three-time National Hickory Golf champion.
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