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Carnoustie's Craw's Nest Tassie sells out in 10 minutes
February 13, 2012

Carnoustie's Craw's Nest Tassie can lay claim to the title of Britain's most popular amateur golf tournament after all 339 places for the 2012 event were snapped up within 10 minutes of the competition's online application system going live.

Such was the level of interest, a further 80 reserve places were also filled for the week-long event staged each September over the town's Championship and Burnside courses.

"Over the last few years we have been accustomed to the Tassie selling out in a matter of minutes and this year, despite the current economic climate, it was no different," confirmed Colin McLeod, the Golf Services Manager at the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee.

"The first entry hit our screens literally seconds after the system went live and we hardly had time to move before all 339 places were snapped up.

"This year's we've received entries from America, Holland, Spain and Sweden as well as from all over the British Isles," McLeod added. "Some of the entries are from first-timers but the vast majority come from competitors who come year after year".

The Craw's Nest Tassie, or Tassie as it is known by locals and regular competitors, is one of Britain's most popular week-long amateur events and also one of the oldest, having been inaugurated back in 1927 by a group of influential local golfers who commissioned a tassie, or solid silver drinking bowl, in Celtic pattern from local jewellers, Messrs Crabb and McKenzie. The original trophy is still presented to the winner to this day.

The first event, staged later the same year, was won by local golfer, Alexander Mann, an ex Amateur champion of India, who defeated Len Nettleford, the reigning amateur champion of Australia. Subsequent winners include SKY TV commentator Ewen Murray and former Walker Cup players Sandy Sadler and Ian Hutcheon.

Up until 1931, the Tassie was held in June but the date was then switched to September with a view to increasing the number of entries from England. The number of entries exceeded 200 for the first time in 1935, rising to 396 in 1966 and then 454 in 1969 before being capped at the current 339 for administrative purposes.

The Tassie is now played in the first week of September and begins with two qualifying rounds, one over the Championship course and the other over the Burnside. From the starting field, competitors with the best 64 scratch scores are drawn to play match play over the Championship for the Tassie. 64 competitors with the best nett scores compete for the Maulesbank Trophy in a match play event over the Burnside course. Consolation events are organised on the Wednesday and Thursday for players who do not qualify for either.

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