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World Hickory Open in Carnoustie Country
November 5, 2012

Following a nail-biting play-off, the World Hickory Open 2012, which was held in Carnoustie Country on 8/9 October, was won by Rick Valentine, PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Loretto School , Musselburgh.

"Playing hickory golf anywhere is special but it was fantastic to have the opportunity to compete - and, eventually, to win - in Carnoustie Country, home of many of Scotland 's greatest and oldest golf courses," said Rick, who has played in every WHO tournament since 2006.

Rick competed in the sudden-death play-off against Australian hickory golf specialist and previous World Hickory Open champion, Perry Somers, after they both completed their second rounds with combined scores of 156. "This was the first time the World Hickory Open was decided by a play-off," explained Rick. "It was very exciting - both for myself and Perry and for our fellow competitors, who joined us on the course as we played for the title. Perry and I proved to be very evenly matched and, after six holes under ever-darkening skies, I was honoured to emerge victorious."

Loretto School celebrated a double win at the World Hickory Open 2012, with Rick and two 15-year-old Loretto School pupils, John Dunn Butler and George Cumberland, claiming victory in the team event.  "This was John and George's first attempt at hickory golf and they played incredibly well," said Rick.

The first day of the 2012 tournament was held on Monifieth Medal, one of the thirty Carnoustie Country golf courses within a 45-minute drive of Carnoustie Championship. "We were delighted to host the World Hickory Open," said Bill Miller, Chair of Monifieth Links. "It was a spectacular event and, thanks to considerable local, national and international media interest, this tournament also helped to raise the profile of the golf courses at Monifieth and throughout Carnoustie Country."

For the second and final day of the tournament, the hickory golfers played on Carnoustie Burnside. "It was wonderful to see so many golfers playing on the links in 1900 golfing garb with traditional golfing equipment," said Colin McLeod of Carnoustie Links Management Committee. "In addition, it was good for Carnoustie Burnside to receive a share of the limelight. With its close proximity to the Championship course, the Burnside tends to be overshadowed but it's a great golf course with almost 100 years of golfing history, which I'm sure the hickory golfers appreciated."

Although this was the eighth World Hickory Open, it was the first time the championship had been held in Carnoustie Country. World Hickory Open Chairman Lionel Freedman revealed that the move had proved highly popular with the 100 hickory golfers who travelled from across the globe to compete in this year's championship. "The overwhelming response was that it was a fantastic tournament in a very fitting, and very welcoming, golfing location," said Lionel.

"We definitely hope to return to Carnoustie Country in 2013. There's such a wonderful choice of excellent courses throughout Carnoustie Country - and almost every one of them would be suitable for the World Hickory Open."

To find out more about Carnoustie Country and its golf courses, including 'stay and play' packages, visit www.carnoustiecountry.com , 'like' the Carnoustie Country Facebook page or follow Carnoustie Country on Twitter. To find out more about the World Hickory Open, visit www.worldhickoryopen.com.




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