Fifty pros are already entered for this years PGA World Hickory Open at Craigielaw GC links course in East Lothian in Scotland on September 25th and 26th. And with the prize fund at £17,500, this event in its fourth year is already ahead of 2007, although Tournament Chairman Lionel Freedman expects this number to grow substantially in the next two weeks.
At present, we have overseas pros from the US and Sweden and amateurs from these same two countries as well as from Germany, Portugal, Holland, Ireland and England. The US contingent will be led again by Mike Stevens runner-up in the US National Hickory Championships and a former winner, says Lionel Freedman.
However, home-spun Hickory specialists may again take the top prize with last years champion Lloyd Saltman, who recently turned professional, and his brother 2007 winner Zack taking full advantage of home course knowledge.
Teenager Zack Saltman still holds the Hickory Open gross score record from two years ago when he fired a 67 on a challengingly windy day carrying just five hickory clubs. Also in the field is Chris Doak (unattached), who currently leads the Tartan Tour Order of Merit.
Some 36 teams will be competing in the Pro-Am, which will feature foreign and domestic teams from the length and breadth of the UK, but particular interest is likely to be focused on two schoolboy teams from Loretto with some very talented golf scholars playing this year.
Lionel Freedman says that he has just two team spots left for the Sept 25th Pro-Am. He would welcome an inquiry on 0131-665 4861 but this opportunity wont last long.