Andrew Marshall, 2016 U.S. Professional Hickory Champion
England’s Andrew Marshall, the reigning World Hickory Open Champion, had too much game for the professionals vying for the John Shippen Trophy at the United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship. The tournament, organized by top U.S. hickory golfer and professional Mike Stevens, is in its sixth year at the historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, in Temple Terrace, Fla. Marshall’s 3-under par 70 was but one shot higher than the score posted by John McLeod in the 1925 Florida Open played at this same venue.
Marshall, 43, of Dereham, England, turned pro in 1995. In 2001 he earned his European Tour card and has posted high showings in several tournaments, including runner-up at the 2003 Madeira Island Open and the 2006 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Also in 2006 he qualified for the Open Championship, finishing tied for 48th.
The Tom Bendelow links at 6,400 yards was described by the Tampa Tribune at its opening in 1922 as a long and difficult layout. In the hickory golf era that was certainly true as most courses of the time were up to four or five hundred yards shorter. Today’s irrigated fairways stretch the length even further.
It did not seem to effect Marshall, however, who at one point was 5 under the magic number before finding a bad lie in the bunker at number 17. In addition to the $1,500 first prize Marshall’s name will be affixed to the John Shippen Cup for whom the tournament is dedicated. Shippen was America’s first golf professional and played in the U. S. Open at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.
In accepting the Cup, Marshall thanked host Stevens for putting on such a great event, and made sure to thank the staff and the host club for keeping the historic track in such good shape. He has been invited by organizer Brian Schuman to play in the World Hickory Match Play, to be held early this summer on the St. Martins course of the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
The USPHGC is sponsored by the United States Golf Teachers Federation and open to all golf professionals, male and female. Players compete for the same $5,000 prize fund associated with the original Florida Open won by Leo Diegel, as well as their name on the Shippen Cup, on permanent display in the Temple Terrace clubhouse. The golf course is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of only three in the state.
Ki Shui Liao from Orlando, Fla. set the ladies scoring record, recording a 79 to take the honors in the lady’s division while outscoring several of the men competitors.
Last year, Stevens announced that to commemorate the fact that the first U.S Open and U.S. Amateur were originally played in the same week on the same venue the United States Amateur Hickory Golf Championship was added to the day’s event. Will Peterson of Orlando, playing from the pro tees in his second U.S. Amateur Hickory Championship, was awarded the Oscar Bunn Trophy to commemorate the Shinnecock Indian who played in the 1896 U.S. Open along with Shippen. There was also a Heritage Division for amateurs using handicaps and the winner was Bob Chew from Weeki Wachee, Fla.
Ki Shui Liao, left, of Orlando, Fla. is the USPHGC Ladies Chamion. Will Peterson, also
of Orlando, is the 2016 U.S. Amateur Hickory Golf Champion.
Bob Chew, of Weeki Wachee, Fla., won the Heritage Division for amateurs, a division using handicaps. Tournament director Mike Stevens presents the award.
United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship 2016 Results
(Full Leaderboard, score and prize money)
United States Amateur Hickory Golf Championship 2016 Results