A 10-year-old girl has won the first Carnoustie 10-hole Championship, beating three men in a play-off in a field of over 200 at the famous Angus Links.
Nina Fischer, who lives with her family in St Andrews but is a season ticket holder at Carnoustie Links, won the play-off on the famous 18th hole of the Championship Links over David Martin, Michael Law and Bruce Shepherd.
Member at Carnoustie and St Andrews
Nina is a member of the St Regulus club, has been playing since the age of five and plays off 12. She finished tied second in qualifying over nine holes of the Championship Course before winning the four-way play-off.
As well as the first title, Nina wins a round of golf with the former Open champion Paul Lawrie. Lawrie, who won his Claret Jug in dramatic fashion at Carnoustie in 1999, is attached to the Links.
The new championship was staged in association with Double A Trading Company, a supplier of greenkeeping equipment for the Links.
It was the brainchild of the Links executive and head PGA pro Keir McNicoll. The aim was to have a competitive tournament on the links open to all links season ticket holders with no restrictions on age, gender or handicap.
‘A real triumph’
“This championship has been a real triumph here at Carnoustie,” said Kier. “We have always been a venue that believes in making the game inclusive and growing and adapting it for the future.
“Nina’s win was a fantastic, inspirational, finish to a wonderful day of excellent golf. We believe that golf, which has so many health benefits, should be open to everyone who wants to play. A championship like this is another step on that exciting journey.”
In all 200 season ticket holders male and female competed, from high handicappers to scratch, first-time juniors to experienced veterans.
The importance of the event was to show there was “attitude and acceptance” that anyone can play. Even on the much-feared Championship Course – generally regarded as the toughest of the Open Championship venues.
“A tournament like this gives all our Season Ticket Holders the chance to play in a competitive format without feeling intimidated by the field,” added McNicoll. “They know that they can play with their friends and family and compete at their own level.”
10 holes to commemorate “original” course
The shortened layout was inspired by the 10 holes laid out as the first “formal” course. The legendary Allan Robertson, generally accepted as golf’s first professional, formed the “original” course in 1842. There are records that golf had been played at Carnoustie as far back as 1527.
The 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th were used. The first nine holes set as qualifying and the four best scores continuing to the play-off on the 18th.
Martin, a one-handicap member of the Carnoustie club, finished as leading qualifier with a net 32. Nina and Law, another Carnoustie member, shared second place on net 33.