Links honour retiring John

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THE MAN credited with bringing the Open Championship back to Carnoustie is to be honoured with a hole named after him on the Championship Course.

The Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee has announced it is to name the 11th hole after its retiring links superintendent John Philp.

The hole, currently called the Dyke, will be renamed in honour of Mr Philp for the pivotal role he has played in the revival of the fortunes of the Angus links.

The 11th hole will be officially renamed in June when Mr Philp bows out after preparing the course for the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship.

Gordon Wilson, the Carnoustie Links chairman, credited Mr Philp with playing a vital role in getting the course back onto the Open rota.

He said: “I think everybody knows how important John has been for Carnoustie.

“There was a lot of talk about hotels, access and improved facilities but the most vital thing in bringing The Open back here was the condition of the golf course.

“He is the man who secured that. He did a huge amount to improve the reputation of all three courses here and we felt that naming a hole after him was the only suitable thing to do on his retiral.”

Mr Wilson went on to say the 11th hole was selected on account of the fact that it is close to the green-keeping sheds and because there has not been a dyke on the hole for many years.

Mr Philp (64) moved from St Andrews to Carnoustie back in 1985 and quickly set about transforming the fortunes of the town’s three golf courses.

During his tenure the Championship course has been invited to stage two Open Championships, in 1999 and 2007, and also the 1991 and 2001 Scottish Ladies’ Close Amateur Championships, the 1992 Amateur Championship, the 1995 and 1996 Scottish Opens, the 1997 and 2008 Scottish Amateur and the 2002 Boys’ Championship.

More recently, it staged the 2010 Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard in 2010 and the 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open.