Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Chris Sokoloski
The National Sporting Clays Association’s U.S. Open at Back Woods Quail Club last week was a rousing success.
“Back Woods Quail Club and Rick Hemingway did a fantastic job,” said Robert Crow, the association’s director. “The community seemed to really come together and strongly support the U.S. Open.”
It was the first time Back Woods, and Georgetown County, hosted the event.
“[Georgetown County] was beautiful place,” Crow said. “A really good family atmosphere.”
Hemingway, the club’s director, said the tournament was “close to perfection.”
“It went better than expected,” Hemingway said. “I couldn’t have asked for it to go as well as it did.”
Crow and Hemingway both said feedback was almost entirely positive. One member of Crow’s staff, who is a lifelong resident of Texas, said if she was ever going to relocate it would be to Georgetown County.
The main event attracted 947 shooters. Other events attracted nearly 100 people. There were also more than 100 vendors at the site and about 200 spectators on hand each day during the weekend.
Crow said 504,550 registered targets were thrown during the tournament. Adding in practice rounds, the number of targets thrown likely topped 1 million.
Wendell Cherry of Tennessee won the main event, breaking 193 of 200 targets. Bill McGuire was second with 188, and Anthony Matarese was third with 187.
Diane Sorantino won the Ladies’ division with 169 targets. Ashleigh Hafley was second with 168, and Tina Jewell was third with 167.
Crow said the association’s main worries when a club is hosting the U.S. Open for the first time are parking, cleanliness, accommodations, food and maintaining the quality of service throughout.
He said Back Woods passed all tests with flying colors.
“Everyone had a smile on their face,” Crow said. “I never saw an employee that was mad or upset.”
Crow especially enjoyed the “great variety” of food, including state cuisine, and is now a fan of pileau.
Hemingway and his staff have spent the past few days cleaning up the club’s grounds and getting things back to normal.
He plans to bid for the 2017 U.S. Open.
Complete tournament results are available online at www.winscoreonline.com.
For more information on the club, go to www.backwoodsquailclub.com.