British Minigolf Association

History is made in Hastings as Smith claims his ninth major PDF Print E-mail
  

A new date, a new format, the same result...

Michael Smith won his fourth World Crazy Golf Championship in Hastings at the weekend to become the most successful major winner in British minigolf history. His four titles, together with three British Open victories and two British Championships, mean that he has now won nine of the sport’s three ‘majors’ since winning his first World Crazy Golf Championship in 2011, surpassing the previous record of eight majors held by Tim Davies.

Smith, who also won in 2012 and 2015, led a field of 71 players from Great Britain, Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic and Portugal in the British Minigolf Association’s flagship event. The tournament, held annually since 2003 at Hastings Adventure Golf, always attracts a diverse range of experienced minigolfers, internationals and novices keen to take part in a world championship. The seafront Arnold Palmer crazy golf course is a classic of its kind with traditional features including a windmill, waterwheel, lighthouse, obelisk and ramps, which provides a stern challenge to pros and novices alike with the changing weather conditions and the famous Hastings sea breeze.

After seven rounds of crazy golf, Smith emerged victorious with a score of 233 (19 under par), four strokes clear of BMGA chairman Sean Homer. Although he had led throughout the weekend, he was pushed all the way during the final ‘crazy crazy’ round as his lead was cut back first by Derek Bentall and then by Homer. With all balls in play, the ‘crazy crazy’ rules provide an extra hazard but Smith retained his composure to seal the victory and the £1,000 first prize over the final holes.

“I am delighted to have won the first ‘summer’ World Crazy Golf Championship. Despite some challenging weather conditions on Sunday, I felt it was an excellent tournament with brilliant organisation from start to finish. I would like to thank the Executive Committee for all their hard work, as well as all the volunteers that helped on Sunday, and the owners, management and staff at Hastings Adventure Golf for hosting the tournament and for their fantastic hospitality,” said Smith after his victory.

It was also a special weekend for Sean Homer, captain of the Great Britain minigolf team, who marked his 100th BMGA tour strokeplay event by coming second with a score of -15. Homer becomes the first player to reach this landmark, 11 years after making his début in 2005. One of the most popular players on the tour, he managed to achieve this performance while acting as tournament director and scoring and refereeing between rounds.

Speaking after the event, Sean said “Once again the World Crazy Golf Championship has lived up to its billing as the most eagerly awaited and anticipated event on our tour. The welcome we receive from the team at Hastings is second to none and the minigolf produced by the top players was of the highest quality. But the real stars of the weekend were all of our players who always demonstrate the spirit and excitement that the event creates and I am sure they all had great fun in yet another fantastic weekend at Hastings. On a personal note I was really surprised and touched by the presentation marking my 100th event – a great end to a brilliant weekend for me.”

Mark Wood achieved his highest major finish by coming third with a score of -14, winning a play-off against Thomas Giebenhein of Germany. Both players finished one stroke ahead of Derek Bentall, who came fifth with a score of -13.

 

The players get ready for day 2 action as the competition reaches its climax on the Sunday 


The tournament was notable for two firsts. It was the first time it had been played in summer instead of its traditional October slot in the calendar, and players were rewarded with long hours of daylight and perfect conditions on Saturday before the wind and rain appeared on day two. For the first time, there was also a dedicated prize fund for novice players thanks to the generosity of Hastings Adventure Golf. The total prize fund of £4,500 was the richest in the competition’s history, of which £1,500 was set aside for novices. The £500 first prize for novices attracted a field of 21 players and provided exciting competition throughout the weekend alongside the main event. Ed Pope emerged as the novice champion with a score of 258 (+6), closely followed by Matt Bray (+11) and Rupert Pilgrim (+15). The novice category is open to anyone playing in their first or second World Crazy Golf Championship (excluding the pro players of course!) and it is set to attract even more entrants next year.

Simon Tompkins, General Manager of Hastings Adventure Golf said “From myself and everyone at Hastings Adventure Golf I would like to say a huge thank you to all competitors involved over the weekend. The dedication, the financial outlay and time that is put in does not go unnoticed and we fully appreciate it year on year. The way that everyone conducts themselves around not only the courses but our entire site is a credit to the BMGA, so once again thank you. Congratulations to those of you that finished in the prize money and I hope all that played had an enjoyable time and are looking forward to next year, maybe with some June weather this time!”

Full results for both the overall competition and the novice championship can be found at http://bmga.co.uk/2016WCGC/result.htm

Photos from the competition (courtesy of the KMGC and event photographers Marion Homer and Chris Wood) can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/13680867@N02/albums/72157669706919835

World Crazy Golf Championship Roll of Honour:

·       2016 Michael Smith (ENG)

·       2015 Michael Smith (ENG)

·       2014 Chris Harding (ENG)

·       2013 Olivia Prokopova (CZE)

·       2012 Michael Smith (ENG)

·       2011 Michael Smith (ENG)

·       2010 Chris Harding (ENG)

·       2009 Keith Kellard (ENG)

·       2008 Tim Davies (WAL)

·       2007 Chris Harding (ENG)

·       2006 Tim Davies (WAL)

·       2005 Tim Davies (WAL)

·       2004 Tim Davies (WAL)

·       2003 Tim Davies (WAL)

The next event on the BMGA tour sees the double header of the Cambridgeshire and Essex Open and the welcome return of the British Doubles Championship taking place at Dunton Hills over the weekend of the 16-17 July.

And keep an eye on our website and Social Media feeds this month as our Great Britain team get ready to take part in the World Adventure Golf Masters in Kosovo at the end of June.

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 June 2016 12:52 )
 

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