Smith Wins Again - Takes The British Open
01 Oct 2016 at 14:00 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 1901 | News search
Michael Smith at the British Open (Photo by Marion Homer (via BMGA website))
Michael Smith claimed a historic tenth major title as he came from behind to clinch victory in a thrilling finish to the 2016 British Minigolf Open. » BMGA British Open Article
The event, held at the Hastings Pirate course for the second time, consisted of 10 rounds of 18 holes, making it the longest official tournament ever held in the UK. As the premier event in the British minigolf calendar, it attracted a strong field of 53 players from 6 countries including Germany, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic and Portugal, not to mention the top 25 players in the British Minigolf Association (BMGA) rankings.
Despite heavy rain on the Friday, the course was in perfect condition on Saturday morning and the scoring was exceptional. At various times on day one, the lead was held by Mark Wood, Will Donnelly and Sean Homer and it was Sean who ended the day in a tie with with Adam Kelly for first place at 39 under par for five rounds. The fourth round of the day saw both players score an incredible 24 strokes (-12), equaling the all-time course record and setting a new British record not just at Hastings, but anywhere in the UK. It is also believed to be an unofficial world record on MOS (minigolf open standard) courses.
On day two, Adam established an early lead with another round of 24 and led until the final few holes of the day. But you can never write off Michael Smith. His first four rounds were all under 30, which meant that he went into the final round just one stroke behind. Not for the first time this season, we were treated to a titanic battle between the top two players in the UK in the last round of a major championship. In May, it was Adam who triumphed at the British Championship, but this time it was Michael who held his nerve. He drew level with an ace on the 14th hole and moved into the lead for the first time in the tournament on the 16th. Six aces in a row from holes 12 to 17 broke Adam’s resistance and Michael sealed victory with a par 2 at the final hole to claim his fourth British Open, along with the cut-glass trophy and the £500 first prize.
The winning score was 280 (-80), an average of 28 strokes per round. Adam came second and won £200 with a score of -78, followed by Will Donnelly in third who won £100 with a score of -65. Overall, there were 2,350 aces and 79 rounds below 30 across the weekend, which is testament to the strength of the field and the growing strength of British minigolf, with several players setting new personal best scores.
Other winners were Ted McIver (Category 2), Freddie Blackburn-Shaw (Category 3/4), Mark Watson (novice champion), Daniel Vlĉek (overseas champion) and Kent Spitfires (team champions).
The weekend began with the traditional curtain-raiser, the Players and International Players Championships on Friday. Adam Kelly emerged victorious in the Players Championships for the second year in succession, with Vojtěch Mikšovsky claiming the International Players Championship. The event raised £75 for Adam’s nominated charity, MIND UK.
Adam completed a successful weekend by winning the season-long British Matchplay Championship, defeating Nuno Cunha 5&3 in the final to claim the title for the first time. In the semi-finals, Adam beat Will Donnelly 3&2 and Nuno beat Tony Kelly by the same score.
Thank you to Tony Kelly for providing the above article. You can see additional information at the links below.
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