Michael Smith Takes Fourth British Championship
29 Oct 2019 at 12:58 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 1922 | News search
British Championship Top 3 (Photo by BMGA)
Michael Smith reigned supreme in claiming his Fourth British Championship, over the weekend of 12/13th October, with a dominant performance at Strokes Adventure Golf, Margate. » Full Results
On what is the most challenging course played on Tour, Michael had an average of 31.8 across eight rounds, which included three sub 30 rounds, with an overall score of 254 (34 under par) for the tournament, enjoying victory by 17 shots over Martin Greenhead. In finishing second, Martin continued his fine seasons form in achieving his first podium finish in a Major, seventeen shots back on 271. Andy Exall finished took third place finishing two shots further back on 273, edging out James Rutherford at the third extra hole.
British Championship Top 3 (L to R): Martin Greenhead, Michael Smith, Andy Exall
Speaking following his victory, Michael Smith said “I’m delighted to have won the 2019 British Championship, and more importantly, to have taken part in such a well organised and enjoyable tournament. Strokes Adventure Golf is one of the very best courses in the United Kingdom and also held up very well to a period of unpredictable weather in the build-up to the tournament. I’m extremely grateful to Matt Wood and his team for once again hosting one of the BMGA’s biggest tournaments. It is always a privilege to play on such a beautiful yet intensely demanding course. I’d also like to thank the Executive Committee for their hard work and organisation they put in to running such a well-organised tournament. I’d additionally like to congratulate all the players who took part last weekend. The course has never played more difficult but I thought everyone competed in a very positive and sportsmanlike manner throughout and were a real credit to the BMGA Tour.”
There were also a variety of Category champions crowned over the weekend.
Michael Smith also took the Men’s Championship with James Rutherford 273 (15 under par) in second with Andy Wilde third at 279 (9 under par).
Top 3 (L to R): Andy Wilde, Michael Smith, James Rutherford
The British Senior’s Championship saw a titanic tussle between Martin Greenhead and Andy Exall, Martin finally emerging victorious, taking his first title, by two shots, finishing on 271(17 under par) to Andy’s 273 (15 under par). Mark Wood took third place on 282 (6 under par).
Top 3 (L to R): Andy Exall, Martin Greenhead, Mark Wood
Speaking following his maiden British Senior’s Title Martin said, “I really enjoy the challenge of Strokes, it’s a fantastic course and Matt and Lexie really look after us. It was great to play with Shelley and Cameron on Saturday, with them going on to come 1st and 2nd respectively in their categories. On Sunday, the pressure built with a battle for second place behind Michael. At one point James, Andy Exall and I were level with a handful of holes left, none of them simple when the pressure is on. Looking at the Seniors trophy, some amazing players have been Seniors Champions and it is an honour to be listed among them. I have another 8 years in the Senior category so hopefully I can win it again in the future".
Shelley Cooper won the British Women’s Championship for the first time with an overall score of 323 (+35) Former Champion Brenda Smith was second on 332 (+44) with Helen Dodd third on 348 (+60). We are extremely proud that this weekend saw the biggest number of Women entries in the history of the Championship.
Top 3 (L to R): Brenda Smith, Shelley Cooper, Helen Dodd
Following her victory Shelley said “Wow what a weekend the British Championships was! I am so happy to have won my first trophy. I really loved the atmosphere of the whole weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the course. Although challenging, it was fun to play. The weekend was well organised and I am looking forward as always to future tournaments"
Chloe Allart-Bennett was another first time winner, taking the Juniors Championship with a total of 321 (+33), with Cameron Fincher second on 352 (+64) and Matt Exall third on 360 (+72). Again we were pleased to see an increase in players.
Top 3 (L to R): Cameron Fincher, Chloe Allart-Bennett, Matt Exall
Following her victory Chloe said “It feels good to win after being away for a few months now and I've always wanted to win this ever since my debut. It was really tough conditions over the 8 rounds so well done to everyone as it was tough. I would like to say well done to the other juniors as they did really well over the 2 days and thank you to everyone that's helped me over the last few years I really appreciate it.”
This weekend also saw the introduction of the Super Seniors Category with the players competing for the Inaugural David Donnelly Trophy in memory of our dearly departed friend.
Terry Exall overturned a first day deficit to take the Super Seniors Championship with a final score of 293 (+5), David Hartley took Silver on 305 (+17) with Dave Gomm bronze on 312 (+24).
Top 3 (L to R): Dave Gomm, Terry Exall, David Hartley
Speaking after his victory, Terry said, "I am very proud to be the first winner of the new Super Senior Salver named after David Donnelly. Especially difficult weekend for Will but a pleasure to have played 3 rounds with him on Sunday where his advice and encouragement helped me overcome Dave Hartley’s lead and win the category. Such a shame Chris was unable to compete this year but look forward to him and Andy Exall playing in the category next year. Im sure Michael’s lovely words about Dave in his speech gave Jean and Will some comfort and his memory lives on with us all".
The full list of winners: (with prizes listed in addition to their deserved medals):
1. Chloe Allart-Bennett (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) Trophy + chocolates
2. Cameron Fincher (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) chocolates
3. Matt Exall (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) chocolates
'Dave Donnelly' Super Seniors title:
1. Terry Exall (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) £40 + Trophy
2. David Hartley (Planet Hastings Crazygolf Club) £20
3. Dave Gomm (Planet Hastings Crazygolf Club) alcohol
1. Martin Greenhead (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf Club) £40 + Trophy
2. Andy Exall (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) £20
3. Mark Wood (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf Club) alcohol
1. Shelley Cooper (Thanet Silverbacks Minigolf Club) £40 + Trophy
2. Brenda Smith (Midlands Minigolf Club) £20
3. Helen Dodd (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf Club) alcohol
1. Michael Smith (Midlands Minigolf club) £40 + Trophy
2. James Rutherford (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf club) £20
3. Andy Wilde (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf Club) alcohol
1. Michael Smith £25 + Trophy
2. Martin Greenhead
3. Andy Exall
James Rutherford (Cambridgeshire & Essex Minigolf club) won the aces prize with 52 holes in-one across the eight rounds.
Following the weekend, BMGA Chairman Scott Lancley said “Our thanks to Matt and Lex for another great competitive weekend at Strokes Adventure Golf. Congratulations to all the Category winners, it was great to see each so close at the end of day 1. I really hope we can build on from this Championship and see even more participants in each category next year. The course is so different to others we encounter because it asks you to be brave and calls upon every skill you can muster to shoot near par or under.
Our biggest gratitude goes to Jeannie (Dave Donnelly's wife) who attended along with Will, and presented the new Super Senior Salver donated to the Association in commemoration of Dave's passing earlier this year. It was lovely to see Jean attend and have the chance for all to catch up with her. ”
Thank you to the British Minigolf Association for providing the content for the article and pictures.