China Open a breakthrough for MOS minigolf in Asia
11 May 2009 at 09:21 | Published by: JJM | Views: 9596 | News search
Olivia at the Kunming minigolf course. (Photo by Martin Bousek 2009)
Olivia Prokopová of Czech Republic took an easy victory at China Open 2009, with a margin of 23 points after 8 rounds (2.88 points per round). The battle for places 2 – 4 was more thrilling, as only 1 point separated Chinese players Mr. Bird in second place and Mr. Effley in third place. William Rhatz of Great Britain was left 4th, one point behind Effley.
Top 10 of the competition:
1. 279 34.88 Olivia PROKOPOVÁ (Czech Republic)
2. 302 37.75 Mr. BIRD (China)
3. 303 37.88 Mr. EFFLEY (China)
4. 304 38.00 William RHATZ (Great Britain)
5. 316 39.50 Samuel BERRY (USA)
6. 317 39.63 He Mai YU (China)
7. 318 39.75 MARISSA (China)
7. 318 39.75 LILY (China)
9. 324 40.50 JOY (China)
9. 324 40.50 Chen Qun JIA (China)
Aerial photo of Kunming minigolf courses. (Photo by Hello Minigolf 2009)
Winners of the competition. (Photo by Martin Bousek 2009)
Even if the competition lacked players of international top level (with the notable exception of Olivia Prokopová), the first ever China Open was a breakthrough for minigolf in China. The tournament had 95 participants from 14 countries and 3 continents (Belgium, Czech, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malaysia, Turkey, USA, Vietnam). In comparison, WMF Asian Championships 2008 had 50 players from 8 countries, and WMF World Championships have sometimes had players from 1 continent only (most recently in Budapest 2008).
China now has a strong organizer of minigolf events. Time will bring the skill and talent to the game. But this was not exactly the European form of minigolf, neither was the organization fostered by WMF. The competition was organized in cooperation with American USPMGA federation, with USPMGA minigolf rules, which allow playing with a golf ball only.
China Open 2009 was a victory for Olivia, but also for USPMGA. When the next negotiation rounds begin between WMF and American minigolfers, WMF will probably find Americans as confident as ever about the strong marketing potential of their version of minigolf, compared to the more symmetric and less golf-like WMF version of minigolf.
» photo gallery of the competition
Robert Detwiler of USPMGA opening the competition. (Photo by Martin Bousek 2009)
» website of Kunming adventure golf courses
» results of top 56 players (qualified for day 2)