MIDLAND OPEN MINI GOLF TOURNAMENT 2006
Four Ashes Golf Centre, Dorridge September 30
Rocky Bullin Triumphs
Colemans mustard, the Norfolk
Broads, Alan Partridge, Delia Smith, all synonymous with Norwich.
As for Dorridge, lack of space precludes me from fully listing its historical and cultural history. A legacy that echoes around the world.
The nearby Tescos garage offered everything a Viennese cafe could supply, except for tables, chairs, waiters, linen table cloths, cream cakes and coffee you'd want to drink rather than dip your sheep in.
Everyone likes a heart warming animal story, after the hedgehogs of Stratford in 2004 and 2005 this year the Midlands Open was delayed by a toad in the hole. The naughty amphibian had crawled into the tenth hole, no doubt having spied Michael King on the course he decided the hole was the safest place to shelter. Reminiscent of Steve Irwin, Chris Harding flung himself at the beast, heedless of his own personal safety. Having towed the creature away play could finally begin in the much anticipated first Midlands Open.
Local players rubbed shoulders with international minigolfers such as 2006 European championship players Brad Shepherd and Hastings' putting god Bull Billin.
In the first round though it was the son of god - eleven year old Rocky Bullin finished leading player. Though a name usually associated with Hollywood pugilists attempting a boxing comeback against Mr T, Rocky floored his opponents with some knock out shots. The quick one two became the one one one two one as he claimed a course record of twenty, seven shots ahead of uncle Timmykins Davies. Tim's performance in the ring was more painful - especially as he had to buy cream for his piles on the Saturday night. As Rocky delightedly jigged around the slumped body of uncle Timmykins, his inspirational coach, British internationals Brad Shepherd and Steve Gow took second and third places. Also in the running was Londoner Chris Jones - though today wasn't to be his day, the following Saturday Chris beat all comers to claim a world title - Conkers. His knuckles were bruised and blooded, but he was the King of Conkers. The king of plonkers, Ted McIver also had a disappointing round of 26. Could Rocky hold his game together over the next two rounds?
Could Tim hold his grapes together over the next two rounds. Well, lets find out. In the second round, despite his youthful excitement and uncle Timmykins kicking his left ankle, Rocky stood as firm as a ... rock. The chirpy cherub's 23 kept him in first place, Tim 'aneroid man' Davies shot an ominous 21.
For the third round would Hastings Harry Putter sink like a rock, or float like a rock cake. Would a London player win it? Tim Davies, in his third round, equalled Rocky's record of 20. The young un needed an ace on the last hole to force a play off. The tee shot was much much too fast, but after hitting the back wall it dropped into the hole like a Dorridge toad - a real pile driver (sorry Tim). Big Top Ted finished third - the inaugural Midlands Open would be decided by a play off.
The Milky Bar Kid versus the Murky Bar Cad. As Tim relaxed with coffee and fag before the sudden death play off Rocky's sugar levels went off the rail as he took a hit from a diet coke and a Trebor mint.
"Please let me win, please let me win, Tim please let me win, let me win Tim please please please let me win."
After 5 minutes of this it was time for the eleven year old to be put in his place by the grizzled old timer.
The first two holes were halved in front of an audience who while respecting all Tim has achieved in minigolf, may have had a sneaking regard for the youthful pretender to Tim's throne. On the easy Third Tim's face contorted in pain as his tee shot missed, or a strange alignment of the moons of Uranus. Rocky needed a hole in one and the day would belong to him. Carefully selecting his ball Rocky took a large black ball out - the Ace Man ball of fame. And true to its name it provided the dear boy with an ace. The day belonged to him and all Dorridge lay before his conquering feet. Well done to Rocky, if only his parents were as successful.
Unfortunately this was a competition without prize money - though the chance to dance around Uncle Timbledore showing him the trophy was prize enough. Before Uncle Tim tried to stick cocky rocky in the tenth hole face first - ah sportsmanship, how fair thou art. Tim came second, his sphincter letting him down at the last, but at least he could look forward to Planet Hastings team mate Ted McIver rubbing in not only his defeat that evening but also the haemorrhoid cream.
Words: Big Top
1 won play-off at third extra hole
* New course record
There was a mixed reaction from fellow competitors!