Star City Open 2009

Birmingham, January 18

Chris Harding strolls it.

Pic: Marion & Emily

The first competition of the year is usually met with great anticipation and excitement despite the seasonal conditions that usually accompany outdoor pursuits in the bleak winter months. Minigolfers are hardy souls after all, we laugh in the face of hypothermia, scoff at the prospect of pneumonia, and we positively welcome frostbite (frozen digits match our putter grips after all.)  However, the mid January climate in Birmingham was inconsequential, this was the inaugural Star City Open, this was indoors, this was warm, this was…. like a sauna ! So much so our Scandinavian friends would have felt at home, the European players were sadly missing but that didn’t mean there was a lack of incredible mini golf skill.

33 over heated minigolfers lined up preparing for battle over two courses and three rounds in the faux tropical setting. Chris "Who" Harding was the pre tournament favourite having already won the Star city Monday night league his prize of six months free play was clearly useful in preparation for this competition. Who’s going to win became more of a statement than a question.

Round 1 saw the players take on the hidden cove, Peter "Empton" Emmerson turned up the heat on the favourite with a score that matched the indoor course’s temperature; an impressive 27 Peter held the new course record but true to form Chris Harding took the led with an incredible course record of 25 a few minutes later. Northern Ireland’s Mark Swain and the returning John "Thighs" Moore threatened the sub 30 club with respective 30’s, Mark missing out on 29 by narrowly leaving a putt short on the dreaded hit and hope hole ten, the chaotic pegs ruining many a great round. Mark and John were closely followed by Chris Jones’ impressive 31 followed closely by fellow challenger James Jam Trubridge with a 32. Marc "Chappers" Chapman bust his minigolfing cherry with a great 34 and fellow novice Elliot Ward was biting at his ankles with a solid 35.

Round two and the lost hut beckoned our battling field for two rounds of putting par excellence, if you pardon the pun. (Try saying that after a few beers). Chris Harding looked set to break more records than an epileptic bull in a vinyl shop with the top round two score of 31 increasing his led over his nearest rival Peter Emmerson by another 4 shots Peter who holed out with a credible 35, meanwhile John Moore and James Trubridge stepped up the pressure with solid 34s. Kevin Moseley clearly favouring this course bettered his first round by seven shots giving him a 32 could he do even better? The best placed women Ruth "Plate Thrower" Bullin and Jo "Cup Cake" Williamson traded places in the standings with just one shot separating them.

Going into the third and final round Chris Harding led a crucial 6 shots with the title all but wrapped up the rest of the field battled valiantly for the best possible placing, quietly hoping the pre tournament favourite would have a rare bad round. The battle for the silver medal proved to be intense with Peter Emmerson disappointed with a 38 in the final round offering up second spot for the taking. There was nothing jammy about James "Jam" Trubridge’s 32 who leap frogged into second place by two shots; Kevin Moseley who showed great form in the previous round shot a course record of 29 to put him in a play-off with Peter Emmerson for the bronze medal.

Aces were high in the nearby star city casino and the same could be said for some players score cards, Jo Williamson proved her sharp shooting skills taking away the most aces title, it was almost enough to claim the top woman spot also, but Ruth Bullin pipped her to the post with both women scoring a final round of 33 and finishing on a total of 101 Jo had to settle for being the filling in a Bullin sandwich with young Rock Bullin matching the ladies total score.

Mark "Chappers" Chapman was clearly delighted his novice title, we will be seeing big things from this chap!

Chris "Who" Harding emerged as champion, the chasing field unable to relinquish his grip on the title despite their best efforts. James Trubridge secured second place with a fantastic 32. Peter Emmerson picked himself up after surrendering second place winning a tense play-off with Kevin Moseley on hole 4 earning him a top three finish.

The indoor course impressed the competitors and clearly brought out the best in some players, perhaps it was the lack of strong blowing wind was telling, and no I’m not talking about Tim.

Words: Craig McAllister

Rank Start no Name  R1  R2  R3 Ave Diff Tot
1 128 Chris 'Who' HARDING 25 31 33 29.7 8 89
2 115 James 'Jam' TRUBRIDGE 32 34 32 32.7 2 98
3 134 Peter 'Empton' EMMERSON 27 35 38 33.3 11 100
4 103 Kevin MOSELEY 39 32 29 33.3 10 100
5 117 Ruth 'Plate Thrower' BULLIN 34 34 33 33.7 1 101
6 120 Jo 'Cupcake' WILLIAMSON 33 35 33 33.7 2 101
7 122 Rocky 'Harry Putter' BULLIN 32 36 33 33.7 4 101
8 129 Brad 'The Fist' SHEPHERD 35 33 34 34.0 2 102
9 138 Chris 'Stretch' JONES 31 38 33 34.0 7 102
10 137 John 'Thighs' MOORE 30 34 39 34.3 9 103
11 123 Russ DENT 36 34 34 34.7 2 104
12 127 Nick 'Top Hole' CHITTY 34 40 31 35.0 9 105
13 139 Marc 'Chappers' CHAPMAN 34 33 39 35.3 6 106
14 102 John 'Big Top Ted' MCIVER 34 36 37 35.7 3 107
15 105 Matthew HARDING 35 38 34 35.7 4 107
16 132 Elliott WARD 35 38 35 36.0 3 108
17 126 Rob DODD 33 37 38 36.0 5 108
18 113 Alan 'Stormin' NORMAN 33 39 36 36.0 6 108
19 133 Gareth HOLMES 36 38 35 36.3 3 109
20 116 Scott 'Donkeygringo' LANCLEY 41 34 34 36.3 7 109
21 109 Mark SWAIN 30 42 37 36.3 12 109
22 119 Sean 'Freebird' HOMER 35 37 38 36.7 3 110
23 125 Jas KUKIELKA 38 38 34 36.7 4 110
24 114 Richard 'Squire' GOTTFRIED 36 37 38 37.0 2 111
25 111 Cindy KUKIELKA 37 42 35 38.0 7 114
26 101 Craig MCALLISTER 40 40 38 39.3 2 118
27 107 Leo KUKIELKA 41 39 38 39.3 3 118
28 121 Andy 'Sarge' BOOTH 43 38 37 39.3 6 118
29 108 Seve KUKIELKA 34 41 45 40.0 11 120
30 104 Marion 'Double Trouble' HOMER 38 42 41 40.3 4 121
31 131 Owen JOHNSON 38 43 44 41.7 6 125
32 135 Jake 'The Whirlwind' BOOTH 44 44 45 44.3 1 133
33 110 Sally BOOTH 45 49 51 48.3 6 145

Official Warning

Rocky Bullin

Prize Breakdown

1st - Chris £100 
2nd - Jam £50 
3rd - Peter £30 
4th - Kevin £20 

Aces - Jo £25 

Juniors 

1st - Matthew free entry to comp of his choice +fs ball 
2nd - Leo fsball 
3rd - Owen fsball 
4th - Sally fsball 

Novice (all receive free entry to next comp of choice) 

1st - Marc fsbag with one of each fs balls that we had + jouni bof 05 
2nd - Elliott jouni bof 05 
3rd - Owen jouni bof 05

Pictures of the courses

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