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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|18||113||Alan 'Stormin' NORMAN||33||39||36||36.0||6||108|
|20||116||Scott 'Donkeygringo' LANCLEY||41||34||34||36.3||7||109|
|22||119||Sean 'Freebird' HOMER||35||37||38||36.7||3||110|
|24||114||Richard 'Squire' GOTTFRIED||36||37||38||37.0||2||111|
|28||121||Andy 'Sarge' BOOTH||43||38||37||39.3||6||118|
|30||104||Marion 'Double Trouble' HOMER||38||42||41||40.3||4||121|
|32||135||Jake 'The Whirlwind' BOOTH||44||44||45||44.3||1||133|
1st - Chris £100
2nd - Jam £50
3rd - Peter £30
4th - Kevin £20
Aces - Jo £25
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