The tenth edition of the tournament saw the players compete over six qualifying rounds on the 18-hole Hastings Crazy Golf course before a cut was made and the top 18 players went on to contest the final round. Michael Smith, a member of the Kent Minigolf Club, won the tournament finishing six-shots clear of runner-up James Rutherford. Rutherford, Captain of the Cambridgeshire Mini Golf Club, was last year’s bronze medallist. In third-place was the Czech Republic’s Olivia Prokopova. Also in the prize money placings were Adam Kelly, Sean Homer and Peter Emmerson. Michael Smith’s 126-hole, seven-round total of 245(-7) came after rounds of 35, 34, 38, 34, 35, 34 and 35.
Two-time ‘Castle Golf’ World Crazy Golf Champion Michael Smith said "I'm delighted to have won the 2012 World Crazy Golf Championship. I played very well throughout the tournament and it is a wonderful feeling to have beaten so many great players on such a challenging course. The cold and windy weather made things very difficult, especially when combined with the changes to the course. The fact that only two players went under par shows just how tricky it was. Nevertheless it was a wonderful weekend and I hope that all the players enjoyed it and will come back for the 2013 World Crazy Golf Championship."
Other winners at the tournament were the Czech Republic’s Olivia Prokopova who retained her title as the ‘Castle Golf’ Ladies World Crazy Golf Champion. Former Women's World Crazy Golf Champion Ruth Burke from St Leonards was the runner-up with Oxford’s Brenda Smith in third-place. Caroline Benfield was fourth in the Ladies event in her tournament debut.
Olivia Prokopova also won the World Crazy Golf Junior Championship. England's Adam Kelly was the runner-up with Scotland's Freddie Blackburn-Shaw third. Will Donnelly came in fourth-place in the junior category and was also a finalist finishing in 16th place overall. Owen Johnson was fifth.
Stephen Langford won the World Crazy Golf Championship Novice Category prize and finished in 31st place overall. Craig Patterson was runner-up with Simon Hone and Oli Paxton tied in third-place in a hotly contested player category. A total of 16 players were eligible for the prize.
England’s Ruth Burke won the Aces Championship for scoring the most holes-in-one at the event for the second year in a row with a total of 16 during rounds one to six.
The World Championship Crazy Golf course at Hastings Adventure Golf on the town’s seafront contains many obstacles and hazards over its 18-holes including the classic Windmill, a waterwheel, an obelisk, lighthouse, ramps and bunkers. This year’s event also saw the introduction of new course balls for players to use, smaller cup sizes and new felt introduced to some of the holes. This along with the late October weather in Hastings added extra difficulty to the tournament. The tough conditions were very telling with only three players able to score three holes-in-one in a row during the event. Veteran player Pasi Aho from Finland and novice players Rupert Coney and Caroline Benfield were the only players to achieve the feat.
David Hartley, Hastings Adventure Golf Company Manager said “Hastings Adventure & Crazy Golf has now resumed normal service after the weekend that was the 10th World Crazy Golf Championships. The players have flown, driven, walked or taken the train to whatever part of the world is home, some clutching trophies and prize money, some just their putters. All though with fond memories of a fun, competitive and sportsmanlike weekend. The weather stayed dry, if a bit on the nippy side. The final was played on Sunday afternoon, in front of fellow players, an enthusiastic audience, the TV cameras and the Mayor of Hastings, who watched the entire final and then presented the prizes and trophies to the top players. For Hastings and the Crazy Golf management team, this is always the highlight and finale to the summer season. Months of preparation and organisation have once again culminated in a superb weekend for all concerned. We now start again and look forward to the 11th World Crazy Golf Championships in October 2013.”
Sean Homer, Chairman of the British Minigolf Association said “Thank you to all of the players from home and overseas who took part in the competition and made it such a great event. Many thanks also to all of the spectators and members of the media who came to Hastings for the tournament. Special thanks to Marion and David Hartley and all at the Hastings Crazy Golf course for their hospitality during the weekend, and thanks to Marion Homer, the Tournament Director for running the event. Our thanks also go out to Councillor Alan Roberts, the Mayor of Hastings for presenting the prizes to the winners at the course.”
The field of players in the ‘Castle Golf’ World Crazy Golf Championship included competitors from England, Scotland, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA. Among them were a number of players who regularly compete on the British Minigolf Association Tour, as well as some players making their debuts in the competition.
Michael Smith is now a two-time World Crazy Golf Champion and is Great Britain’s number one ranked player. He is the only player in Minigolf history to win the World Crazy Golf Championship, BMGA British International Open and BMGA British Championship, with victories in each of the three majors in the 2012 season. Since his British Minigolf Association Tour debut in 2010 Michael has won 19 BMGA Tour Titles and made four appearances for the Great Britain Minigolf Sport Team.
World Crazy Golf Championship Roll of Honour:
• 2012 Michael Smith (ENG)
• 2011 Michael Smith (ENG)
• 2010 Chris Harding (ENG)
• 2009 Keith Kellard (ENG)
• 2008 Tim Davies (WAL)
• 2007 Chris Harding (ENG)
• 2006 Tim Davies (WAL)
• 2005 Tim Davies (WAL)
• 2004 Tim Davies (WAL)
• 2003 Tim Davies (WAL)
Full results from the 2012 ‘Castle Golf’ World Crazy Golf Championship can be found at http://www.bmga.co.uk/
The event page and results can also be found at http://www.minigolf.org.uk/
The British Minigolf Association (BMGA) is the governing body for Minigolf Sport, including Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf. Formed in 1998 the BMGA organises Minigolf competitions for its members across the UK. In 2011 there were 22 Ranking BMGA Tour competitions and a total of 12 players lifted BMGA Tour titles in Open, Invitational, Club and Doubles events. For further details about the BMGA and UK Minigolf please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.minigolf.org.uk
Hastings Adventure Golf on the town’s seafront is home to three 18-hole Miniature Golf courses. Hastings Adventure Golf has been the home venue for the World Crazy Golf Championship since the tournament began in 2003. Castle Golf produces quality Adventure Golf courses throughout the World. Further information can be received from David Hartley at Hastings Adventure Golf email@example.com, or visit http://www.hastingsadventuregolf.com and http://www.adventuregolf.co.uk