Gerrit Below and Team Germany take the honours at the 2013 WAGM
18 Jun 2013 at 10:44 | Published by: Freebird | Views: 6644 | News search
Gerrit Below (Germany) aces the 3rd hole on his way to the title (Photo by KMGC / Steve Sturdy 2013)
The third WMF World Adventure Golf Masters was held at the Pirate-themed Adventure Golf course in Hastings, England over the weekend of 15 & 16 June. This year saw the popular UK course host the event for the third year in a row and saw the biggest field yet to compete in both the individual and team competitions.
» Results from the Individual event
The two-day, seven-round tournament saw 37 players from Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland and Finland compete for the overall WMF World Adventure Golf Masters title. 28 players took part across 7 teams in the World Adventure Golf Team Masters event, including the 2 time reigning champions from Germany, alongside a team from the World Champions Sweden, a World Minigolf Sport Federation All-stars team and four teams from the host nation, Great Britain.
Gerrit Below from Germany won the overall individual Masters tournament in his first appearance at the event. With a score of 204 (-48). Gerrit won the event by 4 shots from the 2 time defending champion Martin Stöckle with Great Britain's Michael Smith a further 1 shot back in third place. In taking the title, Gerrit managed to equal the existing all time course record of 24, previously set at the 2011 event by fellow German Oleg Klassen. Gerrit took the lead in the event following his first sub 30 score after the third round of the event and held the lead all the way through to the end of the competition, despite strong performances from the chasing pack.
The team contest this year saw the toughest battle yet with the defending champions Germany. the first time participants Sweden and the Great Britain team - featuring the top 4 ranked players in the UK - all strongly fancied to take the title. Any thoughts that Germany would easily secure their third title in as many years were soon dispelled as Sweden opened up the tournament by equalling the best ever team round score of 85 (shot in the final round in 2012 by Great Britain) and taking a 5 shot lead after 1 round. With players hitting great form, despite some incredibly tough weather conditions (gale force winds across the South coast), Great Britain then produced their best ever team round, shooting a combined total of 83 and leading the tournament by 5 shots after 2 rounds. Great Britain continued to hold the overnight lead from Germany, who were picking up some great scores as the day progressed. Not to be outdone by the other 2 main teams, Germany then shot the greatest ever team round at the WAGM in round 6 with a combined score of just 78, leaving them 10 shots clear going into the final round.
With the deficit too large to claw back, Germany secured their 3rd team title, with Great Britain taking the silver and Sweden the bronze.
The WMF All-star team finished 4th, ahead of Great Britain 3 in 5th place, Great Britain 2 in 6th place and Great Britain 4 in 7th place.
The World Adventure Golf Masters tournament was organised by the British Minigolf Association (BMGA) and the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF).
The prize winners from the 2013 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters were:
• Overall WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Champion – Gerrit Below, Germany
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Team Champions – Germany (Martin Stöckle, Mark Harmening, Gerrit Below and Philipp Lewin)
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Male Category Winner – Gerrit Below, Germany
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Seniors Category Winner – Sean Homer, Great Britain
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Female Category Winner – Emily Gottfried, Great Britain
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Junior Winner – Adam Kelly, Great Britain
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Team Competition Runners-up – Great Britain 1 (Michael Smith, Sean Homer, Adam Kelly and James Rutherford)
• WMF World Adventure Golf Masters Team Competition Third Place – Sweden (Peter Eisenschmidt, Björn Dinau, Torgny Kjellström and Filiph Svensson)
The opening and closing ceremonies were hosted by The White Rock Hotel in Hastings and The Mayor of Hastings; Councillor Alan Roberts presented the prizes to participants at the close of play on Sunday 16 June at the Pirate Course.
Sean Homer, BMGA chairman said “The 2013 World Adventure Golf Masters event proved to be another thrilling competition with some truly outstanding minigolf played. It was superb to see the German players back again for the third year running and also to see the World Champions Sweden taking part for the first time at the event. The WAGM is proving to be a good development event for our Great Britain players and we saw two players making their International debuts in the tournament. Both Martin and Craig performed really well, as did all of our Great Britain players and after 5 rounds it looked like we could turn our two previous Team silvers into a Team gold. But Germany proved once again why they have won the event for the past 2 years and were worthy champions following their outstanding performance across day two and particularly round 6 of the event.”
Pasi Aho, Sport Director of the WMF said “It was great to be back in Hastings for the third WMF World Adventure Golf Masters competition. The World Minigolf Sport Federation would like to thank the organisers at the British Minigolf Association and Hastings Adventure Golf for their efforts to make this another brilliant event. It was also great to have a high class team from Sweden to compete for the first time in what was a very exciting team competition. Congratulations to all the winners and especially to Gerrit Below for a fantastic performance in very difficult weather conditions.”
Sean added “Above all, the event was played in a great spirit and was a brilliant advert for minigolf both domestically and internationally. I would like to thank David and Marion Hartley from Hastings Adventure Golf for their support and hospitality throughout the event and to all of the team at the course for their hard work. Also a big thanks to all of the scorers who helped make the final rounds such a great spectacle and to The Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Alan Roberts for presenting all of the trophies and prizes at the closing ceremony. The BMGA and WMF would like to say a huge thank you to the team at the White Rock Hotel in Hastings for their support of the event and for hosting the Opening and Closing ceremonies in 2013. Special thanks go out to the tournament director Marion Homer for delivering a top class event once again. And of course, a big thank you to all of the players from Great Britain and across the globe for giving us another outstanding minigolf competition across the two days at Hastings and I look forward to hopefully seeing them all again next year.”
At the end of each tournament day, the players all took part in two Hole In One Charity challenges at the notoriously tough hole 7 on the Pirate Course. Using just a standard course ball, with no practice, players had one shot (for £1) to try and ace the hole. Half of the money in each of these challenges, taking place at each BMGA event this season, goes towards the nominated charity of the winner of the Players Championship that takes place the day before the British Open in September. the remainder gets split between any players that ace the hole during the challenge. With no player aceing the hole on Saturday, the prize fund 'rolled over' to Sunday with players getting a second chance to win the challenge. With the crowds watching, close to 30 players took on the challenge and this time both Adam Kelly & James Rutherford hit the perfect shot to split the £24 prize fund between them.
» Results from the Team event
» Photo gallery from the weekend (courtesy of the KMGC)