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Smith sprints to speedgolf success

It was a Smith family affair at Sunday’s inaugural Craigs Investments Partners Carterton Speedgolf Open.

Robin Smith took out the major honours in the open men, winning with a score of 108.27 [73 shots plus running time of 35 minutes 27 seconds]; sister and event organiser Amy Linton was the first woman and fifth overall finishing with a personal best [PB] 121.41 [75 plus 42:02], and 69-year-old dad Chris was a convincing winner of the eight hole event scoring 65.45 [42 plus 23:45]. To cap the family flavour, sister Kelsy was fifth over eight holes with a total of 73.55 [45 plus 28:55].

Masterton-based NZPGA professional Harry Bateman was a respectable second in his first attempt at the rapid version of the game, finishing on 109.46 [73 plus 36:46], a score which was blighted by a triple bogey seven on the seventh hole.

One provisional world record was set in the Masters’ Men’s 50-plus, with John Farron posting 127.02 [76 plus 51:02], although that will need to be ratified by the International Speedgolf Alliance [ISGA].

There was disappointment, though, with the late withdrawal because of illness, of world number one Jamie Reid from the Fitzroy Golf Club, New Plymouth, who could have been a serious threat at bettering the men’s world record.

Linton was rapt with how the event went overall, particularly her form on the golf course, which saw her come close to the women’s world record. “It was my best run time and best gross, and I missed an under two-foot putt, and so did Robin, but it was my personal best, so I was happy,” Linton said.

Bateman was another who impressed Linton in his debut event, and she reckons it won’t be the last for the professional.

“Harry did really well, he shot a good score, and he was close to that record and that 109 included a triple bogey, but he had a really good back nine, and he was three-under.

“He said he would play in as many as he can as long as it fits in with his other PGA tour events; he seems to have got the bug, which is awesome.”

The North Island Speedgolf Open at Waipu in March and the New Zealand Championships in April at Fitzroy are the next major events for the Speedgolfers before a team is selected for the world championships in Japan.

Linton also acknowledged the Carterton Golf Club, its members and the volunteers who helped on the day to make Sunday’s event a success.

“They made the event really special, and all the participants that were there were astounded by the amount of support that we got, and they deserve a huge shout-out for [a] hosting the event and [b] getting into it.”

She also thanked the huge sponsorship support from the likes of PURE Nutrition, Hirepool Taranaki, Manawatu Golf Club, AJ Hackett Bungy Taupō, Strength Nation, Hub Legal, Charter Home Loans, Joel Macklin – Golf Professional, Juno Civil and Clareville Bakery.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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