Highlights From The Mini Golf Mini Championship
The mini golf world assembled this weekend for a small scale tradition unlike any other. Media was moderately packed in among diehard fans with painted faces and apparel of their favorite minigolfers at Randy’s Arcade, Mini Golf, VHS Rental and Fun Emporium.
The opening round on Saturday was a rather bleak affair, with a light drizzle delaying the opening fireworks, torch lighting and Powerwheels parade that precedes players picking which color ball they use. To kill time, some competitors hit the gym to add some last minute strength. A small group gathered to shave their arms for better aerodynamics when putting, but most decided to hit the snack bar for their complimentary snow cones.
A rookie to this year’s competition, Jeffery Randolph later regretted his decision, “One snow cone for the whole weekend? I should have saved it for when I really needed the energy boost on Sunday. But that’s the difference between the guys who have been around the block and the guys fresh off the amateur tour.”
The rest of Saturday’s action was relatively uneventful with two notable exceptions. First, two vets in their farewell event before retiring and moving on to the Senior Mini Golf Tour got into an altercation over who got to use the orange golf ball. Both had previously won majors with the orange ball, attributing the win to the high contrast on the greens.
Listed at 12:1 to win, one of the favorites, Jessica Ramirez later had to withdraw due to minor blisters and forgetting her gloves at home. Needless to say, the crowd and her grandparents were heartbroken. Maybe next year will be the year she finally breaks her championship curse. For now, she remains the Joe Flacco of the mini golf world as she has everyone asking, “Is Jessica an elite minigolfer?”
Sunday the balloons were out in full fashion as no blimp company agreed to cover the event. MetLife did release a statement which read in part, “Are you high? Snoopy doesn’t come out for events that aren’t even live streamed on Facebook. Please quit calling us.”
In one of the more dramatic moments in recent mini golf history, the leader going into the day, Mikey Finch, was pulled off the course by security after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He had never quite had the power to get his ball up the ramp before which led tour officials to “randomly” drug test him after the first round.
Patrick Cole entered the final hole with a three shot lead, but couldn’t channel his inner Don Quixote and failed miserably when it came to the windmill. Scott Friedman, however, was able to capitalize. In his typical bad boy manner, he was able to chip his shot clear over the windmill and finish the hole in just two shots. The crowd was outraged and demanded his disqualification, but officials reviewed the tape and determined there was nothing illegal about his approach. Look for a rule change before the European Players Cup to prevent anything besides putts going forward. Europe has no tolerance for that small scale bullshit.
In the end, Scott was able to win by three strokes and lifted the Endless Popcorn Bucket high above his head while Patrick couldn’t even finish the hole and rode the roller coaster for hours contemplating his epic collapse and plotting his revenge on the windmill.