Red-faced Ruthers left rueing luck after fantastic final

Team Wilson staring defeat in the face...

AMATEUR cameraman James Rutherford was left ‘distraught’ after a technical error caused him to miss the greatest moment of Oliver Florence’s minigolf career.

Florence sunk a superb ace on the last hole in the final of the British Doubles Championship in Dorridge to take Team Wilson in to a play-off with reigning champions May The Force Be With Who.

Under immense pressure, Florence had found the perfect line and rebounded the ball off the back wall.

...Florence steps up needing an ace...

Rutherford, who had filmed the entire action up to that point on the iPhone of Florence’s playing partner Richard Skeggs, was all set to capture the moment the ball dropped.

But – with the ball just centimetres away from the hole and seconds before one of the biggest roars ever heard on the minigolf course – disaster struck and the filming cut out.

Afterwards, Rutherford admitted that he had blown his big chance.

...not a bad line...

“It was hard to keep my composure throughout the tense final as I knew eventually the whole world (of minigolf) would be watching,” he said.

“Team Wilson were one down with one to play with an ace required to tie the match.

“I positioned myself carefully and steadied my hand, ready to capture.

“As Ollie hit his tee shot, I followed the ball with ease and watched with delight as it sailed towards the hole for a stunning ace.

...but disaster strikes as the filming cuts out.

“Moving on to the first hole of sudden death, I looked down to the iPhone to check for light levels and visuals and was distraught to realise that somehow it was no longer recording.

“After the event naturally The Machine wanted to view his fantastic ace on the final hole and I was still confident that I had captured the moment impeccably with commentary befitting the World Cup final in 1966.

“Alas this was not to be, as to my dismay there had been a technical fault and recording had ended with the ball just one foot away from going in.

“I have let down a huge number of people and most importantly myself.”

In the play-off for the title, Florence and Skeggs eventually lost to Marc Chapman and Chris Harding on the second extra hole with, luckily for Rutherford, the whole contest expertly filmed and posted to YouTube by Adam Kelly.

Despite the defeat, Team Wilson – named in honour of Wilson of the Hello! Minigolf Club in China – were delighted with their somewhat unexpected success.

Florence said: “We never believed we would reach the final, especially after we were drawn in a very tough group.

Team Wilson with their winnings

“We had some really good wins throughout the day though and it was an amazing experience to play in the final match with everyone watching.

“Marc and Chris were just a bit too good for us in the end and were worthy champions, but we are already looking forward to Wilson competing again next year.

“As for Ruthers, he’s got a whole 12 months to perfect his filming technique and I’m sure he’ll come good in the end.”

Earlier, Team Wilson had beaten the Green Giants pairing of British Champion Rutherford and Nick Sandqvist, before losing to Team Sqonkey’s Richard Gottfried and Scott Lancley.

A draw with the Cheap Shots of Adam and Tony Kelly took Wilson through to a play-off with the Green Giants for a quarter final place.

In a precursor to his later spell of bad luck, Rutherford missed the second shot on the first hole to hand victory to his opponents.

Florence and Skeggs then beat Seth Thomas and Chris Smith of the Green Warriors and the Casual Force team of Sean and Marion Homer to tee up their place in the final.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ruthers on August 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Well, certainly a weekend to forget…

    Reply

    • Posted by minigolfollie on August 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      It should be noted for balance that the previous day Ruthers struck a course record seven-under-par 17. A remarkable achievement from a great player.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Coach on August 8, 2011 at 7:41 am

    A near-miss indeed… a good show by Team-Wilson. Doubles glory by beckon next year?

    Reply

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