September 15, 2018 / 7:38 PM / 9 days ago

Footgolf-Clarke and Brown crowned champions at English Open

Sept 15 (Reuters) - British duo Ben Clarke and Sophie Brown won the Footgolf English Open at the Tilgate Forest Golf Club on Friday.

Around 100 competitors competed over two rounds in Crawley, just south of London, for the title and winnings from a prize fund of 1,500 pounds ($1,960).

Clarke and Brown were both fresh from victory at the Japan Open earlier this month.

“Yeah, a good day at the office. I left it late, I think I was four shots behind going into the second round so I knew I had to do something good,” men’s world number one Clarke said.

“I shot 12 under that second round, so I knew that was going to give me a chance and thankfully it worked out that way.”

The game combines two of the world’s biggest sports, with footgolfers kicking a regular-size soccer ball around a course with holes that are 52 centimetres in diameter.

Using the traditional golf scoring rules, the player who finishes the course with the fewest shots wins.

The game is quicker to play, and more accessible, as it does not require any of the expensive golf equipments.

Tournament director Paul Oliver believes the strategic elements of the game attracts both footballers and golfers from around the world.

“Footgolf is attracting players from a football background, but also golfers are coming into the sport,” he said.

“I think the golf outcome on the game is slightly different, it’s more analytical, the approach I guess is a little more strategic.

“Footballers tend to just give it a good whack but you know, Ben Clarke’s world number one, he used to be a goalkeeper and he certainly gives it a good whack.”

$1 = 0.7653 pounds Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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