This was the second year that Mini Golf has been an official sport in the Commonwealth Games, and the “Hot Shots” course at Smith Mountain Lake provided a great setting for this year’s competition. 2011 also featured a Team event, using the best Front 9 and Back 9 scores from partners.
In the individual event, on the Par 40 layout, the putters found difficult deuce putts and not many aces. Only Mark Rohrback, who also serves as volleyball and boys’ tennis coach at Glenvar, navigated the course under par through Round One.
As expected, the second round scoring did improve. Rohrback was joined at the top by Craig County’s Mark Smith and Geoff Boyer, who tied for the third position.
The third and final round produced two stellar scores from Clayton Craft and Chris Sowers. Chris’ 6-under 34 was almost enough to catch Geoff and Clayton’s 36 earned him the Bronze.
Rohrback and Smith were tied once again and needed an 18-hole playoff to decide the color of Medals they would receive. Smith got off to a shaky start and found himself down two going into the bewildering 7th hole. A couple of bad bounces and a penalty stroke netted a 5 and a big advantage for Rohrback, whose 1-under par 19 was four better than Smith at the turn.
After trading deuces on the tenth, #11 would prove to be the backbreaker. Smith’s ball found the water and another 5 was the result. Once Smith’s ball got wet, so did everyone else as the skies opened up and the rain fell. A soaked finish ended up with Rohrback raising the Gold in the end by way of a 41-50 result.