A huge international field of Speedgolfers descended on Golf International De Roissy in Paris this weekend for the French Speedgolf Open with Irish PGA pro Rob Hogan coming out on top once again.
Hogan, who is a golf coach in Dundrum House, Tipperary said that he was simply happy to be there at what was a ground-breaking event for Speedgolf in Europe and that to win was a very special bonus.
“It was a great week in Paris,” said Hogan. “The course was amazing, right beside the Charles de Gaulle airport and no doubt it will be a tour course going forward, it’s only open a couple of years.
“It was amazing just to be at a tournament with such an international flavour. It’s really cool to be part of it and see how the game has grown in Europe since 2012 when I was the only European player competing in the States.
“I’m back in Ireland now for a couple of weeks to chill out and get my head around it and I’m going to go to the US Championships in Missouri in mid-October. I’m actually going to meet with the guy who’s making the 3D prints of the Hogan-holster which is really cool. It’s been gaining a lot of interest and there were a few people in the French tournament who have made their own!
“Most people won’t do that so it’s exciting to be able to do that when I can.”
In second place was Finland’s Mikko Rantanen with Andreas Finn of Sweden occupying the final spot on the podium. USA player Scott Dawley and Englands Luke Willett were 4th and 5th with French player Jérémie Felenc coming 6th. Female player Emily Mollard, from the French Alps tipped for the very top of the sport was leading Female elite player. The tournament was run by Speedgolf France led by Valerie Texier and
It has been a hectic two weeks of Speedgolf in Europe with the Irish Open and the British Open taking place in the two weeks prior, both won by Hogan who has reclaimed good form after five years in the wilderness with Speedgolf starting to gain huge traction in the public imagination.
Hogan began competing in Speedgolf tournaments in the USA as far back as 2012 and at that point as mentioned, he was the only European along with Austrian, Arno Linsberger. Lindsberger had been involved with the sports first major wave of popularity in the states in the early 90’s his last competitive event in Bandon Dunes Oregon was also the first event that Hogan appeared in.
The European players, especially Hogan, brought a speed to the sport that would totally change the approach the top players would take over the coming years. It has taken Speedgolf ten years since that 2012 event to grow to this point in Europe and Hogan was overjoyed to top a leader board that featured 6 different in the top 6, including proven winners, world record holders and World Champions.
Hogan is set to play the US Championships in Missouri in October and the much anticipated Speedgolf World Championships in Florida in November. Hogan, sponsored at that time (2013-2015) by Hard Metal Machine tools Bray and Alan Kilkenny Construction, is the only player to have won the ‘Worlds’ twice and is keen to represent Ireland once again and shoot for a third title in 2022.
“The World Championships in Florida in mid-November is really revving up,” Hogan added.
“There’s a great field going. A lot of people in Speedgolf are getting sponsorship companies behind them which is really cool to see so it’s all very exciting in the world of Speedgolf!”