Matias Perrone talks about the preparation, pressure and joy after his victory in the men category in the World Cup.
Sophie Brown, the first ever woman, who won the footgolf World Cup talks about the magnificent year ended with the biggest achievement.
Stefano Grigolo is the first ever senior world champion in footgolf with an amazing ending the last round of the tournament. His last putt earned a birdie, which was enough for him to be crowned.
Who is Stefano Grigolo, the senior world champion?
I am a 48-year-old financial consultant living in Legnago, next to Verona, and I have been playing footgolf since 2016. I discovered this amazing sport thanks to my friends, Lorenzo Mercatali and Thomas Tagliapietra, that were talking about it over and over. So, one day I tried at the Golf Club Corradina and it was love at first sight!
Have you dreamed about winning the World Cup?
Everyone dreams about it, am I right? But during the game you face so many things that can change your dreams. So, I started day one focusing on only the next step since the very first kick, maintaining my mind set on the game, especially when things were going bad. My caddie and great friend, Tommaso Grandi has been very important in this journey, we talked a lot, we had fun together and of course there were also some discussions and it worked well.
How strong was the senior category?
Since the beginning, I knew that my Italian colleagues were my first opponents. At the end, the results confirmed my thought. Marco Trentin, Mirco Favero and Andrea Battaggia were very strong. At the last day, Andrea and I had a few strokes of difference only. Then, of course, I was expecting good scores from Marcel Pepper, Klaas Wjjers, Olivier Grava and Herman Van Ekeers also.
When have you gathered the information, what did you need to play in the last few holes to win against Peeper, the leader?
At hole 16, Tommaso told me that I was 1 under to Marcel, and he has already finished the tournament. I knew I had to make birdie at 17 to reach him and I did it.
What was in your mind before the last putt? You needed a birdie to win or par to tie and go to playoff with Peeper. Did you want to win or just place a safe ball next to the hole?
At the last hole, after the second shot – not so good to be honest – while Tommaso and I were walking to the ball, he asked me “what you’re going to do?” and I said, joking of course, “I’m going to make a birdie and tear down the golf club!” Unbelievable, it happened! A perfect putt left my foot and I will remember this moment forever.
Argentinian Matias Perrone has been crowned men’s champion at 2018 FIFG FootGolf World Cup. Team UK’s Sophie Brown beca the first female FootGolf World Champion and Italian Stefano Grigolo the tournament’s first senior winner.
Argentinian Matias Perrone was overcome with emotion as he was crowned 2018 FootGolf World Cup Champion on Sunday 16th December. Lurking just behind the leaders, Perrone shot eight birdies in his final round to end on 16 under, a two shot lead over Team UK’s Ben Clarke. Perrone’s triumph ensured the men’s individual trophy stayed in Argentina, just two years after Christian Otero was victor at the 2016 World Cup in Buenos Aires.
Former Argentina international footballer, Fabian Ayala, stormed the final round with seven birdies and two eagles and finished in third on 13 under. Ayala had to play a third-place play-off against Frenchman Nicolas Pussini who also finished on 13 under.
Perrone’s victory was a popular one amongst Team Argentina but also many other nations, as he is a well-known ambassador for the game. He took up footgolf in 2012, before many other players had heard of it, and has worked tirelessly to promote the sport worldwide. Perrone can now add 2018 World Champion to his victories at the French Open in 2015 and on the Argentine FootGolf Pro Tour.
Team UK dominated the women’s competition from start to finish in Morocco and the nation’s top three places were never threatened during the final. However, it was Sophie Brown from Kent who was crowned the first ever female FootGolf World Cup champion after completing the final round with a score of six under. Claire Williams finished in second on par and Natalie Richardson in third on plus two.
In the senior competition, the match went down to the final hole with Italian Stefano Grigolo edging out Dutchman Marcel Peeper with a birdie on the 18th. Grigolo finished the final round on 24 under, with Peeper on 23 under, and Frenchman Olivier Grava in third on 22 under. Grava had been leading the senior competition up until the final day. There were jubilant scenes of celebration from Team Italy, who were disappointed earlier in the week when they suffered a shock defeat to Spain in the team competition.
The eventual winners of the team competition were France - who defeated Team UK on ‘goal difference’ on Saturday.
The FootGolf World Cup Finals 2018 took place in Marrakesh between 9-16 December. Over 500 of the world’s best FootGolf players took part from 33 nations for both the 2018 World Cup Team Trophy and the 2018 Individual World Champion Trophy at stake.
Matias Perrone, 2018 FootGolf World Champion:
“I am very happy for what I achieved. The principal goal of this tournament was to enjoy it. I am so lucky that I reached the final stage and I am lucky to play there. I am so happy because I also enjoyed all the kicks I did in those two course but they were very difficult. I am happy because I enjoy it and I am happy because I was the best and beat my rivals. I am happy because I played my style of footgolf and had confidence in every shot, every putt. I never think too much, just the line, just the ball and then I kick - so when you are in that way, everything is perfect. It’s like a perfect mental state so I am really happy for that. Of course I work hard for that, I spend a lot of time, I spend a lot of energy to be in that kind of situation so it’s a great, great moment for me.
Fabian Ayala, Third Place:
“We hope that our FootGolf keeps improving in the future and I am so happy for my colleague that he wins the title - he deserves it. It wasn’t going so well as a team for us but we have our footgolf at the best level in the world. And we hope this is the marker for the future.”
Sophie Brown, Ladies 2018 FIFG FootGolf World Champion:
“I think to be honest my approaching was a lot better than normal. I was leaving myself nice easy tap in birdies which was nice. I think my round today was four under and I think on this course is quite a respectable score. Just a mixture of everything really, I did finish World Number One in the ranking and obviously to play the World Cup it is still nice to try to keep, well, obviously I can’t be beaten as World Cup number one, but obviously to be the World Cup champion is still an amazing feeling.”
Stefano Grigolo, Seniors 2018 FIFG FootGolf World Champion:
"The field was difficult compared with Montgomerie, the main thing is to look for the holes that we don’t know. I got some confidence because I saw that the ball was going in. Me and my caddie Tomasso were so calm, we tried to do the most simpliest work and finding the right moment to make the ball go in the hole. We saw that we can only win on the 18th hole so when the ball enters on the 18th hole, we thought it’s better that we close it out now. Finally when the ball went in, we became champions of the world.”
Amazing finals at Al Maaden Golf Marrakech for the 3rd edition of the FIFG FootGolf World Cup.
In men category the argentin player Matías Perrone became the 3rd World Champion of the footgolf history and followed his countryman Christian Otero.
In the women category the untouchable Sophie Brown has been crowned as the first woman World Champion whereas the senior from Italy, Stefano Grigolo won in his category.
Amazing final for the team competiton between France and UK. The match finished 3-3 with France crowned as champions on goal difference winning 32-28. They become the second team world champion of the footgolf history. For the place of third USA takes the bonze medal 4-2 vs Spain.
The French Team has been crowned Team World Champion at the Al Maaden Golf Marrakech after an unforgettable competition day.
Final positions for the team competition:
Team World Champion: France
Runner up: UK
3rd position: USA
4th position: Spain
On the Montgomerie Marrakech, Claire Williams is leading on the ladies draw whereas 2 seniors share the top position on their category. It was a very long day for the men with difficult conditions on the Al Maaden Golf Marrakech. The UK player Jamie Cullum keep the first postion before the end of the round 3 tomorrow.
FRIDAY 14 - SCHEDULE
1/4 of final of the Team Competition
Men Competition - End of the Round 3
Team QF - Al Maaden
End of the match Spain - Holland (4-3)
End of the match USA - Argentina (4-3)
Mens R3 - Al Maaden
12:00 Round 3 conclusion
Shuttle available all the day
VIP CHALLENGE - The Montgomerie
Team Competition Foursomes 18 Holes
Britain’s Jamie Cullum shot a second round 64 to take a three shot lead into the third round of the FootGolf World Cup finals in Marrakesh, Morocco. In the ladies event, Britain also dominated by claiming the top three places on the leaderboard after round two. Claire Williams, Natalie Richardson and women’s world number one Sophie Brown all finished the day on par, two shots clear of Argentina’s Micaela Pereyra.
Cullum finished day two 13 under par to claim top spot, ahead of a chasing pack of three which included Jury Piovesan of Italy and Frenchmen Alexandre Richer and Nicolas Pussini. Britain’s Ben Clarke, world number one, posted a strong score of nine under and is still in contention for the individual title.
In the senior competition, Frenchman Olivier Grava finished the second round on 16 under, one shot ahead of Italian Stefano Grigolo.
Current World Cup holders ‘Team USA’ are looking to retain their title in Morocco later in the week but face stiff competition from France, the UK and 2016 World Cup beaten finalists Argentina.
Over 500 players from 33 nations are competing for both the World Cup team trophy and the individual men’s, women’s and senior’s titles.
2018 FIFG FootGolf World Cup Format
Individuals and national teams compete at the World Cup Finals for the men’s team title, men’s individual title and women’s and senior’s individual titles. After players have completed two rounds of the competition the field is cut down to 220 players and 16 national teams. The national team cut is determined by the top four individual scores after round two of the men’s competition. The men’s single tournament then sees a further cut as the best 100 players enter the final day on Sunday 16th December. The team tournament takes place in a knock-out format with FootGolfers going head-to-head in a combination of four singles, two foursomes and one fourball match on Saturday 15th December.
Schedule for the 3rd edition of the FIFG FootGolf World Cup Finals
Wednesday 12th - round of 16 and 8 team competition
Thursday 13th - round 3 of each categories
Friday 14th - The VIP FootGolf Challenge
Saturday 15th - World Cup Team Competition (Matchplay)
Sunday 16th - World Cup Men’s, Ladies & Seniors final rounds. (Strokeplay)
Jamie Cullum, Team UK, World No. 3:
“I had a good score yesterday, going into today and I prefer this course so I was excited to play it. We played in the morning so to begin with its quite wet and slow so I started off pretty slow and I just parred the first 5 holes and I made a bogey on 6 and I think that sort of gave me the lift to play better as I went on a nice little birdie run after that so I’m just delighted to get a good score today. There’s so many good players, obviously you have Ben from the UK, Alex and Matias and so many good players - you just have to take every round and every shot as it comes and just do the best you can. The French Team are obviously exceptional strong, I’ve played quite a lot in France over the last couple of years so I know the strength of their players I’m looking forward to the team event tomorrow, obviously Team UK we also have a strong team and my dream is that we have a UK-France final. That would be great.”
Sophie Brown, World & UK No.1:
“I’ve had a really good year I’ve actually played abroad a lot I did actually come to Morocco in November to play at the Moroccan Open at the Montgomerie course, where the ladies are playing. I attending 4 out of 6 majors which is a World Tour 1000 and won all four that I did go to which was incredible points wise for me in the world was a massive leap frog for me.vI used to play semi professional football and I played footgolf with friends and they said there were tournaments, I didn’t really know that it was really that serious. It went from there really I played a few tournaments and did well, played half a season in 2016 and finished UK number one. Again in 2017 finished UK number one, and then this year as well. We have a very good strong tour in the UK, alot of tournaments but its hard to say. I think we have just been very focused very ready for the World Cup and yeah both the other girls Nat and Claire they have just been incredible this week as well.”
After the second round, UK player Jamie Cullum and the British ladies are leading in their categories. The French player Olivier Grava is on the top in senior category. Ready for the team competition in matchplay on Wednesday with the round of 16!
Team competition, Round of 16: