Berkhamsted’s Ben Clarke has been reflecting on an ‘amazing experience’ after finishing fifth in the individual standings from a field of 230 competitors at the FootGolf World Cup in Pilar, Argentina.
Clarke flew out to the competition as part of the GB squad, eventually finishing six shots adrift of Argentinian hot-shot Otero Christian, who swept to victory with a total score of 18-under-par across the three rounds of competition.
GB also reached the semi-finals of the team competition, with Clarke and his team-mates losing out to hosts Argentina.
“All the players from all the countries are like one big family,” said 24-year-old Clarke. “Everyone knows everyone which makes it that little bit more special, seeing your friends from other countries playing the sport we all love.
“During the opening ceremony we sung the national anthem, something I’d have never dreamt of having the chance to do at a World Cup, playing a sport for my country.”
Clarke went into the competition ranked number 2 in Europe, and he was selected as one of the four-man GB squad in the team event.
It was a special feeling and something I’m extremely proud to be a part of.Ben Clarke
“Representing my country in the team event was a strange feeling,” he continued. “I felt that everyone was relying on us four and that we owed it to the players that weren’t in the team event and also everyone back home.
“We were receiving messages constantly from players, family, friends and people who just wanted to support us. It was a special feeling and something I’m extremely proud to be a part of.”
During the individual competition, Clarke was drawn alongside some highly regarded Argentinian and Dutch players, as well as playing with the European number 1, but still managed to win each of his ‘flights’.
“My aim in each round is to always win my flight, which fortunately I did,” said Clarke. “I was fairly pleased with my performance, but those that know me know I’m never fully satisfied with my round – there’s always room for improvement.”
Clarke is now focusing his attention towards the rest of this year’s tournaments, including the UK Tour, the European Tour and the US ProAm Tour, and says he has learnt some valuable lessons from his Argentinian experience.
“I think every round you play, no matter what the occasion, you can learn from,” he added. “The overall experience was amazing, nothing will rival what myself and the rest of team experienced that week.”