The ladies competition went very successfully for Kytäjä with Minna Kaarnalahti winning the final 5/3 against Anna-Maria Lehtonen of the home club!
Minna had a close first round match against Taina Olenius, eventually winning on the 18th green, but in the following matches she never needed to go past the 16th green in recording victory scores of 4/2, 6/5 and 5/3.
Congratulations to Minna!
This event is a real endurance test. In order to win the mens event you need to win 6 matches in about 60 hours (Friday morning to Sunday afternoon), this is quite a proposition for any player, and especially for players in the "Mid" age group who are old enough to start to have problems with their backs, necks, knees and shoulders (the Mid Tour should be sponsored by Mehiläinen or Burana) but not yet old enough to admit that it would be better to play from the yellow tees.
Andy had this to say about his play:
Coming into this event I had the feeling that my game was improving after a few bad weeks. I was hoping to get through the first matches and hopefully improve as I went along. I remembered how exhausting it was playign 2 rounds per day last year at Messilä so this time I was paying attention to things like what I ate and how much sleep I got in the days before the event.
In the first round I played solid golf against my opponent Timo Siro of Ruukkigolf, i made bogeys on the 4th and the 10th and a birdie on the 12th but apart from that it was all pars. I got a couple of holes ahead early in the front nine and then just hit fairways and greens and waited for mistakes to come from Timo. The result was a 7/6 win.
In the second round I played Kari Kauppinen, a fellow Nokia employee, and we had a really good match. He scored very well, one under par for the first 12 holes, but I was scoring even better with four birdies more than cancelling out my two bogeys, and par golf through the difficult 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th was enough to record a 4/2 win.
I was very happy with the first day's play, of course it was good to still be in the event but I also scored quite competitively (one under par overall for the first two matches) and felt like I would have a chance to get further in the event if I could keep playing at the same level.
On the second morning I played Antti-Pekka Vartiainen, a very steady player from Talma and I just didn't ever settle into the game. My tee shots were not as good as they had been the previous day and because of that I didn't set up good chances with my approaches. I always felt like I was chasing the game and in the end A-P did a good job of controlling the match, hitting fairways and greens and avoiding mistakes. Eventually he won 4/3 and went on to win the bronze medal 24 hours later.
This felt a bit like a missed opportunity. I like the course, my game was pretty close to being good and the top seeds in my part of the draw all managed to lose early so there was a chance to get to the third day if I had been able to get past A-P... so that was a bit of a disappointment. There were some good signs in my game and I hope that I can put some more pieces into place over the next days so that i can get some better results in the upcoming mid tour and audi tour events.