The top 5 players in the rankings after this event get to go to the final for free, those in positions 6-10 get to go for a price of €800 and those in positions 11-15 get to go to the final for €1100. Anyone else who has participated in the events but is outside the top 15 in the rankings can join the final at a cost of €1365. This year there was an additional free trip to the final for the highest ranked Audi driver outside the top 5 in the rankings.
Kytäjä was well represented in this event with Niko Helin, Petri Syrjänen, Jouni Alakoski, Andy Fowlie, Saku Rahkila and Jouko Hartikainen all in the field.
The event went to a playoff for the second consecutive year after Juha Westerlund and Jani Savukoski tied for first place with rounds of 73. Jani was able to win with a bogey on the first playoff hole (the 15th) to claim his second Audi Tour win of the season (having also been victorious at Sarfvik).
The Kytäjä players had a creditable performance, Petri Syrjänen ahd a very good round of 76 and finished in a tie for 5th place, Andy Fowlie finished a shot further behind and tied for 7th, Jouni Alakoski was 18th, Niko Helin was 28th, Jouko Hartikainen was 70th and Saku Rahkila 86th.
Kytäjä's Andy Fowlie was left with some regrets about the 7 on the 14th and the 9 (yes, a quadruple bogey 9) on the 18th which rather spoiled his card and also spolied his chances of gettign in the top 5 in the rankings. The other 16 holes were played in level par so a pair of sixes would have put him in the playoff... and a pair of sevens would have put him in the top 5 in the rankings. Andy's final ranking of 7th place was good enough to be the "highest ranked Audi driver outside the top 5 in the rankings" so he will also travel to the final for free.
Petri Syrjänen also ended the season in the top 20 of the Audi Rankings, in 18th place.
This was a strange day... my swing felt really loose and out of control so it was a fight from beginning to end to keep my score as low as possible. I managed to win that fight for the great majority of the holes, making three birdies and three bogeys to go with ten pars... but I just made a mess of the 14th and the 18th (my 5th and 9th holes having started on the 10th). Normally my par 5 scoring is one of my strengths but this time it was quite the opposite, I played the par 3s with the lowest score in the field (3.00 average) , the par 4's with the second lowest score in the field (4.00 average) and the par 5's in the 76th best score (6.50 average).
Naturally I am disappointed not to get into the top 5 in the rankings and earn my free place in the final with my golf rather than my car purchasing decisions... but overall I have to be pretty happy with my Audi Tour season. Last year I finished in 6th place in the rankings after the regular season events with a scoring average of 77.66. This year I improved my Audi Tour scoring average by a shot and a half to 76.14, finished every event in the top 15 and 5/7 events in the top 8. My points score is the highest total I have ever had at this stage of the season and it would have been in the top 5 in the rankings in every one of the nine previous Audi Tour seasons. This has to be seen as a pretty good season, but the standard has been very good and some others just played slightly better than me... perhaps if I had skipped the mid tour event 2 weeks ago and played in the Audi Tour at Master golf I might have played my way into the top 5... but who knows.
Now I am looking forard to the final in St Andrews, then I am in my home country and everyone else is playing away, that makes a change from 62 of my previous 63 Audi Tour events, perhaps I can make the home advantage count this time :)