When all the scores were counted there was a tie for the lead between Marko Helen, Tuomo Paavola and Kytäjä's Andy Fowlie, all of whom scored 70 (2 under par). The three players headed back to the 18th hole (a fairly long par 5, with the wind behind on this occasion) for a sudden death playoff... but it turned out that there was nothing sudden about it - the hole had to be played five times before a winner could be found!
On the third playoff hole Marko was over the back in two, Tuomo was on the edge of the green in two and Andy had a 35m bunker shot for his third shot. Andy played out fairly well, but still had a 4m putt for his birdie... while Marko and Tuomo both played to within a metre of the hole. All three players holed their birdie efforts and the playoff continued.
On the fourth playoff hole Tuomo and Marko both hit lay-up shots some 40-60m short of the green, while Andy was just over the back in 2. Marko and Tuomo both played their approached to about 5-6m while Andy putted up
to within 60cm of the hole. Marko narrowly missed his birdie try... but Tuomo holed his 5m birdie putt, right in the middle of the hole. Andy tapped in for his birdie, meaning that Marko was eliminated and there were only two
golfers to return to the 18th tee for the 5th time.
On the 5th playoff hole Tuomo found the left rough from the tee and had to play out sideways. Andy hit his drive in the fairway, and his second shot with a four iron onto the green... and when he managed to two-putt for his birdie the marathon playoff was over and Andy had secured the 5th Audi Tour win of his career.
Andy had this to say about his round:
Well, that was quite a day! I really didn't have my swing all day, I couldn't hit it where I wanted, had trouble shaping the iron shots, couldn't control the distance very well and didn't feel comfortable... but I hung around and hung around, relying heavily on my short game... and then somehow made some really good shots in the final few holes.
I was quite disappointed when I three putted my final hole (the 9th) for a par - a two putt birdie would have won the event without requiring a playoff... but overall my score was a great one considering how I hit the ball and playing my last nine holes in 33 to get into the playoff was a good achievement.
The playoff went similarly to the round... I really didn't feel like I was going to win and in the first couple of playoff holes I hit some pretty poor shots... but then made the long sand save with a decent putt in the 3rd playoff hole and made another couple of really solid birdies to finish it off.
My final 14 holes (last nine holes in regular play + five playoff holes) were played in six under par... which I think is as low scoring a stretch of golf as I can ever remember playing. I guess that I was "in the zone". I have had some better scoring in the past 10 days or so (I made eight threes in the Reikäpelimestaruus quarter final on Wednesday) and the new putter which I bought in July is starting to feel very comfortable in my hands... I needed it only 29 times in my round today.
I am really, really happy to get the win and to ensure that I have 4 Audi Tour seasons in a row with a win... and I am most pleased to continue the really good trend this year where I can still get results when my ball striking is off... this has not happened often in the past. My handicap is now down to +0,7 which is the lowest it has ever been, it was my goal for the season to get to a plus handicap... but I am not sure that I really thought I would do it!
Koko kauden surkean pelaamisen jälkeen lopulta näkyi valoa tunnelin päässä. Hyvä tulos (+6) hiukan nihke ällä pelillä.
Kierros alkoi nihkeästi parilla bogilla jonka jälkeen kahdelta seuraavalta väylältä surkeiden avausten jälkeen tuli kuitenkin pari birkkua korttiin. Tämän jälkeen tuli kohtalaisen tasaisesti bogeja ja pareja. Pari hyvää muutakin birkku paikkaa oli mutta en kyennyt käyttämään niitä tällä kertaa hyväksi.
Huonoin tulos kortissa oli bogey ja ainoastaan kerran oli tupla tuloillaan (toka pelattu väylä) mutta hyvä pari metrinen putti meni sisään.
Avauksista puuttui jostain syystä 10-15 m mittaa mutta toisaalta ne olivat pääsääntöisesti ladulla, lähentymiset piti vain lyödä hiukka pidemmällä mailalla.
Parasta kisassa oli lähestymiset puttipelin kanssa vaikkakin suurin menttaalinen vaikeus oli puttaamisessa, silmään greenit näyttivät pomppuisilta ja hitailta. Pallo kuitenkin kulki nätisti ja greenit olivat suht nopeita joten tarkkana sai olla koko ajan.