The competition is played with teams of 4-6 players, 2 pairs playing fourball-betterball strokeplay (Saturday morning), 2 pairs playing foursomes strokeplay (Saturday afternoon), 4 players playing individual strokeplay (Sunday), and all 8 scores count for the team total.
Kytäjä qualified for the championship by finishing second in the Mid Tour Team rankings (our best ever ranking) but to be realistic it was going to be extremely difficult to get into the medals due to the strength in depth of many of the other teams, in terms of number of players Kytäjä is a relatively small club.
The Kytäjä team for the event was selected based on the Mid Tour Rankings meaning that Niko Helin, Andy Fowlie, Petri Syrjänen and Sami Markkanen made the trip to Alastaro with Kai Kurikka also named as a team member (acting as a reserve in case Sami's back did not manage to cope with 54 holes in 2 days).
Kytäjä started strongly with two Niko Helin birdies in the first two holes but the players in both pairs made a habit making their bogeys on the same holes which left the Kytäjä total at -1 (nine shots behind and in 8th position) after the fourballs despite 3 birdies and an eagle from Niko and Petri and 5 birdies from Sami and Andy.
In the afternoon foursomes there was again a truly outstanding round, this time from Timo Tuunanen and Mika Wikström of EGS who managed a fantastic 68 in the alternate shot format. This was the best score of the afternoon by five shots. Timo and Mika were well supported by Jan Aalto and Kim Wiik (who scored a very good 75) and EGS moved up to second place, only 2 shots behind Pickala.
Kytäjä performed well in the foursomes with Niko and Petri playing an excellent round of 73 while Andy and Sami recovered from a horrible start (+4 after 5 holes) to record a solid round of 77... a round which was extremely hard work due to the fact that they only managed to hit 3 fairways on the tight tree-lined course. The strong foursomes performance lifted the Kytäjä team to 5th place, still 9 shots behind Pickala, 7 behind second placed Espoo and 5 behind 3rd placed Suur-Helsingin Golf.
The singles started well for Kytäjä, after nine holes Andy was even par, Sami was one over, Niko was two over and Petri was 5 over, and when the good play was continued through the more difficult second nine to record scores of 74 (Niko), 74 (Andy), 76 (Sami) and 79 (Petri) the team finished with a pretty competitive total of 596 (+20 for the 8 rounds). Kytäjä were the leaders in the clubhouse and faced and exciting wait to see how the leading teams (Pickala, Espoo, SHG) and also HGK (seventh overnight but playing well in the singles) managed to cope with their second nines. At this point Kytäjä was gauranteed to finish in 5th place at worst.
Over the next 45 minutes the cumulative totals of the leading teams gradually increased as each player's score was recorded and little by little the scores of Espoo, SHG and HGK came back towards and then fell behind the Kytäjä total. When the final scores were counted, Pickala retained their title with a 6 shot victory thanks to another telling contribution from Mika Piltz (his 70 was the best score of the day) and a good round of 72 from Marco Willberg... with Kytäjä in second place to claim an excellent silver medal with Jyvas Golf in 3rd place on a score of 599.
For the Kytäjä team this 2nd place finish was an unbelievable result, it is hard to imagine that the Pickala players could have felt any better than Niko, Andy, Sami and Petri even though they were collecting the gold medal. After a disappointing showing in the fourballs Kytäjä had the lowest combined score (by 3 shots) over the final two rounds and had the lowest total of any team in the singles. It was truly a team performance with everyone making an important contribution and Kytäjä was the only team to avoid any scores in the 80's.
All of the named team members each received a silver medal (see picture below), this includes Kai Kurikka who was standing by in case he was needed (quite a nice achievement to win a medal without hitting a shot or coming within 130km of the course) and in addition there was one extra medal which can be displayed in our clubhouse to commemorate the achievement.
This was a famous result for our golf club!