Sunday, 9 October 2016

Report from Spanish Open 2016

The 8th edition of the Spanish Open brought some new records like an incredible course record and the biggest starting field ever with 23 women and 72 men. It was an exciting and well-organized tournament, which was won by the best players in all categories

The beautiful course of Maçanet de Cabrenys is located in a forest at the foot of the Pyrenees. So there are many natural obstacles like stones and trees. Because there had been not much rain recently, the course was a bit dry. Moreover there was a new rule in place, that said hitting the fence is not out of bounce, which was absolute necessary. Perhaps because of the dryness some doubles had to get used to the course at the start of the tournament on Friday afternoon. But it was absolutely no problem for the men´s double Anders Bollerup and Bernhard Ebner, who started with a good round of 64 (-8) kicks. At the women´s double the Swedish stars Caisa Edvinges and Pernilla Nordgren took the lead with 73 (+1) kicks after the first round. But it was just the beginning for them. With a very good second round of 67 (-5) and a total score of 140 (-4) kicks they won and dominated the field of the women´s double. Julia Berglind Nilsson and Elin Ohlsson form Sweden came in  second  after two steady rounds of 77 (+5) and a total result of 154 (+10) kicks. Ane Bjerke and Yvonne Becker completed the podium  after a play-off win against Stefanie Manier and Jacky Sauer (total score of 158 (+14) kicks).

The men´s double Ronnie Krarup Husted and Joacim Martensson showed all their qualities in their second round and won with a total score of 135 (-9) kicks. But it was a thrilling fight for the second and third place. Four doubles reached a total score of 138 (-6) kicks. So there was an exciting play-off, which eventually was won by the Swedish double Erik Lundin and Markus Thurlin. Anders Bollerup and Bernard Ebner took the bronze before the Spaniardse Tito Tellez and Xavi Tellez and the Germans Christian Manier and Sebastian Wesemann. 

Saturday morning was the first round of the single competitions. And what a start! Ane Bjerke from Norway started with a brilliant score of 63 (-9) kicks in her first round. This set her in the lead by eight kicks in front of Jeanette Hansen from Denmark (71). For a long time it looked like Bent Sandfeld would be the leader after the first round at the men´s single competition by setting a new course record of 59 (-13) kicks. But then his countryman Morten Løgsted beat the record by three kicks! So he was the leader with an incredible round of 56 (-16) kicks after the first round. Because of the dryness, the problems on hole 13 increased a lot. The ball rolled deeper and deeper in the bushes and thorns and was unplayable at some places. As a consequence the waiting time on this hole rose extremely and of course also the delay of the starting times. In my point of view it was the absolute right decision of the WFGA: Starting in round two everyone can play hole 13, but if someone reaches a score of more than five kicks, nevertheless you write a maximum of five kicks. So you can stop, if your fourth ball is not in the hole. The mood at this hole was very good and relaxed. Perhaps this a solution for other very difficult holes in future.

After two constant rounds of 73 (+1) and 76 (+4) Ane Bjerke showed in her last round all her qualities again and played a round of 66 (-6). Altogether a score of -10 brought her the deserved triumph, due to a brilliant tournament. Caisa Edvinges ended on the second place with four stable rounds and a very good final score of +3. Cecila Thurlin completed the podium with her third place and a total score of +11. In footballgolf you have to avoid errors. And an absolute master in this category is Bent Sandfeld. Four brilliant rounds with a total score of -35 brought him the deserved victory. It was also a fantastic tournament of Morten Løgsted, who was a bit unlucky in his last round. But he ended on an excellent second place with a total score of -31. After his win at the German Open Marinus Stadler from Germany ended at place three (-28) and continued a fantastic year for him.

Everyone was full of scratches and a bit tired after this Spanish weekend, but there was also a big smile in the people’s faces. The very friendly host “Harry and his crew” and the WFGA organized an awesome tournament and for me it was the first time in Spain, but for sure, not the last time!

- Marinus Stadler

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World Rank - Top 5
Pos Nation Player Name Points
1. BOLLERUP, Anders 766.00
2. HANSEN, Ronnie 614.50
3. SANDFELD, Bent 609.50
4. STADLER, Marinus 486.50
5. SECHER JENSEN, Simon 453.25

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