The final day of XXVIII Niitvälja Karikas: Sander Aadusaar took his first professional victory in Niitvälja
The final day of Niitvälja Karikas, now played for the 28th time, came with many surprises. However, play-offs were not needed this time. The final round hosted 74 players in six classes. For the first time, men’s mid-amateur class was also included.
We have the pleasure to congratulate Sander Aadusaar (Niitvälja Golf Club), the winner of the professional class. Winning Niitvälja Karikas for the first time, Sander played a stable game all three days winning eventually with three strokes (final result 225, +9). Sander was awarded with 2 000 euros.
Sander Aadusaar comments: ”On the final day, the others made mistakes on the front nine and my lead grew to four or five strokes. From there on, I played safe till the end. I’ve played at Niitvälja Karikas for years, but something has always kept me from winning. I’m twice as happy now that I finally made it!”
The professionals’ second place was a tight fight between two Finns, Eemil Alajärvi (Aurinko Golf) and Eetu Isometsä (Vihti Golf Club). Eetu was leading with one stroke until the last hole, but he had to give in after a missed put. Thus, both Finns’ result today was 76 strokes, their final results being 228 (+12). According to the rules, the second place was not determined by play-offs, but results of the last day. The answer was found in the final day’s last six holes, which Eemil played +1 and Eetu +3. Thus, the second place of the professional class and the cheque of 1 000 euros were handed out to Eemil Alajärvi. Although, due to the Finns’ identical results on all three days (76 + 76 + 76) Niitvälja Golf decided to award Eetu Isometsä with a special prize of 500 euros.
The amateur men’s class witnessed a surprise, as the previous days’ leader Mattias Varjun (Niitvälja Golf Club) was defeated by last year’s number two Tyko Tuohimaa (Pickala Golf Club) with a final result of 217 (+1). Mattias’s leading position was lost with a bogey on the third round’s 16th hole. However, the final result of 218 (+2) ensured him the second place. This year’s number three was Carl Enn Hellat (Niitvälja Golf Club) with the final result of 220 (+4).
Men’s mid-amateur class was won by Tuomas Rautaheimo (Uudenkaupungin Golf Club) after a steady play all three days. His final result was 243 (+27). Joel Rothberg (Niitvälja Golf Club) came in second with 246 strokes (+30) after the triple bogey on the ninth hole and +4 on the 15th hole stole his chances for the win. Another Niitvälja’s player Anders Anderson was third with a final result of 249 (+33).
The women’s winner was Annika Koitmaa (Niitvälja Golf Club), who led the class from the beginning. She finished the final day with 80 strokes (+8), her final result being 231 (+15). As anticipated, Karola Soe (Saaremaa Golf & Country Club) came in second after making the women’s best result on the final day with 77 strokes (+5). Karola’s final result was 234 (+18). Last year’s runner-up Mariliis Palm (EGCC) finished third with the same result as the winner (80 strokes) on the last day and the final result of 237 (+21).
The senior men’s last tournament day began with a tight margin at the top. Benno Maaring (Otepää Golfiklubi) started from the lead, but couldn’t keep it and finished fourth. The class was won by yesterday’s number two Enn Pääro (Niitvälja Golfiklubi) with a final result of 243 (+27). Jan Larsson (EGCC) snatched the second place with 246 strokes (+30). Andrew Darlington (Vuosaari Golf Helsinki) came in third with the same result.
The senior women’s sure winner was Anneli Esken (Estonian Golf & Country Club), who led the class all three days. She needed 90 strokes (+18) on the final day, her final result being 264 (+48). The second place was a competition between Niitvälja’s own players Anne Petter ja Ulvi Ingver. Ulvi was better on the second round (92 strokes, +20), but the roles changed on the final day. Anne Petter’s final result was 283 (+67), Ulvi Ingver’s 286 (+70).
Niitvälja Karikas, the oldest golf tournament in the Baltic States, was played at Niitvälja Golf from Friday to Sunday, July 3–5. The tournament, now played for the 28th time, hosted 123 players from seven countries. The prize pool was worth 3 000 euros. The three-day tournament had six classes including the ones for professionals and amateurs. The tournament was supported by Hestia Hotel Group, Orkla Eesti, Saku Õlletehas, Selver and Selver Gurmee.
Photos: Mats Soomre, soomre.com