Niitvälja Karikas has begun – Mattias Varjun excelled on the opening day
The oldest golf tournament in the Baltic States, Niitvälja Karikas, started today. The three-day tournament, now played for the 28th time, hosts 123 players from seven countries. Last year’s victories are defended by Mark Suursalu (professionals), Anete Liis Adul (women) and Marko Palm (senior men).
The opening day’s best result, 70 strokes (-2), belongs to last year’s number three Mattias Varjun, who is thus leading the men’s class. Tyko Tuohimaa (Pickala Golf Club) and Ralf Johan Kivi (Rae Golfiklubi) are both two strokes behind.
The women’s class is led by Annika Koitmaa (Niitvälja Golf Club) with 74 strokes (+2). Mariliis Palm (EGCC) is three strokes behind in second place. Last year’s winner Anete Liis Adul began with a modest result of 84 strokes (+12).
This year, men’s mid-amateur class is included for the first time. The leading position is held by Joel Rothberg, the captain of Niitvälja Golf Club, with 79 strokes (+7). Tarmo Kivi (Rae Golfiklubi) is one stroke behind, Timo Olest (Rae Golfiklubi) is third with 81 strokes (+9).
The senior men’s class is led by Darlington Andrew (Vuosaari Golf Helsinki) with 77 strokes (+5). Benno Maaring (Otepää Golfiklubi) is second with 81 strokes (+9) and Enn Pääro (Niitvälja Golf Club) third with 82 strokes (+10).
The top position of the senior women’s class is shared by Anne Petter (Niitvälja Golf) and Anneli Esken (EGCC) with 87 strokes (+15). Niitvälja Golf Club’s former women’s captain Ulvi Ingver is third with 95 strokes (+23). It should be mentioned that this year’s Niitvälja Karikas is 28th for Ingver as well – she has competed in every tournament throughout the years.
The professional class is led by Egert Põldma (Rae Golfiklubi) and Sander Aadusaar (Niitvälja Golf Club), both with 74 strokes (+2). The third position is shared with three players, all with 76 strokes, last year’s professional winner Mark Suursalu (Niitvälja Golf) among others.
Niitvälja Karikas is the oldest golf tournament in the Baltic States, and it is now played for the 28th time. The 54-hole stroke play competition is held on July 3–5, 2020 on Niitvälja Golf’s Park Course, the home of Estonian golf. The competition offers R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking points for those playing in men’s, women’s and senior men’s classes.
The tournament is supported by Hestia Hotel Group, Orkla Eesti, Saku Õlletehas and Selver.
Photo: Mattias Varjun / Mats Soomre, soomre.com