Pro Andrew Scott Richardson scores the best result of the opening day of XXXI Niitvälja Karikas 2023 by Infortar

The 54-hole stroke play competition Niitvälja Karikas 2023 by Infortar started at Niitvälja today, on 5 July. The 31st iteration of the international golf tournament brought 119 competitors from 11 different countries to the course this year. Both amateurs and professionals are competing for the prize money in the three-day competition. Thanks to the main sponsor of the competition, AS Infortar, the prize fund that players in all classes will be competing for is €10,500 once again.

There is only one Estonian – pro Mark Suursalu of Niitvälja Golf – among the nine professionals competing for the prize money this year. In addition to Suursalu, professionals from five countries are taking part in the competition, among them Andrew Scott Richardson (UK), who achieved today’s best result in the men’s class (-2 or 70 strokes) and scored an eagle on the 15th hole. Richardson came to compete at Niitvälja Karikas thanks to the Nordic Spedition Pro-Am Invitational golf competition held at Niivälja on 30 June, to which he was invited.

The second-best result in the men’s class on the opening day of Niitvälja Karikas was scored by the talented young players of Niitvälja Golf, Ralf Johan Kivi and Markus Varjun (-1 or 71 strokes). Pro Mark Suursalu and Kevin Christopher Jegers (Niitvälja Golf), who played the par of the course, currently hold the fourth place. The result of defending champion Mattias Varjun (Niitvälja Golf) today was 74 strokes (+2) and joint eighth place.

Both professionals and amateurs compete together in the men’s class. This year, prize money will be awarded to the three best pros (€3,500 in total) and the 10 best players in the men’s class (including professionals, €4,900 in total).

In the women’s class, the two best players can win prize money (€700 in total). As of today, the leader in the women’s class is last year’s runner-up Hannah Õunap (Valgeranna Golf Club) with 76 strokes or +4. Elizaveta Sofia Reemet (Estonian Golf & Country Club, +7), who finished third in Niitvälja Karikas, is three strokes behind her. The third place in the women’s class on the opening day of this year’s competition belongs to Karola Soe of the Estonian Tour Players Club with 80 strokes (+8).

After several years, we’re pleased to welcome the women’s senior class at Niitvälja Karikas, where 10 players are going after the prize money of €500. After the first day of competition, the leader is Triinu Tombak (85 strokes or +13), the second place is held by Margit Sunni (+15), who played two more strokes, and Kristel Ulla (91 strokes or +19) finished the opening day in third place. Tombak, Sunni and Ulla are all the players of Niitvälja Golf.

Niitvälja’s player Enn Pääro scored also an excellent result in the men’s senior class today with 77 strokes or +5. Toomas Tamme (Tartu Golf Club) is just one stroke behind him with 78 strokes. The players in joint third place after the opening day are last year’s runner-up Jan Larsson (Estonian Golf & Country Club) and Raivo Rimm (Niitvälja Golf).  Larsson and Rimm scored 79 strokes or +7 today. In the men’s senior class, the prize money is divided between the best three players in the total amount of €900.

Tomorrow will be another exciting day of competition, as 3/5 of the players from all competition classes and those with equal points will get to play on the third day based on the rankings of the first two days, but not less than nine competitors from each class. Keep an eye on the live results of the competition and support your favourites! You will find more information about Niitvälja Karikas by Infortar on the competition website.

Niitvälja Karikas by Infortar, the oldest golf tournament in the Baltic States, is held as a 54-hole stroke play competition from 5 to 7 July 2023 on Niitvälja Golf Park Course – the home of Estonian golf. Niitvälja Karikas by Infortar is included in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking and the players of the men’s, women’s and senior men’s classes can earn WAGR points.

The main sponsor of the competition is AS Infortar. Saku quenches the thirst of the competitors, snacks are served by Selver, and sweets are provided by Orkla Eesti.

Photos: Mats Soomre

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