European Amateur Championships 2020 were played on 22-25 Sept. at Zurich Golf Club, Switzerland. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the Finnish Golf Union did not send a team the Championships nor offer financial support for Finnish players to attend.
With support of the SGA, their clubs and their families, three Finnish SGA players, Ilari Saulo, Casper Simberg and Rasmus Karlsson as well as Jesse Waaralinna from Pickala GC were able to attend. Also three Estonian SGA members, Carl Hellat, Kevin Jegers and Mattias Varjun participated as representatives of the Estonian team.
The SGA team was well prepared and aiming for a medal. Largely because of the very fast and undulating greens that our players are not used to, the goal was not quite achieved. We can, however, be satisfied with the overall result as Ilari and Casper finished T11th, Rasmus T22nd and Kevin T28 in the field of 90 players.
“It was another good week competing and testing my game against the best amateur players in Europe. My game was very average the whole week. Long game got better as the week went on but I did not make quite enough putts to get in contention to win”, Ilari sums up the tournament.
Casper, who was on the top of the leader board after the first round with 66/-5, was a little disappointed in his last round of 75/+4. “The course was really good and tested every aspect of your game. I need to improve my long game, a lot of physical training going forward. All in all, a good way to end my amateur career.”
“I played in the last group the third day and got good perspective on what needs to be improved, which is my short game, especially putting, and also power off the tee. The top European level is not that much ahead”, Rasmus comments.
As all international golf events this season, this tournament was held under special Covid-19 arrangements with a tournament bubble, temperature checks, tests and quarantines. Grateful for the opportunity to compete, all players are taking the risk very seriously and follow the required procedures precisely.
To tackle the challenge of putting on fast greens in international competitions, Finnish players need more opportunities to practice on similar surfaces. To this end, the new Season Golf practice facility opening in March 2021 will have a putting area with a surface of PGA tour speed.