After a metorologically disappointing inaugural event 2014 this year’s edition of the Strudengau Open sponsored by Latitude64 was a complete success accompanied by sunshine and great weather during the whole weekend. 72 athletes from eleven nations travelled to Austria’s most beautiful disc golf location – the KUMM Disc Golf Parcours at Sankt Thomas am Blasenstein – to participate in the ninth stage of the PDGA Euro Tour 2015. The PDGA B-tier event was organized by the landlords from KUMM Disc Golf together with the TDs from Anders Golfen Discgolf Club. A well know and perfectly collaborating team since many seasons. The local crew had prepared the course amazingly. So, together with the great weather, everything was set up for a memorable weekend full of disc golf.
The TD-team had reworked the 2014 course design and did some slight changes as against last year’s edition to increase the flow of the game. The fresh cut gras and the typical Austrian topography with rolling hills forced the players to show their best technical skills. Lots of missed putts and inattentivly or cautiously thrown upshots were punished rolling away far from the basket. The winner finishing just 5 shots under par after 63 holes, together with just the remaining three athletes on the lead card scoring under par as well, is an evidence that the par 59 course even urges the top level players to show their finest abilities.
Germany’s Dominik Stampfer was in the lead at saturday’s lunch break with the best round score of the weekend on his card. His 55 (-4) haven’t been reached by any other player during the rest of the weekend, but after all the top rated athlete in this tourney had to deal with fourth place. Another German – Benedikt Heiß – together with Estonia’s Martin Rotmeister was in the lead in the MPO division after two rounds. The FPO Division was led undisputedly by Natalie Holloköi from Switzwerland, followed by Katharina Gusenbauer (AUT) and Katka Bodova (SVK) tied in second place. Nearly all of the seven divisions showed up with very close scores and thrilling battles for the lead. Day one ended full of atmosphere with a putting contest won by Michal Grepl from Czech Republik. The day before Croatia’s top male player Dinko Simenc won a unique downhill distance accuracy challenge. An impressive fire work closed the curtain of exhausting day one.
Round three started on sunday morning and ascertained the 36 finalists to compete in the finals on hole 1 to 9. At the end the MJ1 division displayed three Austrians on the podium: Daniel Maier took the championship defeating Laurenz Schaurhofer and Florian Lingenhel. The MA1 division was won by The Bavarian Rastaman Jesse Hawkins. Runners up on a tied second place are Wolfgang Aichinger (AUT) and Robert Furka (HUN), while the Women’s advanced division champion is local hero Sonja Palmetshofer. Already young enough to start as a junior she won her first women’s division title. Birgit Lingenhel (AUT) came in second place two shots behind and Danica Patjak (CRO) ended up third.
The grandmasters battled hard for the title and it came down to a german fight for the win. Wolfgang Kraus defeated his compatriot George Braun by just one stroke. Austria’s Bernd Wender completes the podium. Also just one shot mattered the championship in the MPM division. Austria’s longtime top athlete Otfried Derschmidt took the victory ahead of Greg Marter (GER) and Eric Altoray (SWE).
The FPO decision seemed to be made after day one, but reigning Austrian National Champion Katharina Gusenbauer played an outstanding third round which surprisingly brought her into the lead for the final round one stroke ahead of the European Vice Champion Natalie Holloköi. But in the end the multiple President’s Cup participant showed her experience and coolness and won the 2015 Strudengau Open title. Behind runner up Katharina Gusenbauer Katka Bodova finally reached place three.
The MPO division lost one of it’s absolute favorites at the end of round three. Andreas Dackander from Sweden had to surrender due to an injury. But anyway the stage was set for a memorable drama with three players tied in front the leading group arriving at the last tee. At the end Martin Rotmeister took the trophy playing a birdie on the tough, OB garnished and final par4 hole. Bendedikt Heiß came in second with a par while Hungary’s Dani Hatvani took the bogey that caused his third place at the end.
A prize money of totally 3.300€ including the side events was payed out to the players during the emotional winners ceremony. It was a weekend of top level disc sport, great spirit, legendary Austrian hospitality and snugly evenings at the players lounge on site and at the players hotel. New friendships were made and old mates met again.
The organization crew is looking forward to maybe hosting another PDGA Euro Tour stage in 2016 to welcome again players from all over Europe celebrating a weekend of great disc golf at Austria’s most beautiful course.