Askim, Sweden – The Minigolf Open Youth European Championships were held from August 2 -5, 2017 on the concrete and miniaturegolf courses in Askimsbadet, Askim. In total, 66 players (48 male and 18 female) represented 12 different countries in the individual play. There were 5 full country teams in the male division and 4 teams in the female division that competed for the team title. The schedule was packed for the tournament as 8 rounds over the first two days comprised the team competition while and additional 4 rounds were played to round out the individual stroke-play competition at 12 rounds. The last day of play was for the match-play competition, which is played by the top tier players from the stroke play.
The story of the tournament was the weather, as rains and bad weather interrupted play and caused from some adjustment of the round schedule. However, that didn’t seem to phase the home team during the team competition as the Swedish male and female teams struck gold and swept first place in both divisions, and followed it up with some success in the individual competitions. It was the first time in 11 years that Sweden swept in the youth competition.
In the male division, they won by 20 strokes, averaging 25.2 over the 8 rounds played on the combined courses. While there there were very few standout rounds played by Sweden, their strength was keeping the red rounds to a minimum. The Germans came in second with an average of 25.6, keeping head of the Czech team who took the last place on the podium with a 26.6 average. One notable score was Daniel Brtevník’s 18 in the 3rd round of play.
In the female division the margin of victory was about the same with a 17 stroke win over Germany. The Swedish woman averaged a 26.2 to the Germans’ 26.9. The Russian team rounded out the podium with an average of 28.4. Notable in this division was Sarah Schumacher from Germany who posted two 19s during her rounds but it wasn’t enough to help catch team Sweden. However, she would find some success in the individual competitions.
The individual competitions saw some intense putting, especially in the male youth stroke-play that went into sudden death. James Lindström (SWE) and Silvio Krauss (GER) both finished the tournament with a 291 and it took until the second playoff hole for James to emerge victorious with a great ace. Lars Anderegg (SUI) would finish one stroke behind the top two and complete the podium. Germany was the first to break the dominance of the Swedish putters in the female youth stroke-play tournament as Sarah Schumacher took gold with a 293. Alena Doleželová (CZE) and Jasmin Hansson (SWE) would round out the podium, with a few strokes separation between the top spots.
When it came time for match-play the Swedish team again found themselves on top of the male division. This time Rasmus Bergqvist would take first place, winning over Erik Hovind Fause of Norway. Thomas Lottermoser (AUT) would finish in third over Jan Kadlec (CZE). Sarah Schumacher would attempt the double in the female division but would fall just a bit short, landing in the podium at third over Felicia Vikström (SWE). The top spot in this competition would head to Austria as Lisa Marie Zitz closed out over Yulia Korytina of Russia.
Video of the male youth playoff holes can be found on the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) Facebook page along with other videos taken during the live action including much of the female match play tournament.
Male Youth Top 3 – Stroke-Play
Female Youth Top 3 – Stroke-Play
Sarah Schumacher (GER) – 293
Alena Doleželová (CZE) – 297
Jasmin Hansson (SWE) – 302
The World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) is the umbrella organization of 63 Minigolf sports associations worldwide with Continental Associations in Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Over 1,000 championships courses are approved for official competitions and over 1,500 international minigolf tournaments are held each year. Millions of players all around the world like to play minigolf as a private leisure activity and in public competitions.