Finnish Amateur champions Jesse Saareks and Katri Bakker
At the Finnish Amateur Championship, better known as The Erkko Trophy, Jesse Saareks (Koski-Golf) Katri Bakker (Espoo Golf Club) won men's and women's titles.
In the men's division, the battle came down to a two-man race with Jesse Saareks and Estonia's Richard Teder, who were leading after two days. On the final day, Saareks continued his attack on par, and finished with a winning score of 13-under while Teder froze to a score of 8-under.
Niilo Mäki-Petäjä (-9), who played a good closing day, finished second ahead of Teder.The Erkko Trophy victory was a kind of milestone for Saareks, which he has wanted to achieve in his career.
"I appreciate all of those who have won this competition. The trophy has names like Ross Fischer and Mikko Ilonen, who have become quite good players. It's sweet when your own name is now there next to it," Saareks said with the round trophy in his lap.
"I was pretty steady at that end," said Saareks. "But the guy [Teder] played a little worse than he had played before. That opened the door for me to win in a slightly different way than I had imagined. I had thought that we would go all the way. It's sweet that it ended like this."
The women's side saw a sweet revenge from last year. Katri Bakker, who experienced a defeat in last year's Erkko against Henni Musto, was sharp enough in the decisive moments, and she won this year's event with a score of 4-under, two strokes better than Italian Alessia Nobilio, who gave a tough battle in the final round.
"I was a little sore in the morning, and I had to sharpen up to stay focused. Alessia also played well and made the race tight," Bakker acknowledged the Italian star, who has achieved considerable success in her amateur career.
To decide the match, Bakker birdied the 15th hole, which he sank handsomely into the hole to the delight of the audience at Piccadilly in Tali.
"Before that, I hadn't really sunk any putts. It gave me some energy for the final round. And on that last hole, the second shot to the green was really good, so it finally decided the game", said Bakker, who finished the competition with a birdie, with satisfaction.
Courtesy Finnish Golf Association
ABOUT THE Finnish Amateur
54 hole stroke play championship with a cut
after 36 holes.
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