CZECH MASTERS WINS GERMAN KIEFFER. THE BEST CZECH WAS AMATEUR TOMI
The champion of the eighth edition of the D+D REAL Czech Masters was Maximilian Kieffer. In the third final round of the tournament, which was shortened to 54 holes for the first time in history due to Saturday’s torrential rain, he shot 66 shots (-6) and won by one shot over Gavin Green of Malaysia with a total score of -16. The best domestic player was only 17-year-old amateur David Tomi from the local Albatross Golf Resort, who finished the Czech elite DP World Tour tournament in a tie for 51st place with a final score of -3.
Into the third final round went with a three-shot lead Green. And he was leading by two shots when he ran into trouble on the 14th hole where he hit water and had to drop. At that point he was threatened mainly by Tapio Pulkkanen and Kieffer, who were on the 17th hole in the case of the Finn, and on the 16th in the case of the German.
Pulkkanen ran into trouble on 17 but made a great recovery to save par. Kieffer did the same on 16. But Green, meanwhile, committed a double bogey on 14 and was suddenly tied with Pulkkanen and Kieffer on the lead at -15. The final dramatic twist was on.
Pulkkanen then hit the water on eighteen, recorded a double bogey and, like last year, robbed himself of a possible victory on the last hole. Kieffer, on the other hand, made a birdie on the difficult seventeen, making a great second shot to the pin. This knocked Green off the top of the leaderboard for the first time and put himself into the solo lead.
The 32-year-old German then played a quiet par on eighteen and waited to see what Green would conjure up on the remaining two holes. After a par on seventeen, he conjured up a superb second shot to the green on the final eighteen to set up a two-and-a-half meter birdie chance. Then, unfortunately for him, his putt went round the edge of the hole but didn’t drop in.
Kieffer was thus able to enjoy his first DP World Tour victory, while Green was taking his second runner-up finish from the Czech Masters and is still waiting for his first DP World Tour triumph. Pulkkanen finished in a share of third place, with South African Louis De Jager closing in on him.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters stormed to his third victory at his favourite tournament, after his third birdie of the day on the tenth with a still clean scorecard, he was three shots behind then leader Gavin Green.
So he had to take a gamble, which didn’t pay off on the par four 11th after he hit a fairway bunker from the tee. From there he tried to get his second shot onto the green but overshot the tee and lost the ball.
He then had to return to the bunker again and dropped a penalty shot. He then putted in front of the green and didn’t get the ball on it until the fifth shot. After two subsequent putts, he walked off with a triple bogey, thus taking himself out of contention for the triumph. Pieters eventually finished in a tie for 8th place.
With a record participation of 17 Czech players, it is a big surprise that the best of them at this year’s Czech Masters was only 17-year-old amateur David Tomi, who took advantage of his home resort as he plays and trains at Albatross.
Tomi played one shot over par in the final round, but thanks to two previous rounds at -3 and -1, he held on to a very nice three shots under par overall, taking a split 51st place.
“I tried to play my patient game from the start. From tee to fairway, second to green and two putts. And I was waiting for my chance. But today I didn’t putt at all like I did two days before. I struggled a little bit on the greens. I was always just a little bit short. That was a shame because it was definitely my best game in the field in the three days I’ve been here,” revealed Tomi, who recorded three bogeys and two birdies in the final round, the second of which came on the back eighteen.
Aleš Kořínek finished tied for 60th place and played his worst round in the final round with a 74 (+2). However, he defended his overall score under par by a shot, finishing with a -1. A triple bogey on the 17th took him out of a better result. At least he said goodbye with a great chip in from the water hazard boundary on eighteen for birdie.
“Nice tournament, but I’m happy with the last two rounds with a couple of shots and otherwise at most with the first round, because what have I got to be happy with if I finish somewhere in the sixties. Everybody forgets about that in two days and it’s completely useless,” Kořínek was not happy after finishing, although he was the only Czech pro to make the cut this year.
Matěj Bača, an 18-year-old amateur, played three shots over par in the final third round. He was two shots under par after the 12th hole, but then his finish went wrong with three bogeys and a bogey on the last 18. With a final score of +1, he finished tied for 63rd place in his second appearance at the Czech Masters.
“Disappointment at the end of the round is prevailing at the moment, but overall I’ll be positive. Making the cut on the European Tour is definitely a great job. Overall the game was great too, just not on the greens today. It’s definitely valuable experience for me. I didn’t feel nervous already this year and I know I have the skills to make the cut, so I can compete pretty well with the others here,” said Baca after the tournament.
Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini finished in a solid tie for 14th place after a final round 69. The biggest star of the tournament, England’s Ian Poulter, played his best round of the tournament on Sunday with a 66 (-6) to climb up the standings to a final 24th place.