European Individual Championship 2020

For the first time in my career, I can play in the individual European Championship thanks to my WAGR (World Amateur Golf Ranking) position. The venue was originally set in Bordeaux, but was moved to Switzerland (Zurich, Zumikon) as Bordeaux was considered a Corona risk area.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to play against the best European amateurs and to gain a new experience.
I already know the course well and will therefore only play a shortened practice round. On the practice round I will focus mainly on the greens to keep a good distance control in the coming rounds and to strengthen my self-confidence on these difficult greens.

Round 1
On Tuesday I will be the first Swiss to start the tournament. I play 17 holes of good golf without any big mistakes and with a lot of PARs. On hole 18 I try too much with the tee shot and lose my ball on the left side in the out of bounds. With the second ball I play a PAR and have to accept a double bogey. I finish the first round with 1 over PAR (72) and position myself in the midfield.

Round 2
I start the second round with a very good feeling and can show a very solid golf for a long time. Today’s round is a permanent up and down, I play 4 birdies and 4 bogeys and only 1 PAR on the first 9 holes. On the second 9 holes I play a solid game with a lot of pars and I am back to PAR after 17 holes. On the 18 hole course I put my tee shot left into the trees again and find the ball. I have to declare it as unplayable and take a penalty shot. With another bad shot I put my ball into the rough on the right and have to play again in front of the green. With a solid chip but a bad putt I finally have to accept a triple bogey and finish the round with 3 shots over PAR (74). After this round I lose a few ranks but I am still just 1 shot behind the CUT.

Round 3
Today I know that I can reach the final round with a solid 18 holes. After 9 holes I am 1 over PAR, but I had to save some PAR’s already, because today my long game is not optimal. On the second nine holes I play more aggressive on the pin and can play some birdies. With two under PAR after 14 holes I am on a good way and know that the difficult holes are still coming. On hole 15 I play the approach shot 3 meters to the flag and play a bogey from this super birdie position. Hole 17 fails completely, I play a tee shot into the bunker, leave the bunker shot way too long which puts me in an impossible up & down position and lets me finish the hole with a double bogey. On hole 18 I leave the driver in the bag and play wood 3 from the tee. This was the right decision and I can finish the hole 18 with a PAR. In the end I finish the round with 1 over PAR (72) and therefore I am qualified for the final day.

Round 4
In the final round, the weather forecast is bad and there should be rainy phasesall day long. In addition it is 9 degrees and cloudy all day. My starting time is early in the morning, which means two extra layers of clothing and keeping the clubs dry as long as possible. The rain only lasts on the first holes and stops after a while. The balls don’t fly so far anymore, which makes the long course even longer today. I often have to struggle with the distances but can save a few strokes with my short game. On the second 9 holes I play three birdies in a row and another one on hole 14, so I am three under PAR after these 14 holes. The last three holes make my life difficult again and with bad approaches I have to accept a bogey on every hole and therefore finish the final round with PAR (71).

With this final round I make up some positions and can finish my first individual European Championship on the 28th position. Basically I am happy with my final score of a total of 5 over PAR, as I played a total of 8 over PAR on the last two holes in all 4 rounds. I take my conclusion from the tournament and see that I do not have enough length on these last two holes to get a good birdie chance.

After some consideration and consultation with my coach I finish this year’s shortened tournament season and focus in the next weeks and months on my physical and speed development, so that I can simplify one or the other course in the next season with more length & stability.

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