Budapest Open 2012 – as seen by the TD
As Otfried Derschmidt, title defending expectant of this year’s Austro-Hungaro tour wisely commented after the prize ceremony: the weather at budapest open is always much better than forecasted. Right he was indeed, as roughly 5 minutes after the ceremony was concluded, the first raindrops appeared in the sky and Budapest was soon flushed by a very heavy shower. But before that, throughout the whole weekend the total of 40 contestants could enjoy a beautiful, sunny, and literally windless weekend on the Hajógyári (Óbuda) Sziget, grounds of the 2012 Budapest Open, 10th station of this year’s Austro-Hungaro Tour.
Although the attendance was not a record breaking number, we were missing our Croatian and Slovakian friends, it gave at least room for 3 rounds, in which the waiting time before teeing off on each of the holes was 0 minutes on average. The course remained unchanged from last year, but as trees and the vegetation is constantly changing, there were certain holes on the PAR 56 course, where players had to face new challenges.
As this is such a course where there are only very few MUST birdy holes, the first tournament round showed no displays of extraordinary performance in the open division, and only a group of 8 players could slightly break away from the rest by plying under 60. With a round result of 55 (-1), the burgenländer Mike Bischof-Horak set the standards for the rest, and occupied his position in the leader flight, a place that he held on until the very end of the tournament. In his heels were Bernd Wender and David Wojak (56), Bernd Kolmanz (57) and the two greatest rivals this year, Günther Kaimberger and Otfried Derschmidt, both playing 58, however the latter only thanks to a 2 stroke penalty for playing holes in the wrong order (much to the displeasure of his flight members).
In the ladies’ division Katharina Gusenbauer showd who’s boss, and by playing a solid round of 62, she broke clearly away from her rivals, and left no doubts that similarly to other tournaments this year, she would be very tough to beat this time as well.
The afternoon round showed an improvement to most of the players, however only for a few in the top cards, but still no high negative numbers on the scorecards. A slow reorganization of the leading flight started, by Günther closing up to Mike on place 1 after an improvement of 3 strokes, and Otfried pushing David and Bernd (Kolmanz) off the top card. By the ladies, Katharina kept up her domination, and by improving 1 stroke and playing a 61, she increased her lead to 13 strokes over Irmgard Derschmidt. After Round 2, Katharina was on the overall 11th position, which clearly shows the greatness of her skills.
After spending a cozy night out in one of Budapest’s cool downtown bars, the players assembled for round 3, just to witness why the top players are called the top players. Although there was a very annoying external factor, small bugs flying around players’ heads, those who came here to gain the title couldn’t care less about this, and pulled some srious scores out of their bags. Günther and Otfried remained head-to-head by t both of them playing a sensational 51 (-5), with Günther playing a total of 6 birdies. After this round, the two have taken a 4-5 point lead ofver the peloton, and left Mike, Bernd Wender and David to fight for the third place on the podium. In the meantime, Katharina extended her lead to 20 strokes over Irmgard, and Irmgard a further 6 stroke over her sister, Willi, so the ladies entered the finals with pretty much nothing left to decide about.
As the number of the players didn’t exceed 36, the tournament direction has decided that all players were eligible to play the finals. With an added extra hole, the finalists had to go through holes 1-6, 17 and 18 in order to decide about the final placements. As expected, the ladies didn’t do anything unexpected, and Katharina could easily secure her first Budapest Open title, while Irmgard took silver, and Willi took bronze. In the open division however, the fierce battle between Otfried and Günther had provided high quality disc golf entertainment to the gallery by showing how quick things can change in this sport, and by proving how one has to keep up his concentration until the very end of the tournament. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.. Going into the fifth hole (hole #4) of the finals, Otfried had a two stroke lead over Günther. Both players could clear #4 with par, and went on to face hole #5 (the sixth hole of the finals). Otfried found himself to have to deal with serious tree issues costing him two extra strokes, while Günther’s drive sailed safely through the branches to a relaxing vicinity of the basket, and letting Günther clear 3 on this hole. Going into the seventh hole of the final (hole #6), the two arch-rivals were tied again, but this time Otfried was the one to pull a super straight, low and flat drive out of his Latitude bag, and set his drive for an easy three. Günther on the other hand ht a few trees, and had to settle for a bogey, so two holes before the end, he had a one stroke handicap to work on. But at holes number 17 and 18 it was Günther time again! Günther birdied both 17 and 18 (as in all previous rounds) , while Otfried missed his birdy putt on 18, so the two players were tied again after the finals.
As the tournament direction didn’t expect a tie breaker, and most of the baskets have already been collected, a new hole, a modified version of hole #9 had to be invented. The two players agreed to play this new hole, then hole #8 again, and engage in a CTP race on the modified new hole as a last resort to find out who the winner of the tournament would be. The super long, straight and narrow shot between a corridor defined by trees were no challenge to the top two, and both of them played safe threes on this. On to hole #8, where Günther had a better chance for birdy, but by missing a 13 meter putt, and Otfried converting a rolled away drive to a solid 3, the two players had to reassemble at the new hole, and see who can throw closest to the pin. Although CTP is not a very fair way of deciding over a title, both players agreed to this method, so the could take a last deep breath, and let their drives go. The two drives very literal reflections of eachother, Günther’s throw – being right-handed – turning right between some trees and fading back to the left a few metres off the fairway, Otfried’s drive did the same thing on the other side. Though the throws were ~20 metres away from the basket, it was clear that a method more precise than the human eye and legs would be needed to measure the distances of each disc to the pin. At last, a string was used to measure the distances, and it turned out the Günther’s disc was toughly 50 cms closer to the pin than that of Otfried. A great relief for Kaimberger, and a great ending of a super exciting afternoon program to the galery this moment was!
The wander trophy of Budapest Open hence went to Günther, meaning that now there are a total of 4 players in the race for winning it and keeping it forever (Otfried Derschmidt and Dani Hatvani won two times, Andy Barth and Günther Kaimberger won once). The third playe in the open division eventually went to Mike Bischof-Horak, who could secure this position with a 4 stroke lead over Bernd Wender.
Results are uploaded to the discgolf.at score data bank.
A special thanks goes out to all the people who helped to set up and bring back the baskets!
Thanks for coming, see you next year!