German Eternit Championship in Büttgen
09 Sep 2014 at 09:49 | Published by: mindthegap | Views: 14012 | News search
Melanie Hammerschmidt from Ludwigshafen, winner of the ladies category (Photo by Karsten Hein)
The German Championship on Eternit took place in Büttgen near Düsseldorf from the 28th to 30th of August. We were quite lucky with the weather. There was only one interruption of one hour due to rain. Regarding the huge group of 126 participants who had to play 10 rounds in total within 3 days, bad weather would have made a radical cut-off of rounds necessary and so could have turned the competition into a desaster. But this didn't happen, apparently just the opposite emerged.
On the last but one practice day, the Tuesday, it was bucketing down nearly all day, so almost no practice was possible on that day. The hosting club HMC Büttgen arranged that we could use the adjacent cycling hall as rain shelter and a place to take meals and relax. The final exam for the participants was the opening ceremony on that Tuesday evening, and those who survived the extraordinary spicy goulash soup were finally qualified for the championship. It must be mentioned here that it was not the fault of the catering team on site what can be read in the last abstract.
The German Championships on the particular systems are not the major chmapionships in Germany. Most of the Bundesliga stars do usually not participate as they spend most of their holidays for the Bundesliga, the combination championships and maybe the international championships. But nevertheless there were several extraordinary excellent scores. The men's category was won by Robert Hahn from Ludwigshafen with 198 (Ø 19.8). He plays for a team in the 2nd Bundesliga. Bundesliga star Alexander Junkermann from Dormagen-Brechten reached the 2nd place with 208 (Ø 20.8) after a sudden-death play-off against Michael Vogt from Düsseldorf.
The ladies category was won by the defending champion Melanie Hammerschmidt from Ludwigshafen with 216 (Ø 21.6), an excellent result as well. It's just her 2nd year in the ladies category, and she won the German Eternit Championship both times. Have we seen a future member of the German squad playing? Sabine Rudolph from Wolfsburg ended up on the 2nd place, followed by Britta Lagerquist from Kiel.
Everyone expected that Andrea Reinicke from Cuxhaven, Vice Seniors European Champion, would dominate the senior ladies category, but she started with a shocking 29. But then she showed her skills and continued with two blue rounds - an 18 and a 19. At the end she won with 220 (Ø 22.0), only 2 shots ahead of Marion Willenbockel from Peine, followed by Anita Stamm from Gladbeck on the 3rd place.
The local star Frank Völzke, who won the West-German Championship in an absolutely convincing manner, came up the high expectations and won the seniors men category with 212 (Ø 21.2), also an excellent score on this course. The sports director of the German Minigolf Association (DMV), Günter Schwarz from Berlin (currently playing for SV Steyr, an Austrian minigolf club), followed with 222 (Ø 22.2) after a sudden-death play-off against Stefan Müller from Kerpen, who reached the final of the best 3 with an 18 in round 9.
Even the seniors categories II (aged above 58) provided a thrilling competition and excellent results. Sigrid Eilert from Bergisch Land (Velbert) and Margot Fritzenkötter from Witten were equal with 240 (Ø 24.0) after 10 rounds , so had to play a sudden-death play-off. The winner was Sigrid Eilert. Rosemarie Piechotta from Dortmund-Syburg ended up on the 3rd place with 246 (Ø 24.6).
The senior men of category II even could have competed in the seniors category I. Kuno Otto from Kiel won with 215 (Ø 21.5), also an excellent score on this course. Udo Sternemann from Castrop followed with 219 (Ø 21.9) on the 2nd place. Norbert Eilert from Bergisch Land (Velbert) rocketed himself into the final round of the best 3 with a 19 in the 9th round and reached the 3rd place with 223 (Ø 22.3).
A seniors team competition is also part of the championship. The best senior teams from each Federal State qualify for this Championship and decide the German Seniors Team Champion on eternit. Of course the local team of the hosting club HMC Büttgen was the favourite, but the competitors from Bergisch Land (Velbert) and Ludwigshafen were hard opponents. After 3 rounds on the first day Ludwigshafen was in lead, but only 3 shots ahead of Bergisch Land and further 8 shots ahead of the home team. With two amazingly excellent team rounds of 60 (Ø 20.0), the local team from Büttgen conquered the lead in rounds 4 and 5 on the 2nd day, 4 shots ahead of Ludwigshafen. Ludwigshafen could keep a margin of 2 shots on Bergisch Land before the final team round - round 6, which had to bring the decision. Büttgen and Bergisch Land finished with another excellent team round of 64 each, but Ludwigshafen fell back a lot with a 73. So at the end Ludwigshafen fell back on place 3 and won the bronze medal. Bergisch Land overtook Ludwigshafen and reached the 2nd place, so won the silver medal. At the end the gold medal went to the local team from Büttgen who met their favourite roll and won the team championship with 396 (Ø 22.0).
It's interesting to know that the whole team of Bergisch Land was not qualified for the individual competition. Most of them failed quite narrowly, Andreas Grzeski for example only by one shot. Norman Mandel from Büttgen, who substituted Jürgen Quandt after the 1st round, was also not qualified for the individuals. Regarding their average score below 22.0 after 6 rounds, Andreas Grzeski, Frank Exner and Norman Mandel would have been easily in the final of the best 3 at the end, Andreas even would have won the seniors category if he had been qualified. That shows that the senior men in Northrhine-Westphalia have to fight hard for a place in the German Championships.
The event was perfectly organized by the hosting club HMC Büttgen. The adjacent cycling hall was very helpful to relax between the rounds, have a meal or buy minigolf balls. The catering was outstanding. It was quite unusual to get a meal, homemade and freshly prepared or even cooked on site, served by the president of the Northrhine-Westphalian Minigolf Association, Petra Träger, or Martina Wehner from the local club and the other volunteers. And that was done not only on the competition days, but also on the practice days from Saturday to Wednesday. In the name of all participants I would like to say a big "Thank you" for that! If there were another course (concrete or felt) nearby, I think this club even would be able to organize a European or World Championship.
Links to results, reports and photos, all in German language:
»Newspaper article by Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung
»Report by Birgit Stiebeling, Cuxhaven
»Photos by HMC Büttgen (Bernd Bremer and Sven Thimm)
»Photos by Sven Thimm