A Swedish Tradition Attracts the Very Best in the World
28 Jan 2018 at 15:15 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 12328 | News search
Top 3 Pairs (Photo by Christian Eriksson, EBGS)
The 16th edition of the indoor miniature marathon was held in Eskilstuna on January 20-21, 2018. This marathon is a tradition for most of the Swedish minigolfers. The 54 pairs that have the chance to attend the 30 hours long battle on the miniature course in the city of Eskilstuna have to be quick as the list fills up within hours each year. Each year the quality of the field is extraordinary as seen with this year’s field as both the Individual World Champions Alexander Dahlstedt and Fredrik Persson played, both the Youth European Champions, James Lindström and Rasmus Bergqvist played, and also about half of the World’s best team Uppsala, with players like Carl-Johan Ryner, Karin Olsson and Lars Brown. So, to start of this by saying it is going to be a tough competition with extremely low scores is to be expected. » Final Results
Eskilstuna is about one hour from the capital Stockholm and the marathon is held the third week in January every year. The competition is 24 rounds long, where 20 rounds is for everyone and the last 4 rounds is for only the 18 best pairs. The standout feature is that you play just in pairs of two and it is up to you and your partner how you want to set up your tactics. You might play 1 round or you might play 10 rounds before you decide to switch. Do you have a flow or do you feel your scores starts to rise and that you need assistance from your partner? This is the charm of this competition, to not only play to reach your own goals, you play for a “team” which means having someone with you that supports and cheer for you as well. This competition requires you to conquer the long hours of playtime in very uncomfortable times, which really tests your skills and abilities as a minigolfer. Another appreciated feature is that every year the completion reserves 10 spots for Finnish pairs. This is of course to maintain the good minigolf relation, but also to bring in the international touch. This is not one of our biggest competitions in Sweden, but it has started to evolve into something more. The connection with people you might not see for the rest of the year is a good example.
From the start, we had some expected favourites that always end up in the top such as pairs like Carl-Johan Ryner / Karin Olsson and Lars Brown / Peter Samuelsson. In a poll made by the organiser, we had two more pairs that were an interesting bet for the win - Alexander Dahlstedt / Rasmus Bergqvist and Fredrik Persson / Simon Levander. All really familiar to the course, except Fredrik Persson that actually visited this marathon for the first time. But a recently crowned World Champ should be able to adapt, right? This year there were more sold pairs throughout the list than ever before, so to even be sure to qualify for the final rounds was going to be challenge of its own.
When looking at the scores, you might think the general scores would be around 21 with some tricky lanes as Loop, Middle hole in slope and Window. But to make the Top 3 you had to have lower average than that. Because of the course, in general, being easier than most of the miniature courses in Sweden, as well as located indoors, there are no surprises to say that the competition delivered 13 perfect scores of 18 and a crushing 48 rounds of 19.
Under 21 strokes in average for the Top and reflecting back to the poll, all the mentioned pairs came Top 5. There were only one pair (Aki Sillman / Torgny Källström) who put themselves into the mix and came third. For the top podium, we had as last year a fight between Ryner / Olsson and Brown / Samuelsson, where Ryner / Olsson claimed another title. In fourth place came Persson / Levander and in fifth Dahlstedt / Bergqvist.
Overall it was a great competition and the players really appreciate the hours of work the organisers as well as the volunteers put in to make this competition work and run smoothly. Another great fact was that for the first time we played with BAMS-phones (able to see live scores lane-by-lane) for the whole competition instead of just use them in the finals. A great step and a huge effort to deliver such a great service. As long as we have enthusiasts that appear every year and make this the great tradition it become to so many, we will still enjoy this competition for many years to come. Reporter Simon Levander said of the tournament, “This was my fifth marathon and to summarise all this, it is not weird that I rank this as the number one competition of the year.”
This article was written by Simon Levander who will be posting in the future under his own handle. You can find Simon on Instagram at simonlevander.