Our press officer at the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda brings you all the action from behind the scenes in Klagenfurt…
Golf's a funny old game...
Edouard Dubois' winning total of 23 under par 265 was comfortably the lowest score of the season, beating the previous best of 15 under, set by Nicolas Meitinger and Maximilian Keiffer at teh Allianz Challenge de France, by eight shots. It is a far cry from only a fornight ago, when Dubois missed the cut at the Madeira Islands Open having amassed a 21 over par total with rounds of 83 and 82.
Pavan goes low
Andrea Pavan's 36-hole score of -17 following rounds of 63 and 64 was so low that it prompted me to check the record books. It was comfortably the lowest 36-hole score of the season, beating Anthony Snobeck's ten under par score at thw halfway stage of the Mugello Tuscany Open last month, but it was not the lowest in Challenge Tour history. That honour goes to Adrien Mörk, who was 20 under after the first two rounds of the Tikida Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic at Golf du Soleil in 2006. Michael Jonzon has the second lowest 36-hole score, 18 under par at the Geleria Kaufhof - Pokal Challenge in 2003. Pavan's third round two under par 70 took him to 19 under for the event, not enough to overhaul the 54-hole 22 under record set by Martin LeMesurier at the Clearstream International - Luxembourg Open in 2003 and matched later that year by Christopher Hannelll in the Galeria Kaufhof - Pokal Challenge.
One of the benefits of travelling with The European Tour and the Challenge Tour is going to countries warmer than our own, particulary in winter when, say, everyone at home is shivering in November while we are working in the warmth of Dubai. This week there has been a reversal, sadly, in that Klagenfurt is coming under regular downpours and thunderstorms, yet back home in London it is glorious sunshine and high temperatures. Fingers crossed the clouds here go away for the weekend and we too can enjoy some sun.
Hat-trick of hole-in-ones
Any golfer who has played for years and is fed up with never having managed a hole-in-one should consider a trip to Golf Club Klagenfurt-Seltenheim in southern Austria, venue for the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda. For the third year running, a player has aced the par three eighth, this time Alexandre Chopard sinking a 9-iron for an eagle one. And if that wasn't freaky enough, Klass Eriksson did exactly the same thing in the afternoon of the first round. Martin Wiegele had a hole-in-one at the same hole in the final round last year and the year before – a remarkable coincidence in itself particularly given the fact the pins were in exactly the same position. Perhaps next year the tournament will aim to match the record of Houghton Golf Club, where the 12th hole had four consecutive years with a hole-in-one in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, between 1999 and 2002.
Some light reading material
Austrians tend to be a liberal bunch… in the hotel last year there was a television channel dedicated to ‘adult’ activity 24 hours a day, and this year the golf club has extended its magazine stand to include three copies of Playboy. Standing on display there alongside Golf World and brochures about golf in Austria, they do look a little out of the place, but no one has complained.
No room at the inn
Most people have not heard of the small town of Klagenfurt, and it’s definitely not known as a tourist destination, so when it came to booking accommodation for the Kärnten Golf Open, many players and staff were surprised to find a number of hotels booked out. It turns out there is a car racing weekend going on here, attracting people from all over Austria and the rest of Europe, so the place is packed out. So instead of the players all staying in two or three big hotels, they had a scramble to find the odd room at about 30 different places across the town. The staff accommodation is very pleasant, but has small single beds – fine if you are a 5ft3in girl but not so comfortable if you’re a 6ft3in man!