Friday, 02 August 2013
Roope Kakko (golfari.fi/Kai Kilappa)  (EuropeanTour)
Roope Kakko (golfari.fi/Kai Kilappa) (EuropeanTour)
Rooke Kakko was right in with a shout of becoming the first home winner of the Finnish Challenge as a four under par second round of 68 left him three shots off the lead, while ten other Finns made the cut in a hugely successful tournament for the host country.

The 31 year old, who is the highest-placed Finn in the Challenge Tour Rankings at 21st place, carded seven birdies at the stunning Kytäjä Golf, in Hyvinkää near Helsinki, on the way to a ten under total for the tournament.

That came despite admitting that he was not feeling entirely up for the day after a short night’s sleep, but he was happy to be still in contention having not been on top of his game.

“On the first day I played really nicely,” he said. “I hit quality drives and good iron shots and placed the ball where I wanted it but today I struggled a little.

“I went back home late yesterday and didn’t sleep too well, then I had to leave early this morning so I wasn’t feeling fresh at any point. The weather didn’t help either because it was a little bit chilly and breezy, the ball wasn’t going too far. I wasn’t swinging it freely and had to put extra effort in which is never the ideal situation.

“I feel like I'm doing better than how I might have done in the past, I'm hanging in there when I'm not playing to the best of my ability. I'm finding a way to hang in there and I got my rewards with three birdies at the end there. All of a sudden a mediocre round turned into a good one.

“I made three well-deserved bogeys today and then bounced back every time with a birdie so that was pretty good. I have to build some momentum again tomorrow but I'm in a good position to be in with a chance and that’s all you can ask for. Tomorrow is going to be an important day.”

A total of 11 Finnish players made the cut, a record for the event and double the 2012 total, making it a hugely successful week for the Finnish Golf Union, one which might become even more successful if one were to go on and claim the title.

The others are: Erik Myllymaki (Amateur), Antti Ahokas, Janne Kaske, Miki Kuronen (Amateur), Albert Eckhardt (Amateur), Joonas Granberg, Henri Satama, Mikko Korhonen, Peter Erofejeff and Kalle Samooja.
Kakko says that being on home soil has made a big difference for him.

“It’s a bit of a different feeling when you can sleep in your own bed and you don’t have to fly anywhere and that’s a great feeling to have,” he said. “I have a few friends here and family and I get to sleep next to my son at night so that’s nice too.”


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1JOANNES, HuguesBEL00:00-
T1BOSSERT, AndréSUI00:00-
T1FIGUEIREDO, PedroPOR00:00-
T1MATTILA, RikuFIN00:00-
T1NØRRET, ThomasDEN00:00-
T1DAHLGREN, NiklasFIN00:00-
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