The first ever year of the Kaskáda Golf Challenge provided a wonderful climax for the spectators at Kaskáda on Sunday. German Marcel Schneider won by a single stroke in the end, while the best of the Czechs was Stanislav Matuš, who came in joint eighteenth.

When Schneider double bogeyed the par-five fifteenth after losing his ball in the deep rough on Sunday, he looked out of contention. Yet this disaster actually inspired him to a fantastic finish.

He first birdied the par-three sixteenth and then both the subsequent par fours. On the difficult eighteenth he sank a four-metre putt, celebrating with a clenched fist. It looked like it was all over.

Yet it almost wasn’t.

Italian Lorenzo Scalise, who scored a 61 on Saturday to set a new course record, was playing in the last flight. And he didn’t want to give up either.

He first birdied the sixteenth, bringing him to within two shots of Schneider. And, knowing that only an eagle would get him into a play-off, something that had looked likely at Kaskáda for practically the whole final round, he directed his second shot on the eighteenth straight for the flag, with it finishing only a few inches from the hole!

Yet a birdie was not enough and Schneider’s score of -16 after rounds of 65, 65, 71 and 67 was enough to seal victory. In addition to a cheque for EUR 32 000, he could also celebrate entry to The Open, which will be played in two weeks’ time at Royal St. George’s.

In the end, the best of the Czech players at the tournament was Stanislav Matuš, who was under par in all four rounds at Kaskáda. One shot under on Sunday thanks to a birdie at the final hole.

“My putter let me down today. I didn’t sink four metre-long putts for par, I triple-putted three times and once it was a par-saver. I am happy to finish under par and it is a pretty good result,” Matuš said after the tournament ended.

The other two Czech golfers who made the cut this week at Kaskáda finished back in around sixtieth place. Jan Cafourek shared 54th place on par, while Šimon Zach came joint 59th with his +6.

“It was a quiet round with a single birdie and a single bogey. I consistently played fairway/green and two putts. I struggled on the greens, where I failed to take my chances,” said Cafourka regretfully on Sunday.

Zach’s result was affected primarily by a triple bogey on the difficult eighteenth. “I played to the left from the tee. A good shot, but not long enough. Then I didn’t know what to do from the rough, and so told myself that I would give it a go, but it came up short and disappeared into the water. After my drop at the same place I overshot the green, then a chip and two putts,” said Zach, describing his Sunday adventure at a hole that can easily cause problems. Or win the tournament.