Just a few weeks after Team Discmania’s Leo Piironen took home the Finnish Nationals win, two more team members have taken home the top prize in Finland.
Held in Jyväskylä, Finland, Niklas Anttila won the Junior ≤18 division while Oskari Vikström finished in first in Junior ≤15 at the Finnish Junior Championships.
Anttila Wins it in Playoff
In the Junior ≤18 division, the 54 holes scheduled were not enough to determine a winner. While Anttila was at the top of the leaderboard from the beginning, he felt pressure the entire way.
At the end of the second round, Anttila’s lead was six shots. As the play moved to the final round, the number of birdies began to dry up. His 55 (-4) in the final round helped him end the third round in a tie as others jumped up the leaderboard.
The playoff only lasted one hole as Anttila was able to drop in for the win.
Anttila says he was happy and relieved to pull down the first place prize, “I was well prepared for the event. I played a few practice rounds on both courses and every time I visit Oskari (Vikström) we play these courses. Keljonkangas is one of my favorites and suits my game well. It’s a wooded course that puts premium on well-controlled putter & midrange shots. Laajavuori is more open course and has tons of elevation—luckily we have a similar course in my hometown, Kuopio!”
Throughout the tournament Anttila reached for his Color Clow C-Line MD3s on the wooded holes and S-Line and C-Line PD2s on open holes.
Anttila looks to build on this win and aim for the future, “I was hoping to make the National team for the European Championships, but unfortunately I didn’t get a spot. I have my sights set forward and I’m planning to step up to Open division from now on.”
Home-Course Advantage Proves Valuable for Vikström
While many traveled from around the country for this event, Vikström was fortunate enough to play in his hometown.
With the first round at the Laajavuori Disc Golf Course and Keljonkangas Disc Golf Course, Vikström was very much at home, but really showed his strength when play moved to Keljonkangas.
After the first round in the Junior ≤15 division, Vikström was one shot behind the leaders after his 55 (-4).
In Round Two, Vikström torched the field with a bogey-free 52 (-11). The round was six shots better than anyone else and put him into a five shot lead with just one round remaining.
After a shaky start led to a bogey on the first round of the final round, Vikström hit six straight birdies to keep the rest of the field at bay before wrapping things up by nine shots.
When everything was finished, Vikström says he was relieved, “I played terribly during the first round but I was able to pick up the pace for the following two rounds.”
For Oskari, it was a combination of the S-Line PD2, Glow C-Line PD2, and Glow C-Line FD3 that got the job done.
Oskari says he feels great heading into the upcoming European Championships, “Winning the Junior’s Finnish Champion title gives a nice confidence boost and I know what I have to work on next to improve further. I just need to play well on all rounds, starting with the first one.