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After 36 holes: Amateur Vitek Novák wins on home soil

Czech Classic 2019

With rounds of 67 and 74 strokes, the Czech Vitek Novák has secured himself the trophy of the Czech Classic 2019. After the tournament in Kaskáda Golf Resort Brno had to be shortened to 36 holes due to heavy thunderstorms and rain, the amateur from Karlovy Vary immediately made his first victory on his first appearance on the Pro Golf Tour; the 23-year-old finally prevailed with 1 under par and was one stroke ahead of his fellow countryman Petr Hrubý, also an amateur, and German professional Allen John.

by Matthias Lettenbichler

Brno/Czech Republic – From the beginning it was clear that no player was going to tear this course apart: for the Pro Golf Tour premiere in Brno, Czech Republic, the greenkeeper team had let the rough on both sides of the narrow fairways grow thick and high, totally in keeping with the US Open style. "When I saw that, I immediately changed my tactics completely," said tournament winner Vitek Novák. "I've played this really great golf course several times, but never with such a setup."

He only took his driver out once in the whole week and otherwise had just one priority goal: to keep the ball on the fairway using irons. As the 23-year-old, who is studying economics in the USA, managed to do this superbly, as well as playing the greens wisely and his putter also being on fire, he was able to sign a round 67, 4 under par, after the first day. “That was the result of my modified game tactics. I also did okay on the greens," says Novák.

His playing style also worked out in the second round when he did himself with 74 strokes comparatively little damage in contrast to many of his rivals. One indication of how much the field had to struggle with the challenging conditions is the 12-over-par cut after 36 holes. Round 2 was only finished at noon on the third day of the tournament after a thunderstorm interrupted the second day, so the 61 players who had survived the cut could not begin the final round by shotgun start until 1 p.m. However, the tournament was then over early at 3.57 p.m. when another thunderstorm with torrential rain showers hit the course.

Allen John No. 1 of the Order of Merit, again

“As I was in the lead at all times and also at the moment the game was stopped, this does not diminish my success for me," says the winner Vitek Novák. His compatriot Petr Hrubý, also an amateur, shared second place with the German Professional Allen John. The player from the GC St. Leon-Rot collected the 5,000 euro winner's cheque as well as 2,500 Order of Merit points, thus reclaiming first place in the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit. For a week at least: the Polish Open by John Deere is scheduled from 26 to 28 June. Then 30,000 euro prize money and just as many points will be up for grabs at the Polish Gradi Golf Club in Prusice.