Just another 'routine' month for Herma Kleinlugtenbeld!
September 2021. Covid-19 still raged. But international Pitch and Putt competition continued apace.
For Herma Kleinlugtenbeld, September 2021 brought yet another international open win, a runner-up spot in Andorra and victory in the Netherlands Ladies Strokeplay chmpionship at Groningen.
For some, that would be a wonderful year or maybe even a promising career. But it represented just another routine month for the most successful player of all time in international ladies open competition.
As Ljubjlana basked in temperatures of 25 degrees, Herma recorded a landmark tenth win in international open tournaments. "A super nice international tournament with nice weather," is Herma's succinct summary of her second Slovenia Open victory at the Stanežiče course, which happens to be located a small matter of 1,200 kilometres from her home in the Netherlands.
A three-round tally of 178 in Slovenia on 4th/5th September gave Herma three strokes to spare over runner-up Sasa Leban and victory on her return to Stanežiče, two years on from her maiden success in the Slovenian capital (the pandemic prevented a 2020 title defence). Herma's win extended her extraordinary run of success dating all the way back to the Teia Open of 2004 (and also including the 2019 Brittany Ladies Open, Catalan Open (2004 and 2013), Galicia Open (2012), Andorra Open (2011 and 2014) and Dutch Open (2009 and 2010).
Of course, Herma was accompanied by her partner Gerard Spaargaren, in whose success she delights. Equally important to her that weekend was the statistic that Gerard finished seventh in the mens' event.
An even longer odyssey loomed later in the month. A round trip of 3,000 km. to Vall d'Ordino (with the irrespressible Ed Jansen for company as well) saw Herma reach the milestone of a round dozen runners-up placings in international opens. A total of 166 saw the Dutch lady finish five shy of Soraya Lassal (Catalonia).
Much closer to home, rounds of 53, 53, 54 and 60 saw Herma finish with a 72-hole aggregate of 221 at Groningen and win the Dutch Ladies Strokeplay championship on the last weekend of September. Almost immediately and typically, Herma's thoughts were of others. "On a beautiful day in Groningen, Gerard was eighth."
October? Well just a third place finish with Gerard in the Dutch Pairs Championship! That was at Bussloo - a mere 120 kilometres away. "It was a strong field of participants," says Herma, "so we're very proud."
All this while Herma and Gerard were renovating their hotel, "Wapen Van Vries"!
The Pitch and Putt success story will undoubtedly continue into 2022 and beyond.