Double Dutch Delight - Marcel Ahuis
Koekange hosted the 2020 Dutch Open and it proved to be another successful outing for the holder Marcel Ahuis. Here's Marcel's reflection on his latest success.
fippa.org (Q.) It must be especially pleasing to win the Dutch Open over your home course?
Marcel Ahuis (A.) Yes, especially because I defeated Rolf on his home course.
Q. Were you discouraged to be so far behind after the opening round?
A. A little bit. I know that the first round is always not the best round from me, but 5 strokes behind an excellent player like Remon was a disappointment. It was windy and, from time to time, it rained heavily. So I hoped that when I carded a decent round I could be in contention.
Q. Rolf Kwant has been an outstanding player for a very long time. He threw a final round 47 at you. It must give you great confidence that you still managed to win?
A. Yes. Also because it was close, one stroke. And normally when I play against Rolf at Koekange he wins.
Q. Was there any particular crucial turning point during the final round?
A. There was not a turning point because the whole round we stayed close to each other, but hole 16 was the point I thought that I might be going to win. I had a lead of two strokes. We were both on the green. I missed the putt and Rolf had to make his putt to put pressure on me. I was very pleased that he missed because it would have been one stroke with two holes to play and knowing Rolf it would be close.
Q. Give us some of the highlights of the 46.
A. (On the opening hole of) the final round I played first and hit the ball about 50 cm. from the pin. Rolf hit it closer. So both of us started with birdie. Playing hole 7, we were still level and I hit the ball 15 cm. from the cup before Rolf made a hole in one! Then I made three birdies in a row to go one shot ahead. After hole 16, I was two strokes clear with two holes to play. I hit it first at hole 17 and I hit the pin but the ball jumped off the green. Rolf hit it to about 20 cm., so that was a birdie. I had to make a good chip to stay one shot ahead with one hole to play. Rolf hit it a little bit short at 18 and so did I. He chipped first and just missed the hole. It lipped the cup. Then I knew I was going to win. And Remon, your time will come!
Q. You have scored very low at Koekange in the past and clearly like the course?
A. Officially 40, but unofficially 39. The course was excellently prepared by Peter Kats and members from the club. The hospitality was great through the whole weekend.
Q. It was a Dutch Open with a difference?
A. Yes, and for next year I hope to see more foreigners come to the Dutch Open, because they have been missed. We know it is because of the pandemic, but a Dutch Open without the guys from Ireland, Catalonia, etc. felt really strange.