Perfect weekend for Valley's top teams
While the ladies finished second in the 1st Bundesliga South of the German Golf League presented by All4Golf on their own course and thus made an early entry into the Final Four, the second division men secured the third day victory in a row on the course of GC Feldafing and thus practically also the group victory and the associated entry into the relegation match play for the 1st Bundesliga South.
"It really was a very exciting weekend, and ultimately I'm very pleased with what we achieved," said Danny Wilde on Sunday evening, noticeably relieved. The head coach of both the Valley first division women and the second division men once again had the task of splitting into two, coaching the women until Friday for their home day in Valley, then confidently handing over to co-coach Constantin Schwierz and captain Kathrin Pegau, and then himself accompanying the men at the practice round and match day at GC Feldafing. They didn't show any weakness and played so well at Lake Starnberg that the competition could only applaud them after the singles and foursomes.
In the morning's singles, Raphael Geißler and Laurenz Baumgart played the best rounds for Valley with 69 strokes each, two under par; Nicklas Baumann and Florian Horder (-1 each) as well as Eric Dörrenberg (par), Tarek Baraka (+1) and Nicolas Horder (+3) also contributed to the excellent intermediate score of 2 under par with very good and extremely concentrated rounds. "A very solid performance in sometimes really difficult conditions in the rain," commented Wilde. In the afternoon, the performance of his players was to get even better, because what his team conjured up in the foursomes on the par-71 course was definitely ready for the first league: First, Nicolas Horder and Laurenz Baumgart played a brilliant round of 66, five under par including an eagle on hole 3, thus raising the bar to new heights. A little later, Nicklas Borrmann and Raphael Geißler, as well as Vitek Novak and Tarek Baraka, followed suit, each bringing par rounds into the clubhouse. This put Valley on a total of 7 under par, twelve strokes ahead of the second-placed team from host Feldafing and triumphant for the third time in a row on the third day of play.
Ready for first league
"The boys are slowly getting into shape - also towards the 1st Bundesliga," said Danny Wilde. "The pitch in Feldafing is very narrow, it was very wet - really not easy playing conditions. That's why you have to rate the performance all the higher." A performance after which Valley's 1st place in the table in the 2nd Bundesliga Süd can no longer be taken away: although there are still two match days to go, the 5th match day on August 1 at GC München Eichenried and on August 8 the make-up match at GC Kirchheim-Wendlingen, even if Valley would only finish third there in each case, the competition can no longer catch up with the Wilde team - the relegation place for the promotion play-off to the 1st league is practically already assured.
And the likely opponent in the promotion playoff to the 1st Bundesliga South is also basically set, because just as Valley has dominated the southern tier of the 2nd League so far, winning all three of its matches so far, Marienburg GC has been so commanding and so far undefeated in the 2nd Bundesliga Central. "Marienburg will be our opponent in the relegation, and we can certainly expect a very hot dance there," Danny Wilde is convinced. Marienburg has an absolute top-class player on the professional position in the form of Golf Team Germany player Nick Bachem, who has already won twice on the Pro Golf Tour this year - when he was still an amateur - and who currently also leads the Pro Golf Tour rankings. And Marienburg also has a very strong amateur team. "That will certainly be a big challenge," says Wilde, "but we don't have to hide at all, because we also have a very excellent team, as we saw again in Feldafing." And a team that he is now training for the match play format, which - just like in the Final Four - will also be played in the relegation. Four foursomes will be played in the morning, followed by eight singles in the afternoon - a real Ryder Cup feeling at the Munich GC in Straßlach-Dingharting, the expected venue for the promotion match on August 15.
Valley's ladies now also in match play mode
The fact that Valley's ladies can now also concentrate on "woman-on-woman" match play is thanks to an energetic performance in Sunday's singles on their home day in the 1st Bundesliga Süd - and a great Verena Gimmy. But first things first: For the 4th matchday of the German Golf League 2021 presented by All4Golf, Valley had invited to the Bavarian foothills of the Alps, and with the so far unbeaten league leader St. Leon-Rot, the Munich GC and the Frankfurt GC, three clubs traveled to ensure that a series continues: That of the home game curse of the Valley ladies, who have never been able to win in front of their own audience in League 1; the team of the 1st GC Fürth, weakened by replacements, was not able to compete in front. To make a long story short: Also in the season 2021 this small drop of bitterness remains.
Once again, the strength of league dominator St. Leon-Rot prevented Valley from winning at home, as the team from Kraichgau ultimately prevailed by eleven strokes and was allowed to make itself comfortable on the large swing in front of the clubhouse terrace, which is reserved for the winners, for the winner's photo. However, the consolation prize for the ladies of GC München Valley was quite generous: Still in third place after the first two rounds, the hosts moved up to second overall thanks to an excellent team performance in the third round, securing four points for the standings and thus, like St. Leon-Rot, early qualification for the Final Four. They have now collected 15 points and can no longer be ousted from second place.
Verena Gimmy turns the momentum and the match day around
Once again Verena Gimmy proved her excellent form: The tour player, who had already shone the day before with a round of 69 in the foursome together with Maria Anetseder, signed an excellent par round on Sunday, the best result for Valley. Sonya Knebel and Chiara Horder contributed solid rounds of 74, so Nina Lang's 77 strokes and Maria Anetseder's 78 didn't do much damage. In the end, Valley still edged out Munich Golf Club for third place on the match day with a total of 32 over par and a three-stroke lead, securing four points for the standings as the second-place team.
"Verena turned it around for us this weekend - we couldn't have done it without her," said Valley's head coach Danny Wilde, thanking his tour player, who had flown in directly from Rome on Saturday morning to help out Valley in the foursome - with excellent results: Verena Gimmy and Maria Anetseder played four birdies with only one bogey, signed for the best score of the entire Saturday with a round of 69, and laid the foundation for the race to catch up on Sunday. Nina Lang and Chiara Horder contributed a round of 76 in their foursome, leaving Valley at 17 over par, just four strokes behind the two teams at the top, GC St. Leon-Rot and the surprisingly strong Munich women.
"I'm very pleased with what came out of these really very severe weather conditions with my girls," said Danny Wilde after news reached him in Feldafing of 2nd place at home and an early entry into the Final Four; greens in Valley were partially under water on Sunday, and play had to be interrupted for two hours at midday.
He can now get his ladies in the mood for the DGL finals in match play mode on August 7 and 8 at Gut Kaden in Hamburg, and that is why he will also have them play more match play in the practice rounds. Wilde: "We will prepare very well for Hamburg and, if everyone is fit, we will also have a chance to be among the front runners; as is well known, match play has its very own laws."
The rest of the Valley teams' schedule:
July 31/August 1, 5th matchday of the Bundesliga Süd at Münchener GC
August 7/8, Final Four 2021, Gut Kaden, Hamburg
Sunday, August 1, 5th matchday of the 2nd Bundesliga Süd, GC München Eichenried
Sunday, August 8, Catch-up match day of the 2nd Bundesliga Süd, GC Kirchheim-Wendlingen
Sunday, August 15, relegation/promotion match to the 1st Bundesliga Süd against probably Marienburger GC as well as on the course of Münchener GC