First time in Zagreb

Bundek Open was organized by Croatian Flying Disc Federation and Lagoda Disc Golf Company and by doing it for the first time disc golf was officially brought to the Croatian capital.

The tournament was attended by 19 players who arrived from Croatia (13), Slovenia (2), Austria (2) and the United States (2), what makes the organizers fully satisfied as the primary goal was to present the sport to the citizens of Zagreb and it was done - many visitors of Bundek park stopped along the disc golf baskets, asking what was going on and watching the players in their efforts to throw discs in the distance as precisely as possible. Some of them also returned to Bundek on Sunday and participated in a promotional doubles event and immediately experienced one of the most specific features of disc golf - few hours of active socializing in nature that "flies in the blink of an eye."

First Bundek Open was held PDGA Tier C event, and two female and 17 male players took part in it. The weather was good for the game – a little cloudier during the first round, but later more sun come around what allowed players to enjoy the true experience of spring.

The winner in the women's category became Danica Pajtak from Varaždin.

In the men's competition, Austrian Michael Waidhofer was in the lead from the beginning with a first round score of 52 (PDGA rated at 968), followed by another Austrian Eric Osterwinter and Varaždin player Nino Đurak with 54. As many as 9 players were behind them ranging from 58 to 61 throws. The best result of the second round, and the top tournament score, of 51 throws (PDGA rated 976) was achieved by Radule Mikic from Čakovec which brought him from seventh to second place before the final. Aki Vuckovic in the second round needed 54 throws to complete the course, while Michael Waidhofer made 55, which was enough to secure him the first place in the overall standings.

Finals were played by the top five competitors on six holes, one of wich was specially designed for the finals - Michael Waidhofer (107), Radu Mikic (110), Nino Đurak (111), Vuckovic Aki (112) and Eric Osterwinter (114). After the first hole it seemed that Mikic could get in the battle for the title as he had made an excellent 10-meter putt for a birdie what had brought him just two throws behind the leader. But, on the second hole, throwing the first, he had missed the double mandatory and later lost his game, while Waidhofer raised his to the level of play from previous rounds, made few excellent throws, and eventually the final order remained the same as it was before the finals. That way Michael Waidhofer become the first winner of the Bundek Open.

Sunday's doubles tournament was attended by a total of twenty-two male and female players, among whom there were ten of those who were for the first time on the disc golf course and with disc in a hand. This tournament was of a promotional character and the final scores were not the most important so most of experienced players mixed with beginners to help them through the game that lasted over two hours and explain them all the rules and techniques of throwing the disc.

The goal by the organizers is for this tournament to become traditional as certainly in the coming years it could attract a large number of players from all over Europe. The other hope is that, in cooperation with the City of Zagreb and Park Bundek, we could be allowed to arrange a permanent course at this area that would be used for recreation by the Zagreb citizens, but as well by tourists interested in sports and recreation.

Tomislav Gorički (Zagreb), president of the Croatian Flying Disc Federation:
- I am very pleased that we have for the first time managed to organize a tournament at Bundek and I hope that we will find a way with the city and the Bundek park management to further develop disc golf in Zagreb. At the same time I invite all citizens of Zagreb to join us on a regular disc golf training on Tuesday afternoon in the area between the bridge Most Slobode and a small lake, and soon, I believe, on the weekly league competitions in the same area.

Michael Waidhofer (Vienna, Austria), Open Men winner:
- This tournament was for me a wonderful experience since I first played at Bundek and won my first PDGA tournament. As I was in the lead after the first round, the biggest challenge was to remain focused despite all the thoughts that went through my head. In particular, I was trying to improve my putting in the second round and continued with it what had brought me success in the final. I really liked playing by the lake in the spring atmosphere, a special challenge of this terrain were technically demanding and diverse holes. Even the short holes, that seemingly were easier to play had to be played carefully and with different techniques. I think that on Bundek Open at least once I have used each disc from my bag, which is not often the case at other tournaments.
The organization by the tournament director Dinko Šimenc and company Lagoda was excellent, as well as a beautiful sunny day in which we played. In my opinion, if it becomes traditional, Bundek Open will become an indispensable tournament in the calendar of many disc golfers from Europe.

Danica Pajtak (Disc Golf Club Varazdin), Open Women winner:
- I think that the first disc golf tournament in Zagreb was a great thing. On Sunday for recreational doubles a lot of beginners tried disc golf and it seems that disc golf would be an ideal additional content for this beautiful park in Zagreb.

Aleksander Savnik (Ljubljana, Slovenia):
- The course was excellent, and the park is an ideal location for disc golf. I had a great fun, hang out with nice people and made new friends. I'm returnirg to Ljubljana to practice, but I'm coming back next year to achieve a better result.

Svit Savnik (Ljubljana, Slovenia), 14 years old, the only player of junior age:
- It was great. I especially liked the diverse course combining long and short holes. I will certainly be coming back next year, and hopefully there will be more young players with whom I could compete in the junior category.

Dejana Čorak (Zagreb):
- Bundek Open was my first real encounter with disc golf. I have heard earlier through social networks about this sport where instead of balls you throw "Frisbee" and baskets take on the function of holes in golf, which sounded interesting and I could not wait for the first opportunity to play in Zagreb. To my great surprise, it was not as easy as it seemed, but it made the pleasure of learning something new even higher. With each shot I was trying more and figuring out how to make it to the basket in as few throws as possible. It was a beautiful sunny day that I spent with trying out something new and interesting in great company - the perfect combination. And yes, in a way I got "hooked" and immediately purchased a disc so that I can practice on my own until a new disc golf meeting.

1st Bundek Open announcment article is available here.