One wouldn’t have guessed that the Long Drivers European Tour‘s Italy Championship would be one of the most-anticipated and pivotal events at the beginning of the season, but the storylines of 2018 collided at Terre Dei Consoli in Rome last weekend.
Martin “The Beard” Borgmeier faced a slim 200 point deficit in the LDET rankings behind Robin “The Hungarian Hulk” Horvath after Horvath notched another 2018 win last month in his home country of Germany. The two have been exchanging wins seemingly all season long, leaving it up to anyone’s guess at who’ll be no.1 at the end of the year.
The Italy Championship quarter finals began with a number of familiar names and competitive matchups — and rain. Dewald Lubbe and Christo Pretorious went head-to-head in a tight South African showdown with Lubbe squeaking through to the semis 346/OB/346 to OB/360/344. Scotland’s Chris Latta bested England’s Tyler Dangerfield in another close match 356/388 to 335/332. Hope for a marquee match up between Horvath and Borgmeier in the semis held on the other side of the bracket for a while, but the number 1 and number 2 ranked players had to face off against Wales’ Bryan Roberts and Belgium’s Tanguy Marionex, respectively.
Roberts proved the spoiler, ousting the top-ranked Horvath with two 400+-yard bombs (406/403) which were too much for The Hulk’s 390/388 showing to overcome. Horvath’s exit would pave the way for The Beard to claim the no.1 spot in the 2018 LDET rankings, and despite the elements, he made quick work of Marionex 397/382 to 345/312 to advance to the semis.
After his impressive showing in the quarters, Roberts seemed poised to give Borgmeier a run for a spot in the finals, but The Beard survived a close matchup in the first semifinal, going 342/365 to Roberts’ 340/353. Third ranked Lubbe struggled to find the grid a little bit, but so did Latta, and Lubbe’s 360/OB/OB/332 was enough to advance him to the finals over Latta’s OB/340/OB/330 effort. Roberts and Latta then went to battle for the 3rd podium position, with Roberts’ 339/354 easily overtaking Latta’s 293/326.
The question on everyone’s mind heading into the big final was if Borgmeier could close on another victory and add to his outstanding 2018 season, and put himself at the top of the rankings. That soon proved to be an inevitability with The Beard’s strong 352/344/357 showing in the final matchup, cruising past Lubbe for the title. Lubbe’s second-place finish and 333/349/OB effort cemented his no.3 spot in the rankings as well.
Borgmeier, with 5300 points, now holds a 400-point lead over no.2 ranked Horvath. Lubbe sits in the no.3 ranking with 3600 points, and England’s Jordan Brooks and Matt Nicolle round out the top-5 rankings (at 3500 and 2400 points, respectively).
Next on the LDET schedule is the very much anticipated and first-ever Nations Cup. Most certainly one of the season’s marquee events, international teams will compete for glory at the Château de Taulane in La Martre, France, September 21st-22nd in a first-of-its-kind competition. The top-8 ranked LDET players after the Nation’s Cup will be qualified for the Masters LDET Cup, which will be held Saturday, October 20th at Panorámica Golf in Spain.
Follow LDET online and on social media for up-to-date tournament information and live posting during events, and CGB for recaps of the 2018 season’s big final events.