Last week’s Italian Open runner-up Laurie Canter hopes his good form can continue as the European Tour visits Cyprus for the first time in its 48-year history for the inaugural Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.
“I was really happy with last week, especially how I played Thursday and Friday. It was great to be up there all four days – a new experience. Still a bit disappointed not to get it done but, to be honest, I’m ready to throw myself into this week.”
The Englishman held the 54-hole lead last week at Chervò Golf Club, but was pipped to the post on the final hole by Ross McGowan. Nevertheless, the 30-year-old is feeling positive after his second runner-up finish in the space of five weeks, adding to his Portugal Masters result.
“I’m getting asked (why I’m playing well) a lot. I can’t put my finger on anything specific. I’m trying to play a bit more golf at home – a few more competitive games. I’ve joined a golf club (Wisley Golf Club) with some of the other guys who play on Tour, which has been really good for me to have that competitive practice I’ve really craved when not on Tour. Apart from that, nothing radical. I’m trying to enjoy my golf more, which is easy when it’s going well. Just have a general, relaxed outlook in that way.”
Canter will start this week’s event in the company of Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Robert MacIntyre of Scotland. Detry has made the cut in each of the nine events he has played since the resumption of the 2020 season in July, including two runner-up finishes at the Hero Open and Celtic Classic.
“I have played some really good golf. I had some good finishes when tournaments restarted in the UK,” said Detry. “I haven’t missed a cut, had a fun U.S. Open experience. It feels alright but I needed a bit of rest after Wentworth – that was much needed. I think I’m refreshed now and I’m ready to go for two good weeks.
“I want to get inside the top 50 in the world. This week I want to get a good feel for the golf course, stick to my game plan and hopefully get something good out of it. I’m pretty confident about that. Then the second week should be a fun format. Being able to try that out will be fun.”
Also in the field this week is Canter’s compatriot Sam Horsfield, a two-time winner on the European Tour since the Race to Dubai restarted. Horsfield held off the challenge of Detry at both the Hero Open and Celtic Classic to win twice in the space of three weeks on the UK Swing.
“The weather is perfect,” said Horsfield. “It’s an interesting golf course, it’s extremely hilly. But I really like it. It’s a lot like a Florida golf course – Bermuda rough and stuff like that. The greens are unbelievable and I’m looking forward to getting the week going.
“I think power will be key here. It’s not too narrow so you can send it on a few holes. The greens are so pure if you give yourself some opportunities, you’re going to make a few. I’m rolling the ball well so it should be a good week.”
The Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus will host the European Tour for the next fortnight, with the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown taking place next week. Cyprus is the 50th nation to have staged an event since the European Tour was founded in 1972.