Home favourite Lucas Bjerregaard is enjoying a memorable season on the 2019 Race to Dubai, and he believes that another special week lies ahead at Made in Denmark presented by FREJA.
“It’s a huge event and the crowds are amazing, they really are some of the best. They bring a lot, they just enjoy it, it’s like a party. It’s pretty special to play in front of them.”
The 27 year old had just graduated on to the European Tour when the event was first played in 2014, and since then he has gone to win two European Tour titles and break into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“When it started I was a European Tour rookie. It’s great for some of the young guys coming up on the Challenge Tour and Nordic League, they get a chance to see what’s in front of them in a few years time. It’s pretty cool and something that will mature all the young guys.”
He is hopeful that more young Danish talent will be inspired by playing in front of vociferous locals at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort this week, in an event that is renowned for fan friendly activities that bring the players closer to the passionate crowds.
Bjerregaard has arrived in his homeland in good spirits as he seeks more success in a season that has seen him famously beat Tiger Woods en route to finishing fourth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and record a top 20 finish at last week’s US PGA Championship, drawing huge cheers after an ace on the par three 17th at Bethpage State Park Black Course.
“That’s as much fun as I’ve had on a golf course for as long as I can remember (at the US PGA Championship). The crowd went nuts when I made my hole-in-one but then I think they went even more nuts when Lucas Glover holed his bunker shot.
“We were both just walking up the 18th and we were like ‘what just happened here in the last ten minutes?’. It was insane but it was great fun. It was only my second hole-in-one but it was a pretty good hole to do it on.
“I’ve changed the way I prepare and practise a little bit over the last year or so and I think that’s paying off. I’m spending my time a little bit more wisely and doing all the right things.”
Lee Westwood is making only his second appearance in this event, but he’s also eyeing a successful week after narrowly losing out to countryman Matt Wallace in a four-man play-off at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club last season.
It’s the first time he has teed it up at this venue, but he admits he’s heard a lot about the atmosphere, particularly at the famous Himmerland Hill that encompasses the 16 th hole, where around 3000 fans pack into the natural amphitheatre.
“It’s a course I’ve heard a lot of things about and hopefully it can suit me as much as last year’s golf course suited me and we can go one better. I’ve heard a lot about the 16th surrounded by the crowds and it will be nice to go out there and experience it.
“The crowds are very keen and a lot of people come out to support. There’s a good vibe and atmosphere to the tournament. It would be nice to win. I’m still hungry to play well and win tournaments. I still go and practise nearly as much.
The 46 year old Englishman acted as a Vice Captain under DaneThomas Bjørn – who is unable to play this week due to an ankle injury – at last year’s Ryder Cup, one of many highlights of a 2018 season that included three top tens en route to his 24th European Tour victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.