Alex Noren is hoping the Swedish crowds can roar him to victory as he goes in search of a home soil hat-trick at the Scandinavian Invitation.
“It’s nice to be here, it’s a great set up. The crowds here in Sweden, they love golf, we’ve always had big crowds and they support us very well. It’s more like a football game.
“It would be good to have a good finish, be up there on Sunday. That’s what I’m looking forward to and it would be very nice.”
The Ryder Cup star won this event in 2011 and 2015, with the latter victory the start of a run of form that saw him claim five European Tour wins in two years, including the inaugural Rolex Series event at the 2017 BMW PGA Championship.
This will be his first time playing this event at Hills Golf & Sports Club after he missed last season’s edition, and he is looking forward to having plenty of home support. The 37-year-old admits the course has changed since he last played here almost a decade ago, but he feels it will test every facet of the game this week.
“Your overall game you have to play quite well. It’s tricky around the greens, it’s quite wet so you’re going to get some tough lies so you need to hit the green, you need to hit the fairways.
“It’s windy, you’ve got to manoeuvre the ball well and it seems like you’ve got to hit it pretty long off the tee because you don’t get any roll. It’s a mix of many courses but it’s down to the whole game. Get your game in shape and see what shots you need.”
Meanwhile, Paul Waring feels he is better equipped to win on the European Tour as he launches his title defence in Sweden tomorrow.
“I love coming to Sweden. Obviously, I have had some success here in the past, it is a different golf course this year, but I have played four events in Sweden and it is nice to be back.”
The Englishman claimed a maiden European Tour victory in Gothenburg last season and has not looked back since, claiming four individual top tens on the 2019 Race to Dubai including his two best finishes in Rolex Series events.
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“It’s funny, the year I won on paper the course definitely didn’t suit me, but I just played really well that week and managed to win. It is always nice to come here, it has a clean vibe about it with lots of greenery, so maybe it reminds me a bit of Sheffield.
“I have played well so far this season and the only thing missing for me is a win, so it would be nice if it is this week, next week, or any of the weeks left for the rest of this year.
“It was great from what I can remember, I can’t believe it has been three years to be honest. I have always been lucky enough to be supported here and this year playing with Henrik and Marcus for the first two days will be a great experience.”
His compatriot and 2016 champion Matthew Fitzpatrick also joins him in the field alongside home heroes Henrik Stenson and Marcus Kinhult. The 24-year-old Englishman is reminded of his hometown of Sheffield when he tees it up in Sweden and believes a win could be just around the corner after losing out in a play-off at the BMW International Open.