Ahead of the 2019 European Challenge Tour season getting under way, we take a look at the hottest stars from Europe’s four satellite tours. Here we profile 2018 Nordic Golf League Number One Aksel Olsen.
Olsen became the first Norwegian to top the Nordic Golf League Order of Merit since Morten Hagen managed the feat in 2005. The 26 year old narrowly missed out on a Challenge Tour card 12 months ago as he finished sixth in the NGL Rankings by 62 euros/points. However, he made sure he would be playing on Europe’s top developmental tour in 2019 as he earned two wins on the way to clinching top spot.
The Norwegian started the year in blistering fashion by winning the second event of the season at the PGA Catalunya Resort Championship during the Nordic Golf League’s Winter Series. He was tied at the top with Joel Sjöholm at the conclusion of the final round and beat the Swede on the second extra play-off hole.
The winning formula nearly returned three months later as he finished fifth at the Willis Towers Watson Masters before taking a share of second place at the Stora Hotellet Bryggan Fjällbacka Open two weeks later.
Back-to-back top tens came soon after, as Olsen began to ramp up the pressure amongst the top five on the Order of Merit. A tied fourth finish at the Gamle Fredrikstad Open was followed with a share of ninth at the SM Match.
With eight events to play, including the Freja Final Series – the last four events on the Nordic Golf League – Olsen shone the brightest, showing why he deserved his Challenge Tour card.
The Norwegian took a share of sixth place at the Åhus KGK ProAm 2018 before missing the next event to play Made in Denmark on the European Tour where he finished tied 17th. He returned to NGL action by claiming successive runner-up places and took third in the opening Final Series event.
After nine top tens, including one victory, the winning recipe was cooked once again as he claimed the Race to Himmerland title. Brimmed with confidence he finished second at the season-ending Tourfinalen hosted by Barsebäck Resort to lift the Freja Final Series title and take the Number One position on the Nordic Golf League Order of Merit.
2018 Nordic Golf League graduates: Aksel Olsen (Norway), Jacob Glennemo (Sweden), Benjamin Poke (Denmark), Marcus Helligkilde (Denmark), Martin Eriksson* (Sweden).*Eriksson finished seventh on the Nordic Golf League Order of Merit but gained Challenge Tour status after Martin Simonsen and Christian Gloet’s made the cut at European Tour Final Stage Qualifying School, thus improving their category.