Sweden’s Fredrik Widmark may find a slight distraction in his bid to secure his place on The 2006 European Tour by winning the Telia Challenge Waxholm in his homeland this weekend – fatherhood!
As one of three two time winners on the 2005 European Challenge Tour, Widmark can gain immediate promotion to the Tour by winning a third Challenge Tour event in the same season, but his biggest opponent could well be Mother Nature, should she decide that it is time for his pregnant girlfriend to give birth.
The 30 year old is excited, if not a little daunted, by the prospect of becoming a dad for the first time, but he is hoping that he can secure that third victory before fatherhood becomes his main priority.
Widmark has had a fantastic season in 2005, winning the Riu Tikida Hotels Moroccan Classic and the Texbond Challenge to put himself in contention to win the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Becoming a father means he will play just three out of the six remaining events on the 2005 Challenge Tour Schedule – the Telia Challenge Waxholm, the Abama Open de Canarias and the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final – but victory at the Waxholm Golf Club on the outskirts of Stockholm would mean he could spend the rest of the year doting on his newborn baby, safe in the knowledge that he will be playing alongside The European Tour’s biggest names next season.
“I should probably be more nervous about becoming a father than I am about the golf!” smiled Widmark. “My girlfriend is coming with me this week and I just hope she doesn’t have the baby when I am out on the golf course!
“This will be my third last event of the year – I am going to play in Tenerife and then the Grand Final but that will be all because we are going to have the baby and that will be my main priority for a while. We all get that age where we are ready to start a family and this is my time now – it’s going to be great.”
With the Challenge Tour’s other multiple winners – Rafael Gomez of Argentina and Scotsman Marc Warren – not playing in Sweden, Widmark has the chance to become the first player to take advantage of the ‘three wins’ rule that was introduced on the Challenge Tour last year.
Despite not knowing the Waxholm Golf Club, Widmark is confident that playing in his homeland will give him an advantage that he hopes to exploit.
He said: “I don’t know the course too well because I have never actually played there but I am told that it is one of the longest in Sweden so that should suit me. I think that most of the courses in Sweden are pretty similar and it’s a lot easier to adapt to these kinds of courses
“I’m looking forward to it – there would be no better place for me to secure that third win that at home. There is something special about playing in tournaments in your home country. You are certainly more comfortable there and because we play all over the place it is always nice to play at home, where you are more familiar with everything and generally more relaxed.”