Friday, 19 March 2010

Johan Axgren of Sweden secured the second European Challenge Tour victory of his remarkable 2006 season at the Tusker Kenya Open, securing the top prize of €25,600 that sent him soaring to the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings.


Axgren began the final round at the Karen Golf Club with a three shot lead and ended the day four shots clear of the English duo of James Hepworth and Gary Lockerbie, who shared second place, while Anders S Hansen of Denmark finished a further shot back.


With many of his immediate challengers failing to make any significant inroads into that three shot advantage, Axgren soon found himself playing relaxed par golf and enjoying the final round experience having began the day in a markedly different state of mind.


He may be a man who had previously won four Challenge Tour titles in his career, the most recent coming at last month’s Kai Fieberg Costa Rica Open 2006, but Axgren found himself a nervous wreck on his way to the golf course before his final round commenced.


He soon relaxed into his warm up though, and, as his fourth round got underway, had transformed his nervousness into positive, victorious thoughts.


“I don’t know why I was so nervous but I was really feeling it this morning,” said Axgren. “It was a little bit unusual for me to be that nervous, but as soon as I got on the range and started to go through the routine I kind of settled into it.


“Then, before I knew it we were teeing off and I just started to think about the chance I had to win and that I was capable of doing that if I played as good as I had for the previous three rounds.


“As it happens, no-one really came at me. I was making a lot of pars and then managed to see a leaderboard when I was at the turn, and I was still three shots ahead. The next board I saw was on the 16th and I still had the three shot lead and I realised then that I was probably going to win – and it was eventually by four shots which is very pleasing.”


Axgren’s win places him firmly at the top of the Rankings as the new Challenge Tour Number One, with season earnings of €61,293, and as the man to catch in the race for The 2007 European Tour. Having won his Tour card on the Challenge Tour in 2004 but then failing to retain it last season, Axgren is delighted to be back on course to return to the top level.


“It feels nice to be at the top of the Rankings, and I now have a great chance to get my card for next season on The European Tour. If I can keep playing the way I am then I am sure I will back on Tour next season.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1AXGREN, JohanSWE18-10
4HANSEN, Anders SchmidtDEN18-5
T5KAMTE, JamesRSA18-4
T5OKELLO, JacobKEN18-4
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