Denmark’s Anders Schmidt Hansen heads home for the ECCO Tour Championship looking to secure the victory that would burst the pressure bubble surrounding the European Challenge Tour’s annual nail-biting climax.
With just nine events remaining on the 2007 Challenge Tour Schedule, Hansen is precariously placed at 19th on the Rankings – just one place within the all important top 20 qualifying positions for The 2008 European Tour.
The 29 year old, who secured his first Challenge Tour win at the MAN NÖ Open in Austria in July, is fully aware of his position as the Challenge Tour players move into the most important part of their season, when dreams and nightmares often become reality.
Hansen will lead the Danish attack at the Odense Golf Club in the hope of taking a significant step towards guaranteeing a happy ending to his year.
“At this time of the year every tournament is important – you have to get in there and commit to everything and hope that you can play well and get results,” said Hansen.
“It’s almost like a play-off situation from now until the end of the season. Everyone knows what he has to do and there is certainly a bit more tension among the guys at this time of year.
“You can feel it at the tournaments now – everyone has an eye on the Rankings because we are playing for something and there is pressure on everyone.”
Hansen’s maiden success in Austria not only ensured a huge leap on the Rankings, it also represented a significant mental breakthrough in his mindset as he focuses on trying to join his countrymen like Thomas Björn, Anders Hansen, Søren Hansen and Søren Kjeldsen on The European Tour International Schedule.
“Being able to win in Austria was a big thing for me,” he said. “I had had some good results on the Challenge Tour over the last couple of seasons, but actually winning an event proved to me that when I am playing my best I can beat these guys I am playing against. That’s a very nice feeling.”
Hansen will have to overcome a many of the Challenge Tour’s best once more if he is to win for a second time at the Odense Golf Club this week.
Englishman Robert Dinwiddie and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari – two of the four two-time winners from the 2007 Schedule – are eyeing the priceless third victory of the season that would earn them instant promotion to The European Tour, while five of this season’s other champions are making their way to Denmark.