Daniel Vancsik will draw on the memories of his maiden European Tour victory when he tees up at this week’s Madeira Islands Open.
Vancsik’s victory four years ago was secured at a different course, as the €700,000 event moved from Santo da Serra Golf Club to its current home, the Seve Ballesteros-designed Porto Santo Golfe, in 2009; but the Argentine is nonetheless delighted to be back on Madeiran soil as he plots a return path to The European Tour.
The 34 year old went through a series of unsuccessful swing changes last year, which ultimately cost him his place on The European Tour, but having been reunited with his former coach Vancsik is now confident of bouncing back at the first time of asking.
Vancsik’s form thus far on this season’s Challenge Tour has been steady rather than spectacular, having made all three cuts only to struggle to impose himself at the top of the leaderboard, but the two time European Tour champion is hopeful of recapturing former glories on the Portuguese holiday island.
He said: “We’re obviously playing at a different course this week but it’s the same country, so I have very good memories of my win in 2007. It would be great to come back here and win again, so I’ll be trying my best. It’s a big tournament for all the Challenge Tour players, because with such a big prize fund to play for here, if you can have a good week then you will have a great chance of winning your card. And it’s also a very special week because Seve designed the course, so I’m sure every player in the field will be trying very hard to win.
“I’m playing much better this season, and I’m feeling more confident every week. You can never predict when it’s going to be your week to win, but my results so far this season have been very consistent, so hopefully I can keep improving. I think I tried to make too many swing changes last year, which set me back. But I’m back with my old coach again now, and I’m feeling much better.”
One of the form players teeing up this week is Antony Snobeck, who broke a five-year drought with victory at last week’s Mugello Tuscany Open on the Challenge Tour.
Snobeck, whose native France will host The Ryder Cup in 2018, leapt to fourth place in the Challenge Tour Rankings on the back of his success in Florence, and with a bumper prize fund on offer this week the 28 year old is hopeful of climbing even higher.
He said: “I was very happy with my victory in Italy, and hopefully I can keep it going this week. Most prize funds on the Challenge Tour are around €150,000 to €200,000, so this is a very important week for us. I’ve been here for the last two years but haven’t played that well, so hopefully I can do better this week. The course looks fantastic and the weather’s normally good, so we should be in for a good tournament.”