Wednesday, 08 August 2012
Knut Borsheim   (Getty Images)
Knut Borsheim (Getty Images)

Knut Borsheim, one of the leaders of the new generation of Norwegian golfing talent and the country’s only European Tour player, believes Norwegian golf is on the rise as he returned to play the Norwegian Challenge on the European Challenge Tour this week at Byneset GK, near Trondheim.

Alongside Espen Kofstad, who has already won on the Challenge Tour this year and has been on an imperious run of form of late, Borsheim is considered a big prospect in a country which has never had a major breakthrough star on the world stage.

The 25 year old believes that Norway can now follow in the footsteps of their Scandinavian counter-parts Denmark, who through Thorbjørn Olesen, as well as Challenge Tour stars Andreas Hartø and Morten Orum Madsen, have become one of Europe’s up and coming golf nations.

“I think there is a good group of young players coming up now,” said Borsheim, who burst on to the Challenge Tour scene with a runner up finish at the big-money Kazakhstan Open last year. “I remember from amateur level, my last year as an amateur was when Norway began to really break through.

“We got to the final of the European team championships and all of a sudden they won the Junior World Cup and then we had some good results on the international amateur scene and those players are coming up now as pros.

“Me and Espen are the oldest ones and we come from good backgrounds of working hard so I think we should be fairly good role models for the guys coming behind us.

“They should be saying, ‘well if Knut can be on The European Tour then I can be on it too’. From what I've seen at junior level, the standard is even higher so if they’re better than me at 18 then they’ll be a lot better than me when they’re 25.

“You need a guy on The European Tour who is up there because when I'm on tour now I don’t have any Norwegians to look up to and try to emulate but hopefully me and Espen can get on there and maybe in five years we might have five or ten players and one or two might be high up on the leaderboard every week.”

Borsheim, who earned the seventh European Tour card at the Qualifying School Final Stage last December, has not been on the form he would have liked on his debut season this year but believes a good result at Byneset Golfklubbe this week would give him the confidence boost he needs.

“Obviously I want to do well here and it feels like my game is going in the right direction so maybe this is a good week to start producing results,” he said. “I know the course here, I played it a couple of years ago and lost out to Espen actually, and he’s on fire now so I’ll have to go out and beat him this week.

“What has happened to him is the same as what happened to me last year. I didn’t play very well in my early events and everything was new to me, where I was just searching for something and seeing what other guys were doing. Then I went to Kazakhstan and I was close to winning there and all of a sudden you go to the next tournament thinking you beat all these guys.

“I haven’t even come close to having that experience this year and you need that, to be able to go to the range and be feel confident, cocky even, after some results. If you get some good tournaments under your belt, people will acknowledge you and you know yourself that you belong, instead of just going and trying to make the cuts, and that’s the biggest thing.”

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