Two years ago Benjamin Hebert picked up the first of three victories that season at the Swiss Challenge, en route to graduating to The European Tour a little more than a month later.
In 2011 the Frenchman shot three rounds of 67 at Golf Sempachersee, Lucerne to establish a three shot lead, and a steady final round of 71 gave him a four shot win over Englishman Jamie Moul to claim his maiden Challenge Tour title.
From there Hebert claimed victory the next week in the English Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, before making it a trio of titles a month later at the Rolex Trophy in Geneva, and so instantly earning him a European Tour card.
The following season he played a full schedule on The European Tour, making eight cuts from 28 events, with his best finish a tie for sixth at the Lyoness Open. As a result the Frenchman finished 176th on the Race to Dubai last year and lost his playing privileges, but is now back where it all started at Golf Sempachersee this week, looking to find his best form once again.
There is a notable similarity so far this season between his form coming into the Swiss Challenge now and in 2011, as he has once again made numerous cuts, but not really challenged for any titles.
“I didn’t have a great start to my season two years ago and the win in Switzerland freed me up and showed me that I can win a tournament on the Challenge Tour, as I hadn’t done so before,” explained Hebert. “Then when I won the week after, it was great to have that feeling two weeks in a row, and when I won the Rolex Trophy a month after that, it was unbelievable.
“I’m in a similar situation right now to 2011, so I just need to get a good result here and see what happens. I’m playing well, I just need to do some work on my putting, as I have been playing well since the start of the season and have only missed two cuts.
“I just need to play a bit stronger, and I’ll have a good performance. So I’ll practise more, feel some good things, and maybe this week could be the one again.”
There is no doubt that Hebert has the game to compete - and win - on the Challenge Tour, but he admits he needs the kind of confidence boost he got at this event two years ago to really believe in himself.
The Frenchman is currently 59th on the Challenge Tour Ranking, with a best finish this year of a tie for 19th at the Challenge de Madrid. He said: “I like the course this week. It is short, but from the tee you have to get the ball in good position to then attack the pins. The greens are good, and the scenery with the mountains and lakes is beautiful.
“I’m feeling confident, and I’d love to have that winning feeling at this event once again.”
Also set to tee it up in Switzerland is Dylan Fritelli who won his maiden Challenge Tour title in the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda at the end of June, while Shiv Kapur, who won the first event of the season at the Gujarat Kensville Challene 2013, will also play in Lucerne.
Former world tennis number one and two time grand slam champion, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, will also continue his golfing career in the Swiss mountains.