Horses for courses is a term often banded around clubhouses the world over, and it is very much applicable this week at the Aegean Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort, as Florian Fritsch returns to a Beckenbauer Course he has had success on in the past.
The man born just two hour’s drive away in Munich, who now makes his home in Neckargemünd outside Heidelberg, has won two Bavarian State PGA Championships on this course in the past and is currently ninth on the Rankings after some top form this season.
He is yet to win on the Challenge Tour, but so far this year he has registered four top ten finishes from six starts, including a narrow play-off loss to William Harrold a fortnight ago at the Belgian Challenge Open.
That was the third runner-up result of his career on European golf’s second tier, having had an impressive first campaign in 2009, which almost saw him win in his first career start at the ALLIANZ Open Côtes d'Armor Bretagne.
There have been a few bumps in the road since then, including the emergence of his fear of flying, but after a successful spell last year on the EPD Tour he is back and playing his best once again.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said the 28 year old. “I’ve taken a break this week and only just arrived today. I have fond memories of this place as they have held the Bavarian State PGA here before, and I think the only difference is the Tour might use a few different tees, but otherwise it should be the same.
“I’ll go have a putt this afternoon to see what the greens are like, then just go out over the next few days and see what happens. Physically I feel alright, as I’ve been on the road for five or six weeks in a row, so we’ll see what happens this week.
“I won twice here in a tournament held over two rounds, one on the Mercedes Course and one here on the Beckenbauer. I haven’t played it under these conditions, so I can’t be sure what it will play like, but from what I’ve heard it is alright.”
Fritsch explains his form as the result of a new relaxed attitude, with the German doing his utmost to not put too much pressure on himself. He earned his place on the Challenge Tour this year thanks to his number one status on the EPD Tour last season, and he is pleased to have transferred that form into 2014 so far.
“For me it is just a matter of not trying too hard, being more relaxed about things, and not getting too worried about a bogey or too,” explains Fritsch. “I’m just trying my best at the next shot and seeing where that gets me in the end, which is something that has definitely helped, and I have enjoyed the game a bit more as a result. That has been the key, seeing it like a game, rather than a job.
“It is great to see that I have transferred my game from the EPD Tour onto the Challenge Tour this season. I haven’t won yet, but I’ve got three seconds, and even though I have said I don’t want to be too harsh or fierce on myself, it would be nice to get a win. If it were to come this week, considering the form I have had here, it would be phenomenal, especially here in Germany."
Fritsch will be joined at Hartl Resort by compatriot Moritz Lampert, who has won twice already this year, at both the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda and the Fred Olsen Challenge de España. They will form part of a 15 strong home contingent looking to take the title this week in Bavaria.
Rankings leader Jordi Garcia Pinto is also in attendance in Germany looking to continue the form that has him way out in front on the season long list after his win at the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open last month.
Andrew Johnstone is also in the field after he picked up the first win of his Challenge Tour career last week in Scotland, as is Barclays Kenya Open winner Jake Roos, Turkish Airlines Challenge Champion Oliver Farr and Belgian Challenge Open victor Harrold.