Saturday, 05 July 2014
Chris Hanson  (Getty Images)
Chris Hanson (Getty Images)

There will be few weeks longer this season than that of Chris Hanson’s so far, as he followed up his qualification for the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool with a stellar first 36 holes on his return to the Challenge Tour.

Two rounds of 69 at Hillside Golf Club secured the Huddersfield native’s Major Championship bow later this month, and he has subsequently taken that form into the Aegean Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort in Germany.

His one under par opening score was a decent effort considering all the travels of Wednesday, as he made his way over to the Beckenbauer Course located some two hours east of Munich.

He followed that up with an exemplary round of 67 on Friday though to post six under and join a five way tie for the lead, meaning he is very much in the hunt for a maiden title heading into the weekend.

Needless to say, the Englishman was delighted with his form so far in Bavaria.

“It has been a long week, but I have been playing nice for a while and just not been getting the results,” said the 28 year old. “To qualify for the Open on Tuesday has given me a bit of a kick start, a bit of a boost, and hopefully I will start playing some better stuff now.

“For two days I have played lovely, and not hit it in trouble a lot, and there are plenty of chances out there to make a good percentage of putts. I’ve been on a high after I qualified on Tuesday, and I’m having a week off next week, so I’ll probably sleep the whole time.

“I just need to rest up here over the weekend. After a long day on Tuesday I’ll just try and enjoy it, as it’s nice to be in a position to compete again, to try and win a tournament. That’s everyone’s aim, to get into that position, so we’ll just see what happens.”

His Major Championship debut is clearly very much at the forefront of his mind though, and when quizzed, it was clear how excited he is to be teeing it up on one of the game’s grandest stages.

Not only will he be mixing it with some of the biggest names in the sport that week, but he will also get a feel for what life could be like if he were to earn his way onto The European Tour, a fact that is not wasted on the Englishman.

“The Open is going to be unbelievable,” said Hanson. “It is anyone’s dream come true, especially anyone who plays golf in the UK. I’ve got a practice round booked next Wednesday, so I’ll get a taste of it when no one is there, when it is nice and quiet, and I’ll get to see exactly what it is like.

“It will certainly give me a taste of what we are playing for out here, another nudge as to what life is like on The European Tour, and it should drive me on to make my way off the Challenge Tour as soon as possible. And you never know what will happen that week, dreams can come true.

“My expectations aren’t going to be super high though, but I’m playing good, so there is no reason why I can’t do well. On the other hand, it might be the only chance I get to play in the Open.

“It will be pretty special looking along that range, seeing all the big players, and to have my name read out on the first tee will be pretty scary. My friends and family will be in the crowd too, shouting and hollering support and abuse I’m sure, so it should be fun. We’ll have a great week whatever happens, first or last.”

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