Monday, 04 August 2014
Jens Fahrbring - 2013 Norwegian Challenge Champion (Benjamin A Ward) ()
Jens Fahrbring - 2013 Norwegian Challenge Champion (Benjamin A Ward) ()

Jens Fahrbring will this week bid to launch a successful title defence in the Norwegian Challenge, a tournament Swedes have dominated in recent seasons. 

Fahrbring endured a sluggish start to the year after missing the cut in Kenya and Spain, but in recent weeks he has rediscovered his best form, culminating in a tied second finish behind Andrew Johnston of England at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge a fortnight ago.

His cheque for €16,000 moved the Swede into the top 30 of the Rankings, but having subsequently fallen to 38th place after narrowly missing the cut in Azerbaijan last week, the 30 year old will be hoping a return to the Norwegian capital Oslo can reignite his 2014 challenge.

Twelve months ago, Fahrbring laid the foundations for victory with a quite stunning round of 62 on the third day of the Norwegian Challenge.
 
Having only made the cut on the mark, a career-best effort – which included an ace on the eighth hole – catapulted him into the lead, before he cruised to a three-shot victory courtesy of a closing round of 66.
 
Fahrbring will have a different course to contend with this year, however, as Miklagard Golf Club hosts the fourth edition of the €175,000 event.

The 7,349 yards, par 72 parkland course, which opened in 2002, is located in Kløfta, just to the north of Oslo, and is already ranked among the top ten Scandinavian courses and within the top 100 courses of the world.

Situated in an area with strong historic traditions that go back as far as the Vikings, Miklagard (meaning great city) is actually the Viking name for Constantinople, now Istanbul, a city with which they had important trading and cultural connections. To reinforce this heritage all of the holes are named after Norse monarchs and deities.

Other notable names who will be tackling the Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed layout this week include Fahrbring’s compatriot Pontus Widegren, who finished in a tie for second place alongside Daniel Im last year.
 
Widegren and Fahrbring will both be bidding to continue Sweden’s success story in the tournament, with Kristoffer Broberg having beaten Alvaro Velasco in a pay-off to take the title in 2012.

It was Broberg’s second win of the season, and the Swede swiftly followed up with victory in Finland the following week to earn instant promotion to The European Tour.

Challenge Tour champions William Harrold of England and Spaniard Antonio Hortal will this week both go in search of their second victories of the season, whilst Harrold’s compatriot Matthew Fitzpatrick will continue his golfing education with a third successive appearance on the Challenge Tour.

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