Alexander Knappe returns to Switzerland – the scene of his maiden European Challenge Tour victory earlier this season – targeting another win when the prestigious Rolex Trophy tees off in Geneva.
The German triumphed in the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf, and has also added two third place finishes and two further top tens this year to climb to seventh place in the Road to Oman Rankings.
The 27 year old is making his first appearance in the exclusive 42-man tournament at Golf Club de Genève, and is hopeful of repeating his previous success on Swiss soil this week.
“This is my first time here and it’s so nice – the golf course, the clubhouse, the surroundings with Lake Geneva,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the best places we go, from the look of it at least.
“The course is in very good shape. They redid the first nine I hear and the greens are rolling really well, and the views are great, with the forests all around.
“It’s true, I had a good week when we were last in Switzerland, and the weather is a little bit better this time! I’m very happy to be back here, it feels good.
“It gave me a lot of confidence, getting that win. It’s always great to win, especially on the Challenge Tour – it was the biggest win of my career so far, so it was a big week for me in Switzerland so, now I’m here again, I’m aiming for a win again.
“It’s a Pro-Am, which is a bit strange, but I played the Dimension Data on the Sunshine Tour earlier this year, which is a similar format, so I think I already know how it feels to play with amateurs in a tournament round and I actually liked it – it was a relaxed feeling and you can really enjoy it.”
Knappe comes to Switzerland refreshed after taking a week off, and, having finished in a tie for sixth in his last outing at the Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson, in good form.
With the 2016 season now entering its final third, focus is inevitably drawn to the top 15 on the Road to Oman, who will earn European Tour graduation at the end of the season, but Knappe insists he is not going to let that distract him.
“I’m just trying to play my best,” he said. “Every week I try to shoot as low as I can, and it’s panned out a few times – I have two top threes I think, so that’s good.
“I’m focusing on another win, though, especially with the last run of tournaments. You can’t really say how many points you need to finish in the top 15, but I think another win will get me easily in there.
“Everybody is playing well, it’s a strong field this year on the Challenge Tour, very competitive, so you always have to play your best every week.
“My goal for the year was to win a Challenge Tour event, to give myself a full category here. I already did that, so that’s a good feeling, to already have achieved your goal for the season, so now I can just enjoy the rest of it, enjoy every week and all the places we go.
“I’m not looking for the top 15, I want to win again, that’s my goal now. I think winning is the most important thing, especially on the Challenge Tour, and if you win two times it’s most likely you’ll have a really good chance of making it into the top 15 anyway.“You never know, though – you can’t control the other guys, you can only control your own game, so I think for me just focusing on another win will be the key.”