Nicolai von Dellingshausen is hoping he can continue his rise up the ranks of world golf by claiming a maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Kazakhstan Open.
The German, who turned professional in December last year, only began competing on the Challenge Tour last month after three wins on the satellite Pro Golf Tour handed him promotion on to the 2017 Road to Oman.
The 24 year old has made an immediate impact on Europe’s top developmental tour, finishing 11th, second and tenth in three of his four starts this term – which has taken von Dellingshausen up to 56th place on the Road to Oman.
With last minute heroics by Sweden’s Oscar Lengden preventing von Dellinghsausen from claiming a maiden Challenge Tour triumph at the Bridgestone Challenge two weeks ago, the German is eager to be challenging for silverware again in Almaty this week.
“It was great to be in contention,” he said. “The finish from Oscar was amazing and that was okay for me because I didn’t give the win away – someone took it from me.
“I didn’t go bogey, bogey, double bogey to finish – I made two birdies on the last three whereas Oscar made two birdies and an eagle so that’s fine. He fully deserved to win.
“My goals for the year have slightly changed. When I started my Challenge Tour season in Norway I felt that the players were really good so I just thought to myself ‘be patient and wait and see how this turns out’.
“But I am now way higher on the Road to Oman than I thought I would be so my expectations have definitely changed.
“The whole season has been a little better than I expected at first, and sometimes I think it is best to go somewhere without having any expectations.
“I have just been going out there and trying my best and at the end of the last three weeks that has been good enough.”
Von Dellingshausen arrived in Kazakhstan for the first time yesterday and has already admitted that he is a huge fan of Almaty’s Nurtau Golf Club – which is playing host to the 13th edition of the Kazakhstan Open this week.
“I really like the course,” he said. “It is in great condition with really tough rough – so you really have to hit the greens. If you are on the greens they are rolling so well that there is always a chance of making birdie if you find them.
“But if you miss the greens then you can really be punished with this rough – which should make it interesting this week.”