European Challenge Tour Number One Tapio Pulkkanen is hungry to replicate “that winning feeling” during the final four events on the 2017 Road to Oman.
The Finn secured a first Challenge Tour title at the Kazakhstan Open two weeks ago after showing nerves of steel to overcome America’s Chase Koepka in a three-hole play-off.
His victory at the lucrative Almaty event came as no surprise to many on Europe’s top developmental tour – the big-hitting 27 year old finished as a runner-up at both the Turkish Airlines Challenge and the D+D REAL Czech Challenge earlier this season.
Now on top of the Rankings with just four tournaments to go, Pulkkanen believes he can enter his debut season on the European Tour as the winner of the 2017 Road to Oman Rankings by adding more silverware to his trophy cabinet.
“I think the most important thing about the win was the feeling that it gave me – the winning feeling is the best in the world and that’s what I want again and again,” he said.
“Winning was really nice in Kazakhstan and I would really like to taste a win one more time this year. It was an important result for me, my results were good at the start of the year but I needed something big, and it was great to do it in Kazakhstan, in a big tournament.
“Leading the Rankings is a new situation for me but I have a really good feeling about it. I’m just going to try to maintain my position for the last month of the season.
“Overall it’s good to be high in the Rankings for next year anyway, to get into some of the bigger European Tour events, so it’s important to be up there so I’m going to try to stay there.
“The pressure is never off, even if you like to say it is! I know I will play on the European Tour next year but I will keep playing my best in the last four tournaments.
“I played Oman before when it was not the Grand Final and I’ve played the course in Ras Al Khaimah, not the tournament, but China is totally new – I’ve never been to Asia at all!
“It will definitely be an interesting couple of weeks, and some big tournaments offering big opportunities for all of us.”