Joachim B. Hansen will go in search of his second European Challenge Tour title of 2018 when he tees off on home soil at the Made in Denmark Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel.
The Dane is second on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah after he claimed the Turkish Airlines Challenge title in April, and he has recorded a further four top-ten finishes to close the gap on current leader Lorenzo Gagli.
Hansen’s fantastic form sees him placed 169th in the Official World Golf Ranking and following his runner-up position at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts last week his focus is set on more Challenge Tour success.
The 27 year old returns to Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort where he shared 41st place at the Made In Denmark on the European Tour last August. Although his Made in Denmark Challenge record consists of two top 30 finishes, Hansen is buoyed by his recent eye-catching performances and is keen to put on a show for his home fans.
“I have confidence in my game and I’m looking forward to starting the tournament tomorrow,” he said. “It was really great to finish second last week and almost secure my card for next year on the European Tour.
“The course is set up great and I love it. I love the conditions and hopefully with the weather as good as this week then the spectators will come and watch.
“I hope to be up at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday, where it is fun to be and competing for the trophy. If my game plays how I hope it will then I expect to be up there.”
Hansen’s runner-up finish in Scotland saw him surpass 100,000 points on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah, and the Turkish Airlines Challenge winner is set to graduate to the European Tour for the third time if he maintains his form.
A top 20 result this week will see the Dane overtake Gagli and take the number one spot in the Rankings, something which has crossed Hansen’s mind, especially with his place in the top 15 nearly secured.
“Winning the Road to Ras Al Khaimah is the one thing all the players on the Tour seek to do. I think it would be a great thing to embrace for me,” he said.
“It would mean a lot to finish the year as number one, especially for my confidence. It would be nice to get all the trophies and start preparing for the next season on the European Tour.
“I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know how I’m going to react with it right now. I’m feeling a lot more relaxed and not really thinking about making the top 15 anymore because I’m up there now.”
But focus this week is playing in-front of the home fans, which is always a pleasure for Hansen. He knows how passionate they are and has first-hand experience of their support during his appearances at the Made in Denmark tournament on the European Tour.
“It’s so good to play here and I love playing at home,” he said. “Playing in your home country always motivates you to play as good as you can to show your home crowd what you can do.
“The Made in Denmark European Tour event has so many spectators and the crowds get behind the players, especially the Danes. Hopefully there will be a few of them here this week and we can get some support out there.”