Born in Mexico. Raised in Norway. Educated in America. European Challenge Tour debut in the Czech Republic. Now in Sardinia for this week’s Italian Challenge presented by Cashback World, Kristoffer Ventura has spent his whole life travelling.
The Norwegian, who joined the paid ranks in June, has been to Maryland, Prague and now Sardinia in the last three weeks alone, having competed in the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National before making his Challenge Tour debut at the Prague Golf Challenge the following week – where he carded rounds of 71-66-74-73 to earn his first pay cheque in Europe.
It would be fair to suggest that the 23 year old is well suited to the jet-setter life style of a professional golfer. Following 12 years living in Mexico, Ventura moved to Norway – which he now calls home – before embarking on a college career across the Atlantic which culminated in him winning the 2018 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship with Oklahoma State University.
Arriving in Europe Ventura is determined to follow in the footsteps of fellow Oklahoma alumni Alex Noren and Rickie Fowler – and 14-time Major Champion Tiger Woods, who gave him some tips as a child.
“My father is Mexican and my mother is Norwegian. I was born in Mexico and lived there for 12 years, then moved to Norway,” explained Ventura. “I represent Norway, obviously, and there’s a bit of American in me as well because I’ve been there for four years.
“In 2005 Tiger had a clinic and my Dad was involved with his foundation and I got the opportunity to get a quick lesson from him and then after that I said: ‘I want to be a professional golfer’.
“I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to play the Quicken Loans National a couple of weeks ago, and I saw him in the players’ lounge and on the range and it felt pretty cool seeing him again.
“There has been a lot of great players come from the Challenge Tour. I like the fact that once you’re out here and you make it to the European Tour, you appreciate where you’ve come from.
“A lot of the guys you see out here will be on the European Tour in a few years. It’s got a great history of players, who are world class now, that came from this tour.”
Ventura turned professional at the beginning of June and played an event on the Web.com Tour before receiving an invite to play the Quicken Loans National. Following his PGA Tour debut, the Norwegian headed across the Atlantic to begin his Challenge Tour career in Prague.
“Last week was a good experience,” he said. “Coming from the PGA Tour meant it was a bit different, but I like the travelling part and enjoy visiting new cities.
“Golf-wise the first two days was good but at the weekend I didn’t play like I wanted to at all, unfortunately.
“It was a good experience and it is part of getting in the routine of travelling every week, which is important, and now I’m just taking it week by week.”