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Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Kalle Samooja  (Getty Images)
Kalle Samooja (Getty Images)

Kalle Samooja is hoping he can build on his excellent recent form by putting himself in contention for a maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Italian Challenge presented by Cashback World this week.

The Finn, who has carded five sub-70 rounds in his last eight, arrives at Is Molas Resort after two consecutive top-five performances – Samooja followed up a runner-up finish at the Made in Denmark Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel with a share of fifth place in Prague last week.

In less than a month the 30 year old has climbed from 11th to fourth on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah, and believes breaking 70 each day this week will be key to lifting the trophy.

“That’s what I need if I want to hold the trophy on Sunday,” he said. “I think I played pretty well in Prague and my ball striking was good. The two rounds in the middle weren’t good enough, though, so I was too far back going into the last round.

“But four good rounds are what you need on the Challenge Tour if you want to win, otherwise you need to shoot two really low rounds and two not as low, but that’s what you need and that’s what I’m looking for.

“When you look at the scores and the finishes I’ve had, it’s good. I’m pretty confident with my game at the moment. It’s been nice to have a good four week stretch and this is my last tournament of that stretch and hopefully I can keep up the good form.”

Samooja started the season well with a share of third at the Barclays Kenya Open – the most lucrative event of the campaign – and has continued to impress by making eight cuts in his ten Challenge Tour appearances this year.

With half of the season gone, Samooja believes he is on course to complete his goal of securing a coveted place inside the top 15 at the end of the season – which he could all but secure with another high finish in Sardinia.  

“I have a goal in my mind and I’m still going towards that,” he said. “Everyone is looking to finish in the top 15 and I’m at the halfway point of the season with ten big tournaments in my schedule coming up with big money in most of them.

“I’m pretty confident about where I am in the Rankings at the moment and I’m just looking for one big week and hopefully a win in the near future.

“Even though I missed a couple of cuts after Kenya I feel as though I have still been playing well. I’m feeling very confident about my game and I’m excited to get going here in Italy.”

Joining Samooja on the Italian island are nine of the 12 winners on the Challenge Tour this season, including Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number One Joachim B. Hansen.

Returning to Is Molas Resort with fond memories is Joel Sjöholm, who ended a nine-year wait for a professional victory by triumphing in Sardinia last year. 

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