It must feel like a long time has passed since Morten Ørum Madsen launched The 2014 Race to Dubai with his maiden European Tour victory in the season-opening South African Open hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni last November.
The 26 year old Dane is back on home soil this week for the inaugural Made in Denmark at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, finally giving him the chance to share his new status as a European Tour winner in the company of his home fans.
Madsen is looking forward to putting on a show for the Danish spectators, who have been snapping up tickets for the tournament after more than a decade without top flight competition on their doorsteps.
“I’ve played a couple of Challenge Tour events on home soil before, but European Tour events are obviously just so much bigger and it great to have one in our country,” he said. “Everything building up to this week has been really good, and they have done an amazing job with the tournament. It is going to be a great week. There will be so many people here, so it looks like being a big success.
“The last tournament we had on The European Tour in Demark was in 2003, so the Danish public have really been anticipating this tournament. It’s going to be awesome.
“It feels good to come home and feel the appreciation of the Danish crowd. I got a lot of recognition when I won in South Africa, and not just from the golfing community, which was awesome to feel.
“This is our opportunity, as Danish players on The European Tour, to give back to the Danish golfing fans. We want to show them some good golf this week. There will be a little more pressure on us, and some expectations to do well, but out of the 18 Danish guys we’ve ended up having in the field, I think there will probably be a couple up there come Sunday.”
Madsen is part of a promising new generation of Danish players following in the footsteps of more established stars such as Thomas Björn, Anders Hansen, Søren Hansen and Søren Kjeldsen.
He is hoping that home advantage and local knowledge can aid his bid for a second European Tour title of the season.
“I know the course a bit, but not that well,” he said. “They remodelled the greens a few years back and I’ve probably played it ten times since then. So it could give me a bit of an advantage, but not a major advantage.
“It’s not a super tricky course so if you get some good practice in, you should know how to play it. I have played it in different winds though, which could help me. The wind will play a big role in how the tournament plays. I played a round with Søren (Kjeldsen) last week in perfect conditions, and it was possible to post a good score, but in the conditions we have now, anything under par is good. It will present a good challenge, regardless of the weather.”