Wednesday, 06 September 2017
Alex Noren  (Getty Images)
Alex Noren (Getty Images)

Newlywed Alex Noren has cited a change in priorities as the key to his recent stunning success as he returns to defend his Omega European Masters title.

Noren's then-girlfriend gave birth to the couple's first child in early 2016 and since then the Swede has won five European Tour events, rising to 12th in the Official World Golf Ranking in the process.

Noren had long been known as one of the Tour's hardest workers, famed for his diligence in practice and methodical approach.

That work ethic still shines through in his success but with a toddler in tow and now a ring on his finger, the 35 year old admits a new approach to the game has reaped benefits.

"This is our honeymoon, it's beautiful," he said. "Maybe a real honeymoon later on but it's a beautiful place to come to, I've always liked it here and I think everybody who's ever played here thinks it's one of the most beautiful courses and places in the world.

"We have a year and a half old kid but to get married is special still. I didn't think it was going to be as special a feeling as it was but we had a great day with all the friends and a few golfers over there.

"Maybe the girls look forward to it even more but it was a good party as well.

"I still love golf but when you have a kid and family you prioritise them more than maybe when you're single or you have a girlfriend and you can play a lot. I was playing maybe too much, practising too much and after a while I could over-practise and get mentally tired. Now I feel more fresh when I get to tournaments."

Noren's win here last year was his second at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club and the second of four in the 2016 season, with him adding the BMW PGA Championship in May.

A third title here would take his European Tour tally into double-figures but Noren insists that despite his new approach to the game, he is still determined to get better and better.

"Winning is very tough and you need to have your whole game in place," he said. "The thing I'm happy with this season, I managed to play good at some of the events that I've never played good at. I'm playing a little bit better in America than I have in the past so it's not all about the wins.

"You just try to play well against good fields and I feel like I've done that this year and I'm happy with my perfomances. We'll see how it goes but I'm trying my best.

"The last few years has obviously been good to me and now I'm trying to get better all the time. It's not so easy but I'm doing everything I can. Trying to practise better and play better tournaments."

Noren's win here last season came five days after Darren Clarke's Ryder Cup Team was finalised but he is determined to make his way to Le Golf National in 2018.

"It would be something special but you've got to look at each tournament and it's a long way there yet," he said. "I'll try to just improve my game and if I get in, I get in."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2HEND, ScottAUS18-14
T3HATTON, TyrrellENG18-11
T3ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-11
5ILONEN, MikkoFIN18-10
T6NOREN, AlexSWE18-9

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