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Wednesday, 06 June 2018
Matthias Schwab  (Getty Images)
Matthias Schwab (Getty Images)

Local favourite Matthias Schwab will be hoping to continue his meteoric rise when he tees it up on home soil at this week's Shot Clock Masters.

The Austrian enjoyed a stellar amateur career which included a 14th-placed finish at this event in 2013 and ended with him cashing his first cheque at Diamond Country Club 12 months ago.

He came through the Qualifying School last season and has since missed just two of ten cuts on the European Tour, finishing in the top ten at the Hero Indian Open to leave him in the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

The innovative format this week will be new to Schwab and all of the field, with a 50-second allowance for a first to play approach shot (including a par three tee-shot), chip or putt and a 40-second allowance for a tee-shot on a par four or par five, or second or third to play approach shot, chip or putt.

What will not be new is the layout on the outskirts of Vienna, where Schwab has played many times, and the 23 year old is hoping for another good week in front of his home fans.

"It's been a very exciting year - a lot has happened," he said. "I played a lot of golf on the Challenge Tour last year, which was fun for me. Then I made it through Q School and I've been playing quite a lot on the European Tour this year so a lot has happened.

"I'm pretty fortunate to call myself a European Tour player now and I'm happy about it. I'm looking forward to the next tournaments.

"Really anything that improves pace of play is great for the game. I see myself as a relatively fast player so I don't think I'll have too many issues with the new format. It's great for me that they are testing it here in Austria. I know the course fairly well so I'm sure that's a little bit of an advantage for me and it will be a fun week.

"Overall I think the course will play pretty firm again. Just hitting fairways and knowing your distances with the irons is going to be important."

Another man who knows the layout well here is Wu Ashun after claiming victory in 2016.

The Chinese has just one top ten this season so far but has made 11 of his 14 cuts and is confident he can claim another victory in Atzenbrugg.

"I am very happy to come back here and play at the Diamond Country Club," he said. "I like this golf course very much. It's very exciting to come back for this tournament and I'm looking forward to it.

"I think my game is getting better as I have played a couple of weeks before. I was talking with my caddie and he was thinking my game was really good right now. I think we have a chance to win this week.

"This golf course you can make a lot of birdies if your game is good and there is no wind but if the wind gets up you have to think about that and putt well. The putting is very important this week."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KORHONEN, MikkoFIN18-16
2SYME, ConnorSCO18-10
T3WEBSTER, SteveENG18-9
T3COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL18-9
T3JACQUELIN, RaphaëlFRA18-9
T3WALTERS, JustinRSA18-9

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