Martin Wiegele (Getty Images)
Austrian Martin Wiegele found an unusual way to relax and unwind after his recent Challenge Tour victory on home soil – a visit to a rock festival.
After his one-shot win at the Kärnten Golf Open by Markus Brier Foundation, Wiegele and his girlfriend packed their camping gear and headed east to Burgenland for Nova Rock, one of Europe’s largest rock festivals.
Three days of getting back to nature and rocking out to heavy metal seemingly had the desired effect, as the next time he teed up – at last week’s dual ranking SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC – Wigele duly won again.
With no disrespect to his compatriot Markus Brier’s tournament, his victory at Aa St Omer Golf Club was undoubtedly the more significant, as it earned Wiegele €100,000 and – more importantly – an 18-month exemption on The European Tour.
Speaking after his win, Wiegele attributed his steely focus and determination in no small part to his unorthodox preparations.
Wiegele said: “I’d already decided to miss the Scottish Challenge even before I won in Austria, because otherwise I would’ve been playing too many weeks in a row. So me and my girlfriend booked tickets to go to Nova Rock. There were over 60 bands playing, and we just slept in a tent on a campsite for three nights.
“It allowed me to relax, have fun and completely free my mind, because it’s something very different to golf – there aren’t too many similarities between rock music and golf! It brought me back down to earth after my win in Austria and allowed me to forget about everything else for three days, so when it came to preparing for Saint Omer I was feeling fresh, both mentally and physically, and ready to go again.”
Go again he did, notching a final round 69 to take the title by two shots. With an 18-month exemption in the bag and a brand new car in the garage – courtesy of his second hole in one in successive years at the eighth hole at Golfclub Klagenfurt-Seltenheim – life is pretty good for Wiegele at the moment.
Indeed, the only thing really troubling him is how to spend the €100,000 currently burning a hole in his pocket.
He said: “I’m not sure what I’ll buy with the money. I already have a new car, which I won for my hole in one on the last day in Austria. So maybe I’ll treat my girlfriend to something instead. It definitely won’t be an electric guitar though, because as much as I’d like to be a rock star, I can’t play any instruments – and my voice is pretty bad too. So maybe that’s why I became a golfer instead!”