HP coming of age

3/8/2013 3:40:01 PM
HP Bacher (Phil Inglis) ()
HP Bacher (Phil Inglis) ()
HP Bacher believes he is finally ready to come of age in his first full season on the European Challenge Tour after three years of late calls for tournaments and week-on-week uncertainty.

Bacher produced the best performance of his professional career in last year’s Kazakhstan Open as he finished runner-up following a tense play-off defeat to Scott Henry of Scotland.

The 26 year old Austrian forced extra holes in the Challenge Tour’s most lucrative tournament thanks to a stunning final round 64 in Almaty, finally putting his name in lights.
It was a long time coming for Bacher, despite having gained a European Tour card for the 2012 season through Qualifying School.

Having been unable to make a significant impression in the early stages of the season in the top tier, he decided to return to the Challenge Tour and build from there and as result he now has a guaranteed full schedule for the first time in his professional career.

“I feel I have made really good progress,” said Bacher, a former Austrian International Amateur Champion. “Sometimes it was quite hard because it can be disappointing if you don’t get many events and then you miss cuts in those events, but it is a learning process and a really enjoyable one.

“I feel like I am growing as a player. I am sure it was a little too early for me to be on The European Tour and the results showed that, but I feel if I can make the top 15 this year I am then ready to have a chance to survive on the European tour.

“I really felt during 2012 I was getting into shape, especially before Russia where I got a top 20 and gained some confidence, and then it was pretty much the final round at Kazakhstan which put me up there and moved me up the Rankings.

“Kazakhstan was my biggest result as a professional, for sure. I always had that feeling that I played pretty well on The European Tour and only missed the cut by one or maybe two shots when I did miss, and I was always just close to doing it.

“My game felt really good but finally it all came together. It was a really important result.”

Bacher is one of the few Austrians making waves in European professional game, and he sees Bernd Wiesberger as one of his inspirations as he attempts to follow in the two-time European Tour winner’s footsteps.

“My progress has been quite similar to that of Bernd,” said Bacher. “He was on The European Tour but didn’t play well in his first year but came back to the Challenge Tour and got his card and then had a decent season on the main tour, followed by a great season last year.

“If a guy from your country does that well and you grew up with him it’s great to see. He shows the young players in Austria what’s really possible.

“We’re not a big golf country, but we still have some good players considering we have snow for five months of the year!”