Steely Steen focused on winning

3/28/2013 12:56:09 PM
Steen Tinning  (EuropeanTour)
Steen Tinning (EuropeanTour)

As a keen Ironman, Steen Tinning knows all about pushing his mind and body to the limit in pursuit of his goals and the Dane is now hoping to convert that steely fortitude into success on the course in 2013.

After turning 50 in October, Tinning had an insight into what the European Senior Tour beholds when he made his debut in the 2012 season–ending MCB Tour Championship, finishing in a share of 17th position in Mauritius.

Three years ago, the two-time European Tour champion took on the personal challenge of competing in triathlons and ironman contests to help prepare for the Senior Tour, and he has now set himself a new target of winning on the Senior Tour.

“I’m very firm on goal setting,” said the Copenhagen resident. “Once I have a goal I just go for it and gear my life towards it. This is what I want to do now – to fulfil my goal of winning on the Senior Tour.

“The things I worked on in my game last year showed in Mauritius, and it is just a case of getting a few breaks. My putting was a lot better – I think I only missed one putt inside six feet – so that gives me confidence.

“I’m sure that in the future I will have some good chances at winning.”

Tinning began his career on the over 50s circuit with back-to-back rounds of 72 at Constance Belle Mare Plage in December, before closing with a two under par 70. Prior to that, Tinning rediscovered the winning feeling on the ECCO Tour in his native Denmark, and he is confident that he has more to offer following his initial taste of life as a Senior Tour player.

“For the first nine holes in Mauritius I didn’t play very well, but the last 45 holes I played excellently,” he said. “My score probably didn’t reflect the way I played – it was a combination of not making putts and a couple of bad breaks.

“But for me it was a very good start. Now I’ve seen what the players are capable of doing, and having played with some players who have won on the Senior Tour, I feel like I can also win. Hopefully that will be this year.”

Tinning’s first European Tour victory came in the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open in 2000, and he will be looking for a Welsh double in June at the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, which returns to Royal Porthcawl, also the host venue of The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented By Rolex.

When his European Tour career ended in 2003, a year after he added a second title in the Open de Madrid, Tinning moved into a new career as a commentator and has spent the winter behind the microphone, as well as continuing to train for ironman contests.

“I am still in ironman training, but I won’t do a full one over the next two years,” he said. “I will probably do a couple of half ones and reduce my training, but I want to stay in the sport and keep fitness part of my golf.

“I’ve been doing the commentary ever since I left the Tour. It’s something that I enjoy doing but nothing beats playing. It gives me enough money to make a living, but hopefully next year I can do that on the Senior Tour.

“I’m very optimistic that I can do well. My game is very decent, very solid, and with a couple of breaks, hopefully I will be up there on the board along with the other guys trying to win a tournament.”