While Manuel Trappel and Markus Brier are the stand out candidates to ensure a home winner at this week’s Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda, there is a quiet confidence permeating through the 19-strong Austrian contingent in the field.
Home favourite Florian Preagant, a resident of Klagenfurt, will attempt to use his local knowledge of this week’s new venue at the Jacques Lemans Golf Club to his advantage, while Roland Steiner and Leonhard Astl are the latest Austrian players to success on the pro stage.
Steiner won the four-round Austrian National Championship two weeks ago to give himself a timely confidence boost ahead of the Challenge Tour’s visit to his homeland.
Astl, meanwhile, could not be in better form. The man from Tyrol won on the third level EPD Tour on Wednesday and after collecting his trophy at the Glashofen-Neusaß Open, he jumped in his car to make the 710 kilometre journey to Sankt Georgen am Längsee.
With Trappel, the former European Amateur Champion, and the vastly experienced European Tour winner Brier adding their not inconsiderable weight to the home challenge, hopes of a home grown winner are high.
Trappel is hopeful that a good performance at the Jacques Lemans Golf Club can kick-start a speedy rise through the Rankings.
The 23 year old is a firm believer in confidence and momentum and he believes these attributes are the key to successfully navigating your way through the Challenge Tour.
“Momentum and confidence are so important, especially on the Challenge Tour,” said Trappel. “You look at how many good players and how high the standard is every week on the Challenge Tour and you realise that you need to play well every time you have the chance.
“You have to try and get confidence going early in every tournament because there are times out here when you shoot level par or even a couple under and you go backwards.
“So it is really important to get going early on and keep the momentum going for the whole tournament because if you do not do that you will get left behind.
“It would be amazing to be able to do that this week and get a really good result in my home tournament. This is a very big week for me, and all the Austrian players, and hopefully I can do what I need to do this week and try to get the win.
“It will be very difficult to do that but I will certainly give it my best shot to be on contention on Sunday.”