Fahrbring brings home Norwegian title

8/11/2013 2:13:55 PM
Jens Fahrbring (Benjamin A Ward) ()
Jens Fahrbring (Benjamin A Ward) ()
Jens Farhbring claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Norwegian Challenge after the Swede followed up his record-breaking third round with a nerveless final round 66 to earn a three-shot victory at Losby Golf Club.

The 29 year old, in his first full season on the Challenge Tour, was a relative unknown on the tour until last week, when he competed for the title at the Finnish Challenge before earning a share of third place.

But the Stockholm man continued that hot streak of form and, on an incredible third day at the Olso venue, only just made the cut on the mark in the morning - following an overnight rain delay - before going out later that day and firing a course-record ten under par 62 which included a hole in one.

Fahrbring had admitted that he suffered nerves in the final group in Finland a week ago but when it came to the crunch in Norway, he came out with all guns blazing as he eagled the first hole to throw down the gauntlet to his competitors.

He never let up after that and four more birdies, including three in a row from the tenth, took him to a 19 under par total and earned him a career-changing victory, one which has sealed him a spot in the limited-field Rolex Trophy in two weeks’ time.

“It feels surreal,” said Fahrbring. “I've been in a bubble the last 36 holes. I never thought I could win out here to be honest so this is the best feeling in the world for me.

“Surprisingly I was really calm out there. I got nervous maybe at the 16th tee but it’s been a great week. I did not expect to play this well, I was actually quite tired going into this tournament and maybe not feeling that motivated. But maybe that was key for me to just relax and go out and play golf.”

The Swede played with his friend and compatriot Pontus Widegren in the final group and Fahrbring admits that was a big help in keeping him relaxed throughout the day.

“We said to each other on the putting green, ‘let’s just go out there and have a good time today, this is going to be so much fun’, so that helped. He started off great, was four under through five, so then I knew I had to keep up. There was sort of a friendly battle going on between us.”

As a 29 year old playing his maiden season on the Challenge Tour, Fahrbring’s is a rare story of battling against the odds, and the clock, to rise to the higher echelons of professional golf and he revealed that he once considered giving up on The European Tour dream.

“I was battling it out on the Nordic Golf League for a few years and I almost gave up at one point,” he said. “I told myself, I need to change something or else just quit.

“I was so scared of hitting shots and failing. That was the turning point for me and ever since then I have taken small steps each year, getting better and better so I’ve been working towards this for the past three years.”

Widegren, meanwhile, was disappointed not to claim a first professional title in just his fifth Challenge Tour start but delighted to see his playing partner go on to victory.

“It was a lot of fun today,” said the 22 year old, who finished with a 16 under par total. “We said at one point during the round that it didn’t feel like the last group in a big event. It was more like playing with one of your buddies, so it was a great atmosphere.

“He just played very well, very solid, didn’t miss much and made some key putts. I struggled a little bit with taking my opportunities and I made a few bogeys but I was happy to make a birdie at the 18th to take tied second place.

“I'm disappointed not to win when I came so close but to have a week like this this early in my pro career is huge.” 

American Daniel Im joined Widegren in second place as he finished with back to back birdies to clinch the best finish of his Challenge Tour career thanks to a five under par 67.

Another Swede, Johan Carlsson, signed for the best round of the day - a seven under 65 - to clinch outright fourth place on 15 under par.