Joel Girrbach is targeting a return to the winner’s circle, and a second Swiss Challenge title when he tees it up this week at Golf Saint Apollinaire.
The 30-year-old triumphed in the Swiss Challenge presented by ASG back in 2017 when it was held at Golf Sempach with a three under par closing round securing a memorable two stroke win.
Girrbach looks back with fond memories of his first win and is hoping to replicate that feat this week as he looks to climb the Road to Mallorca Rankings with just four events remaining this season.
“That was a very special week,” he said. “It was my first win on tour and in a home event with all the family there, it was special. That’s already six years ago, but I keep it in my mind and I have good feelings and good memories about it.
“My family will come out as well this week, so I’m going to enjoy it and hope I can repeat the win I had in this tournament. I feel at home here.”
Girrbach, who currently occupies 37th place in the Road to Mallorca Rankings, started the season in red-hot form with a second place finish back in March at The Challenge presented by KGA.
The Swiss has recorded one other top ten finish in 2023 and is well-placed to mount a late surge for promotion to the DP World Tour which will be secured if he finishes inside the top 20 of the Rankings at the conclusion of the season-ending Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by the R&A.
Having finished agonisingly close to promotion in 2018 where he finished 21st, Girrbach is hopeful he can produce a strong finish to the season to secure his playing privileges on Europe’s top tier next season.
“There’s a lot of golf still to play,” he added. “Right now I’m 37th and there’s still some big events coming up. There’s this week, then France for the Hopps Open de Provence where I know the course well. I finished runner up there a couple of years ago.
“Then it’s on to China for the Hainan Open and the Grand Final - the two big events at the end of the year - so there’s still a lot to play for.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself but I’m playing well and hopefully I can give myself a chance. Obviously the goal is to be in that top 20 and now I need some really good results to do that.”
Girrbach joins a strong field in France that includes Road to Mallorca Number Two Casey Jarvis, four-time DP World Tour winner Matteo Manassero and two-time DP World Tour winner Tom Lewis.