Antoine Rozner comes into the Challenge Tour Grand Final occupying the fourth position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, a stark contrast to one year ago, when he was the last man into the field at the season-ending event.
We caught up with the Frenchman, who will finally get to begin his European Tour career in three weeks’ time.
Q. How do the emotions compare from last year’s Grand Final to this year’s given the difference in the Rankings?
It’s strange because last year I had no real pressure. I needed to win or it didn’t matter. This year I can win the Rankings and that’s the goal, but again this year I have no real pressure at all knowing that I’m heading to the European Tour, it makes this week a very enjoyable one. I’m just going to have as much fun as possible and try to make as many birdies as possible.
Q. Coming out of the Grand Final last year and heading into the off-season, what sort of things were you saying to yourself?
I had mixed feelings. I finished 45th in my first season on the Challenge Tour and I felt like it was quite a good result overall. But on the other hand, I didn’t feel like I played that well so it gave me a bit of confidence when I thought about it in the off-season, because if you see it that way, that you didn’t play your best and you finish 45th, it’s a good thing. It means that if you play well you can be up there, so that’s exactly what happened. I gained a lot of confidence over the off-season. I practiced really hard and the hard work just paid off right away.
Q. You won in back-to-back starts in the third and fourth events on the Road to Mallorca. Has it felt like a long road to now?
It’s been quite long, but I was still chasing a third win. Even though I was saying it wasn’t a goal of mine, it was still somewhere in my mind. I’m glad that the European Tour is now really close—it’s only a few weeks from now. I’m excited, because I knew a long time ago that I was almost guaranteed to earn my European Tour card, and so I’m kind of glad it’s coming to an end and hopefully this week can be really good again.
Q. Have you started to think about your goals for the European Tour yet?
Not yet. I’ll be thinking about it in the next few weeks, but I guess the same thing, if you finish top 50 in the Race to Dubai it’s pretty good or if you can make it to the final three Rolex Series events, I think that would be a solid year. But you can even do better, if you look at guys like Victor Perez who won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, or Romain Langasque and Robert MacIntyre, all three of those guys were playing on the Challenge Tour last year, so to do what they have done would be a good goal.