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Jesper Svensson sets U.S. PGA Championship target as Swede bids to maintain momentum in Asia

Jesper Svensson sets U.S. PGA Championship target as Swede bids to maintain momentum in Asia

By Mathieu Wood

Jesper Svensson has his sights set on making the most of the upcoming two-week stint on the DP World Tour as he targets a Major Championship debut at the U.S. PGA Championship through one of three spots available on the Asian Swing rankings.

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Jesper Svensson is exempt on the DP World Tour through to the end of 2026 following his win in Singapore

After winning his maiden DP World Tour title at last month’s Porsche Singapore Classic, the 28-year-old sits in third position on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

But it is through the Asian Swing – the third of five Global Swings on the revamped 2024 schedule – that Svensson’s pathway to a career milestone lies in wait.

At the end of the Volvo China Open, which follows next week’s ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan, the top three ranked DP World Tour members on the swing standings will be exempt into the second men’s Major of the year at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

The chance for the in-form Svensson to test his game on one of the biggest stages is his immediate source of motivation.

“That’s definitely at the top [of my goals] at the moment,” he told the DP World Tour.

"I have never played in a Major before. It's hard to know just how big that could be for my career.

"Just to play in the Rolex Series for the first time [at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January] was different. It's still golf but everything around it is so much bigger.

"It would be great to get that experience and compete against the top guys in the world."

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Svensson is making big strides on golf’s Global Tour

Since his graduation from the European Challenge Tour at the end of last season, Svensson has adapted well to life on the DP World Tour stage.

Prior to his play-off victory against four-time DP World Tour winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat at Laguna National Golf Resort Club in Singapore, he had already impressed by finishing second twice in South Africa and Bahrain.

Across his first ten starts of the campaign, he has not missed a cut and is unquestionably one of the breakthrough performers so far.

Speaking from Sweden, he added: "There is still a lot to play for and it's only the beginning of the season.

"[But] it is one of the better starts that I could have hoped for.

"Now it is about trying to keep the pedal down."

Svensson is modest about his achievements so far on the DP World Tour in a short timeframe, but he is a player firmly on the up.

Since the season-opening Joburg Open, when he was ranked 339th on the Official World Golf Ranking, he has risen to 105th, having reached a career-high 102nd with his victory in Singapore.

After Matteo Manassero, he was the second Challenge Tour graduate in as many events to win on the DP World Tour this season and is one of seven first-time winners.

So, what does he attribute to his fine form so far this season?

"The goal for this for this year was just to stay positive, enjoy it and see where it took me," he said.

"It's been working out so far. I'm going to keep approaching it the same way as I have been."

In fact, he has maintained his form from last year when he won on his first start of the Challenge Tour season at the B-NL Challenge Trophy in the Netherlands.

Three second place finishes, including two play-off defeats in Spain and France, followed as he went on to finish fifth on the Challenge Tour's Road to Mallorca Rankings.

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Svensson was one of two Swedes, alongside Adam Blommé, to graduate from the Challenge Tour at the end of last season

While the thought of trying to push on and target this summer's Olympics in France is exciting, he believes it is "a bit out reach at the moment" with World Number 67 Alex Noren occupying the second qualifying spot alongside global star Ludvig Åberg.

Svensson is part of a talented crop of players from Scandinavia enjoying success on the international stage, with five from Sweden alone ranked in the top 105 in the world.

He played alongside Åberg in national amateur teams, winning the European Amateur Team Championship together in 2018, while two-time DP World Tour winner Vincent Normann is another who came through at the same time.

"To see these guys who you played amateur golf with do so well inspires you to do better as well," he said.

Their respective careers have since taken on different paths, but the questions begs how is this sparsely populated country able to produce such a strong crop of talent when the golf season is limited?

"I actually feel that (the long Swedish winters) is one of the reasons, because we get all that off-season to work on our fundamentals of the golf swing."

To see these guys who you played amateur golf with do so well inspires you to do better as well - Jesper Svensson on the strength in Swedish golf at the moment

Svensson is ranked sixth for driving distance - an attribute that proved hugely beneficial in his closing course-record equalling 63 in Singapore last month - but he fares less well in terms of driving accuracy and is focusing on improving that with his long-time coach Jonnie Eriksson.

"Year after year, working with him has made me to be more professional in every aspect of my game," he reflected.

"We're starting to see the rewards for all that now."

With several other Swedish golfers competing on the DP World Tour this season, a strong bond has formed between them during tournament weeks and many of his countrymen were there to celebrate in his Singapore success.

While he thanks Jens Dantorp for helping him to feel at ease since the start of the season on the course, it is the opportunity to travel the world with his fiancée Angelica that gives him great happiness off it.

"Singapore was one of those locations that I'd never been to before," he said. "It was really nice to explore it beforehand.

"I'm leaving for Japan and Tokyo a bit earlier too as well to try and do some exploring as a tourist for a few days before heading to the venue. It's important, I think, when locations are new to take them in."

After a near one-month break since Singapore, Svensson is now eager to pick up from where he left off. Motivation is not in short supply and he will hope he can continue to ride his wave of momentum all the way to a trip stateside.

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