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Oliver Wilson enjoying renewed swing confidence ahead of Made in HimmerLand defence

Oliver Wilson enjoying renewed swing confidence ahead of Made in HimmerLand defence

Buoyed by a runner-up finish at last week's Betfred British Masters, defending Champion Oliver Wilson is enjoyed renewed confidence in his golf swing as he returns to HimmerLand.

A year ago, Oliver Wilson holed two enormous birdie putts on the back nine on Sunday to claim an emotional one shot victory and his second DP World Tour title almost eight years after winning his first.

Playing in the final group, Wilson finished with a flourish in Farsø, holing from 66 feet at the 13th, 14 feet on the 16th and 64 feet at the 17th to leapfrog the clubhouse leader Ewen Ferguson and take a one-shot lead to the 18th tee. He safely parred the last to sign for a 67, finishing the tournament on 21 under par and returning to the winner's circle for the first time at this level since the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

“It was a great week," Wilson reflected.

"There's a lot of good memories. You know, I it's a place where I've done well before last year, so I had good memories coming into last year as well. Played really solid and obviously the back nine, the last nine on Sunday was a fun nine.

“I played really nicely and holed two long putts coming down the stretch and then just finishing 18 really strong. The crowds are on the back of the green, it was great. We had a great night on Sunday as well, which is is nice, when quite often when you win you end up just jumping on a plane and going home and not really getting to celebrate that night. It was nice to get to stay here and celebrate with a few people.

“I know I can win. I don't need to. I don't feel like I needed to win to know, to prove to myself that I could win. I've been close enough plenty times to just need a little bit of luck. And last year, I felt like I got that. I had got a few breaks, obviously, with holing two long putts.

“I wasn't really paying that much attention to who's around me. I'm just trying to do my own thing and try and make birdies and that's all you can do. And when it works and you end up on top, it's fantastic. It's a nice feeling. It's just one of those things. It's hard to win and you need a few breaks. It was nice to get it done."

As a result of last week Wilson returns with renewed confidence, having birdied his final hole at The Belfry to finish in a tie for second - which earned him a spot in The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in a couple of weeks times.

The 42-year-old, who ranked second for the week in Greens in Regulation, credits his play to both managing his game well and hitting the ball as well as he ever has

“I managed my game really well at The Belfry in front of home support, but I hit the ball as well as I've hit it, maybe ever in my career. It really allowed me to build throughout the week and obviously put in a good week,. I came up a little bit short in the end, but it was still a great week and one that I'll take a lot from."

It was a welcome return to form for Wilson, whose had struggled this season until this point. The Englishman had begun his year with six missed cuts in a row, and his runner-up finish was just his fifth made cut from 15 events this year, with his best prior to The Belfry a tie for 21st at the Korea Championship.

By his own admission, he hasn't played as badly as those results suggest, but his swing wasn't clicking until last week.

“I've been playing well the last few weeks. I feel like I've been playing a little bit better, been scoring better. I haven't played that bad this year.

“I've just made a few too many errors, mistakes and just not been scoring very well, not been getting much out out of my rounds. The last few weeks I felt like I was getting better at that and I've stayed on top of all aspects of my game, even though I've not been swinging it very well. So what was nice was to suddenly start swinging it well or better, and the rest of the game was there to take advantage of actually swinging it well."

And now he feels is return to a relatively unchanged HimmerLand ready to put the same game plan in action as he had last year.

“I haven't seen much of the course yet this year, but from all accounts it's pretty similar. There's a few changes with tees, one par five is a par four. So there's a few little changes which I don't think will make masses of difference, but it's just about figuring out how it's playing and it's playing a little bit softer with all the rain than, than we're used to.

“I think the game plan of pretty much stay the same. It's that kind of course where it's very easy to make some mistakes. Hopefully I can navigate them well enough to make any birdies.”

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