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Sjöholm searching for success at crucial stage of the season

Sjöholm searching for success at crucial stage of the season

Joel Sjöholm is hoping to rekindle the form that saw him triumph at Golf International de Pont Royal 12 months ago when he tees it up at the same venue in the Hopps Open de Provence this week.

Joel Sjoholm_

The Swede, who secured a second European Challenge Tour win in this event last year, returns to a familiar setting in 116th position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and with just three tournaments of the season remaining.

The 38-year-old holds ambitions of returning to the DP World Tour but admits finding form and playing good golf is the key for him at a course that holds fond memories.

“It's very cool to be back here,” he said. “I've had some great memories every time I've been, so it's good to be back to see if I can do something.

“I know last year I had a nice game plan for the course and that game plan is going to be the same. It's going to be cool to see if I can play well, and if that takes me to the top then that would be great, but I just want to play some good golf.

“This season I've been playing quite poorly, but I know I need to try to make more putts, try to give myself a few more chances and just keep patient. This golf course will hurt you if you try to be too aggressive.”

Sjöholm carded rounds of 68-71-65-67 last year to win by three strokes ahead of the chasing pack on the Ballesteros course designed by Seve himself. As well as being one of Seve’s biggest fans, he says the set up in Provence has always suited his eye.

“Seve was my big hero when I was growing up so I don't know if that's something to do with it,” he added. “He likes the trees in the middle of the fairway. Seve courses are normally like that, and it suits me because you have to try to create something. That's what I do best.

“You don't have to hit driver on every hole. You have to think and have some kind of strategy. It took me a while to get used to as I was a little more aggressive when I was younger. In my opinion you can't overpower this golf course.”

Sjöholm is part of a strong field in France that includes 2021 Hopps Open de Provence winner Alfie Plant, Road to Mallorca Number Four Lorenzo Scalise and two-time DP World Tour winner Joachim B Hansen.

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