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Søren Kjeldsen 'proud' to reach 700 DP World Tour starts as he targets David Howell's record

Søren Kjeldsen 'proud' to reach 700 DP World Tour starts as he targets David Howell's record

Søren Kjeldsen says he has no intention of stopping ahead of his milestone 700th DP World Tour appearance at the European Open as he set his sights on becoming the record appearance holder.

The Dane will join David Howell, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Sam Torrance as just the fourth player to play 700 or more events when he tees it up this week in Germany at Green Eagle Golf Courses.

Since turning professional in 1995, he has won four DP World Tour titles across a distinguished career spanning four decades.

While thrilled by his longevity in the game, Kjeldsen is intent on continuing to rack up the appearances and chase down Howell’s record of 723.

“I am very proud [and] very grateful,” he told the DP World Tour.

“It has been 27 amazing years [of playing on the DP World Tour]. I love this tour and I'm very proud of being able to stay out here for that long.

“I'll certainly take it tournament by tournament, but for sure I'd love to be on top of that list, and Howler knows that!

“But, we'll see, 700 is a good number. But you know, if I could get to 724 then it would be even more special.”

Kjeldsen made his DP World Tour debut at the South African Open in 1998, a year after he won his maiden title in the paid ranks as he earned his card by graduating from the European Challenge Tour.

He landed his first DP World Tour title at the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles in 2003, before victories in back-to-back years in Spain at the Volvo Masters and Open de Andalucia de Golf in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

After a six-year wait, he added his fourth and most recent DP World Tour success at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down in 2015.

Now, nearing his 30th year as a professional, Kjeldsen is still enjoying the game as much as ever.

“The overall thing is I love playing the game,” he said.

“I think this has been a fantastic Tour to play on. We've gone everywhere in the world, and my enthusiasm for the game and being part of this great family out here is just tremendous."

My enthusiasm for the game and being part of this great family out here is just tremendous

Throughout his years in the game, Kjeldsen has seen the sport evolve and the 49-year-old says the passion for progress from the younger generations is as strong as ever.

"I feel a bit more like the old guy over in the corner smoking the pipe, but no it has changed a lot," he said.

"When we came out, the old guys said to us, we were boring and we were too ambitious and all that.

"Now I'm the old guy looking at the young generation being incredibly ambitious and very dedicated. So, I suppose that's like a generational thing, but no it it's been great. I still love it and I don't want to go anywhere really.

"The sport is evolving like any sport.

"There was obviously Gary Player and the guys before that who were into the physical stuff but I think what Tiger [Woods] did with all the physical stuff changed a lot. You struggle to get into the gym now because it's packed and it wasn't like that in ’98, I can guarantee you that.

"Statistics and analysis has become a big part of the Tour now and technology has changed a lot.

"Nothing stays the same. But you know it's all for the better."

Kjeldsen has competed at all four Majors, recording top tens in three of the four, played on the PGA TOUR with a full card and won the World Cup of Golf with Thorbjørn Olesen in 2016, which he says is the highlight of his career so far.

With Olesen, and now the Højgaard twins leading a new wave of talent from Denmark, it is the legacy he has left in his homeland and the friendships he has made along the way that mean the most to him personally.

"I've had so many great experiences," he reflected. "I've met so many great people.

"I was just reading the other day about Bernhard Langer being out [on the sidelines] because of injury and then coming back to the Champions Tour and you could just sense when they did the video messages, what he missed the most was the people.

"That's the thing, I've got so many great friends out here. I love being out here. And on top of that, I love the game. So lucky me."

Soren Kjeldsen-2155135580
Søren Kjeldsen is presented with a gift to commemorate his 700th tournament by Guy Kinnings, the European Tour group's Chief Executive

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