Sebastian Soderberg says he is hoping to lean on experience and confidence from last week as he gets ready to make his long awaited title defence at this year's Omega European Masters.
Soderberg is already part of an illustrious list of former champions of this event, and he now returns to Austria with a chance to join Seve Ballesteros and Matt Fitzpatrick as just the third player in history to successfully defend this title.
The Swede was the only man to make a birdie on the first hole of sudden death at Crans-sur-Sierre during the 2019 tournament, coming out on top of a five-man playoff that included Rory McIlroy to earn his maiden title on his debut appearance.
The tournament was subsequently cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and while he has recently struggled with form, Soderberg is hopeful that he can continue the happy feeling he had during a season's best finish at last week’s D+D REAL Czech Masters
“It’s wonderful to be back, this course is special,” said Soderberg, whose tie for 17th last week was also the first cut he's made since the Made in Himmerland in May.
“Playing at this altitude with all of the upslopes and downhills, it’s a different experience and it’s definitely nice to be back.
“I finally feel like I’ve finally played some good golf (this season). I don’t think it was great for me to be leading last week in Czech Republic heading into this event. I haven’t played the weekend since May, so I had to deal with a few more emotions than I have in a while. I was a little rusty there I would say, but as much as you can put yourself in that position and gain from the experience the better. I’m definitely happy feeling those things coming into this week.”
After stating that last week's finish was the product of better iron play and some patience in his game, Soderberg is now hoping for more of the same at the picturesque venue as he aims to become the eighth player in the tournament's history to win on two occasions.
"My iron play has got a lot better. Striking it consistently here is key, the ball goes so much further. Once you start mis-striking a bit it gets really tough with your averages. It’s just kind of keeping the same impact and precision makes it a bit easier.
"Patience is always key, but for me my short game being on top is also important (this week) as you will miss a lot of greens here because it’s tough to consistently club it right. Obviously hit the ball well, but the short game will be key as well."