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  • Writer's pictureRonan Kleu

Participation at the Omega European Masters 2023 confirmed

Updated: May 6

I look forward to seeing you all at the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre from August 31-September 03! I look to continue my good record at the European with the last time I played as an Amateur in 2021, I made the cut and finishes as the best Swiss player in the field.

The summer is moving fast, and we are already nearing the end of August! Only three tournaments in as a professional golfer, it has already presented me with some surprises, some challenges and a bunch of golf. To summarize honestly, before going into detail, it has not been an ideal first few starts to my professional career from a scoring point of view but it has allowed myself and my support team to identify key areas for improvement along the exciting journey that lies ahead. And not a lot beats participating in a DP World Tour Event on home soil in two weeks!

Right after drawing inspiration from the gutsy performance of Brian Harman at the Open, I looked to draw inspiration from his temperament and composure he showed throughout the championship, ahead of my second start on the Challenge Tour in Ireland. I flew into Dublin on a Tuesday morning flight and hitched a ride with fellow Swiss professional, Joel Girrbach, to Headfort Golf Course in Kells. The course was an inland parkland course with a heavy tree line on the front nine, quite the opposite to what my first thought of golf in Ireland would be. I quickly realized that, as in Germany, and I suppose for weeks to come, position off the tee is of vital importance due to the nature of many Challenge Tour venues. Conditions were wet with a noticeable bit of wind and would continue as such for the entire week – I later was told that it had been the wettest July Ireland had ever seen! Kells was a cozy, small village with scarce opportunities for accommodation close by, hence my choice to overnight at a member’s house, who was offering a B&B service to select players for the week. Throughout the week they were very hospitable, and it was nice to have people to converse with post-rounds. Thursday started with a round of +4, with a bunch of bogeys scattered across my card, mainly due to lack of precision of the tee – the rough and trees were penal. Additionally, I missed some key opportunities to get something going and ended the day knowing I needed a low round on Friday. I started the day with a 10 ft-birdie attempt, following by 8 holes of an absolute ball-striking display with my irons, still not converting from short range but made the turn at -2, well in the hunt for the cut. The next two holes were a killer to momentum though, as I misjudged the spin with an approach and three putted twice in a row for two costly bogeys. The fight continued until the end, however I ended the day with an even-par 71, not enough to make the cut. Takeaways from the tournament included working on more fairway hits, an emphasis on basics in putting which had been good prior recently and a game-plan that would allow me to thrive off with my strength: approach play.

The next tournament on the schedule was at Newmachar Golf Club in the golf haven of Aberdeen, Scotland. I travelled to this tournament with my coach, Marc Chatelain, a great opportunity for him to gain some insight on my game in a tournament setting. Our first day featured some very Scottish weather, however, for the rest of the trip, the wind was up, but sun was out. Once again, the course presented zones to hit into off the tee, with heavy tree-lining. After successful preparation, I started out the first four holes with good birdie opportunities yet settled for pars. Then unfortunately, I made an 8 on a par 4 due to distraction and two lost balls. I knew it would be a long fight back but birdied the next par 5. One more lost balls, and one unplayable off the tee led to a very frustrating 76, which included three birdies, two doubles and one quad, and the rest pars. This showed me that I had played 15 holes of very solid golf, yet the larger misses were costly. Out of position after the first day the chase for the cut was on in day two. An up and down day featuiring some good golf led to a 70. Marc and I analyzed closely and set a plan until the upcoming tournaments:

-Practicing variability off the tee. By actually practicing various types of shots off the tee, my stock shot should only improve, rather than working unilaterally.

-Wedges between 60-110m: These are scoring distances and we felt I could improve my distance control with some knock-off wedges

-Performance putting: Practicing putting in a performance environment over a static, technical environment allows for more intuition. Developing a solid routine.

We then used the next two days to practice on the above and play in Aberdeen, including playing Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay.

Last week I also commenced my work with the newest member of my team, Karl Morris, a world-renowned coach for the mental side of the game to drive my potential. I look forward to our collaboration!

Tomorrow, I depart for Sweden for a challenge tour event and then I look forward to coming back Switzerland’s my home event, the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre.

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