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Home favourite Noren is hoping fans can inspire him to success

 

Fired up: Alex Noren is excited for Scandinavian Invitation
Fired up: Alex Noren is excited for Scandinavian Invitation

By Phil Casey

Ryder Cup star Alex Noren is hoping a touch of football-style fervour can inspire him to complete a hat-trick of victories in the Scandinavian Invitation.

Noren won the event in 2011 and 2015 - when it was known as the Nordea Masters - and, although he did not play at Hills Golf & Sports Club last year, the 37-year-old is looking forward to enjoying plenty of home support.

"It's great to be here, it's a great set-up," the 10-time European Tour winner said.

"The fans are here, they love golf, we've always had big crowds and they support us very well. It's more like a football game.

"It would be good to have a good finish, be up there on Sunday. That's what I'm looking forward to and it would be very nice."

Noren admits the course has changed since he last played in Gothenburg almost a decade ago, but feels it will provide a tough test.

"Your overall game you have to play quite well," he added. "It's tricky around the greens, it's quite wet, so you're going to get some tough lies, so you need to hit the green, you need to hit the fairways.

"It's windy, you've got to manoeuvre the ball well and it seems like you've got to hit it pretty long off the tee because you don't get any roll. It's a mix of many courses, but it's down to the whole game. Get your game in shape and see what shots you need."

England's Paul Waring will defend the title he won last year by beating South Africa's Thomas Aiken in a play-off.

"I keep being reminded of it," Waring said of his maiden European Tour win.

"We shared a car in today and I was speaking to a few of the lads and we were talking about a few of the memories.

"I've drawn on those memories for most of this season, especially on the weekend."

World No.30 Matt Fitzpatrick is the highest-ranked player in the field and will play the first two rounds alongside local favourites Henrik Stenson and Marcus Kinhult.

Stenson finished runner-up in this event in both 2004 and 2005.

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