Oscar Lengden is hoping he can improve on back-to-back career-best performances as he returns to European Challenge Tour action at this week’s Bridgestone Challenge.
The Swede has been in impressive form on the European Tour in recent weeks after eye-catching displays at the Made in Denmark and the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
Following a top five finish in Prague last week, the 25 year old was given the option of competing in Crans Montana at the Omega European Masters.
But after earning vital Road to Oman points with his Czech showing, Lengden chose to travel to Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa having moved up to 53rd in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
With the top 45 guaranteed to play in the remaining eight events on the Challenge Tour’s 2017 calendar, Lengden is now in a position where a late-season charge could earn him a place in the top 15 – who all earn European Tour cards at the end of the campaign.
“Overall it has been a season-changing couple of weeks,” he said. “I had a lot of confidence from the week before in Denmark, but I had no real expectations going into last week.
“When I went out there in front of those crowds I could feel myself growing in confidence – I think I perform better with lots of noise and pressure around me.
“It was cool and fantastic last week. It was really cool as I got to play with Lee Westwood, which was a huge experience for me as he’s someone that I’ve always really admired, and it was fantastic because I managed to play really well for four rounds.
“I have been struggling the whole year to put four rounds together, so I was very pleased when it came to Sunday and I ended up in the position I was in.
“That performance has not just given me cash to spend on something I like, but it has really bumped me up the Rankings too. It has helped me move up 20 spots in the Challenge Tour Rankings which was critical as I haven’t been playing as well as I would have liked this season.
“To now know that I can compete with the big guys fills me with a lot of confidence for the rest of the season for sure.”
While Lengden has been in red hot form of late he will face an unfamiliar test in Luton this week.
For the first time in the Challenge Tour’s history a tournament will use a Modified Stableford format, which was last used on the European Tour in the 2004 ANZ Championship.
“I have no idea what to expect this week,” he said. “I have never played this format before. There was a similar tournament in the Nordic Golf League which unfortunately I didn’t take part in, so I am just here to have fun and see how it goes.
“From what I have seen the course looks great. The fact that it has no bunkers is interesting and with the rough looking pretty juicy it should be a tough test.
“The key this week is to be good off the tee, which I normally don’t have a problem with, and hopefully with the way I am currently playing it is going to be a great week.”
Joining Lengden in Luton are England’s Matt Ford and Italy’s Andrea Pavan, who will be hoping the can go one better after they both finished joint runner-up at last week’s Cordon Golf Open.
England’s Sam Connor will be looking to make it two wins in two appearances at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa this year – the 25 year old won the Matchroom Sport Championship on the EuroPro Tour in July.