Sweden’s rising star Alex Norén wants more after European PGA title win

Sweden's Alex Norén believes his win in the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday puts him in with a chance in the season's three remaining major championships.

Sweden's rising star Alex Norén wants more after European PGA title win
Sweden's Alex Norén kisses the trophy after winning the 2017 BMW PGA Championship. Photo: Nigel French/AP

Norén shot a 10-under-par 62 to claim the title – coming from seven shots off the pace – to land the European Tour's flagship event, his fifth win in less than a year.

The 34-year-old missed the cut in the US Masters in April and has only one top-10 finish in a major to his name – ninth in the British Open in 2012 at Royal Lytham.

But Norén, who will move into the top 10 in the world rankings after his win, says his confidence is high heading into next month's US Open at Erin Hills, Wisconsin.

“This tournament in my mind compares a lot with a major,” he said after his win on Sunday.

“What I wanted to do is play better against a better field and better courses, tougher courses. And I view this as a very difficult course against a very tough field.”

“So then this is very close to a major in my mind. So my confidence goes up.”

“It's just work towards your goals and trying to kind of improve on my weaknesses and improve on my strengths, and trying to figure out where I'm losing shots and where I'm gaining shots.”

“But overall, a win like this brings your confidence up, and that's what I've always needed, to believe in myself, and then it's easier to focus on what you need to do.”

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Norén was plagued by a wrist injury before winning four tournaments in 11 starts last year but says his biggest battle in golf was keeping the ball on the fairway.

He added: “I never had a good game off the tee. So I was always quite worried where the ball was heading and I couldn't really play really difficult golf courses well.”

“That's what I worked the hardest on, to get the ball somehow on the fairway a bit more often.”

“I think that gives me a little bit more calmness, and then I can concentrate on the whole game and not just worry that I'm going to send a few out-of-bounds every round.”

“When I was injured, I always knew I was coming back to some sort of form. But maybe it made me think a little bit more to train a little bit smarter.”

Norén assumed he had slipped out of contention on Saturday at the European PGA Championship when he double-bogeyed the 18th and was not entertaining thoughts of victory.

“I didn't even think about it,” he said.

“I came off the course angry on Saturday after chipping into the water at the 18th — but I holed so many putts and that gives you so much confidence and everything seems possible.”

His playing partner Peter Uihlein eulogised about the round saying it was the best he had ever seen.

Norén refused to go that far, but admitted: “I putted probably the best I've ever putted.”

Fellow Swede Henrik Stenson was full of praise for his compatriot.

“He went out early and played a great round. It must be a lot of good stuff in there to shoot 62, that's for sure,” said Stenson.

“He timed it right, a good one; when the last groups hit 9, it started raining heavily and we played in some rain for a couple of holes there. I'm sure he wasn't crying in the clubhouse at that point.”

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