Chris Hanson is in the form of his life – and praying it continues for another week as he prepares to take on the world’s best golfers at The Open Championship.
Last week he qualified at the final event at Hillside, Southport, shooting six under par, and left the following day for a Challenge Tour event in Bavaria, Germany, where he finished third.
He returned home to Huddersfield, entered an 1836 Tour competition at Crewe Golf Club on Tuesday and shot three under par to win the event.
On Wednesday evening the Woodsome Hall man returned from a very successful practice day at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, and now feels ready to take on the world at that same venue.
The third place in the Aegean Airways Challenge Tour tournament at Hartl Resort, Bavaria, was undoubtedly a big boost for Hanson, who got off to a slow start and improved as the competition hotted up. He finished on 10 under par, three behind the leader, and won himself 10,200 euros.
He has been working with his coach Mark Pearson, of Oulton Hall, and will be playing a further nine holes on Monday afternoon at Hoylake, 18 on Tuesday morning, followed by several hours of practice.
On Wednesday, he will be practising, rather than playing the course again, which is his normal tournament routine. His coach has warned him not to over-prepare, but to treat The Open like any other Tour event.
He is hoping that his trusty bag of Taylor Made clubs and Scotty Cameron putter will serve him as well next week as they did the last.
Hanson, 28, is buoyant after his recent successes and likes the look of Hoylake, where he made finished runner-up in the British Boys’ Championship 10 years ago.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have qualified and then finished third in Germany.
“It’s been great to see the layout at Hoylake and to get my bearings. I spoke to Peter Dawson of the R&A while I was over there and the course should be firmer next week.
“The greens were 9.5 on the stint meter and will be 11 for the tournament. Hoylake is one of the better venues to play your first Open. There are nine holes to try and par and the other nine with a chance of birdies.
“There was a strong wind on Wednesday, and I think it will suit my game if there is a strong wind next week and the course is firmer with bounce, I tend to play better in those conditions.
“It is my absolute dream come true to play in The Open, it is what I have worked for all these years. But I don’t think I will actually believe it until I am standing on that first tee with my friends and family and all the spectators around me.
My caddy, Steve Tooby, is worth his weight in gold and this is a reward for his hard work over the last five years as well.
“He will save me several shots and when the pressure kicks in, there will be a friendly face. He will put things in perspective and if I have a bogey, he’ll remind me that it’s not the end of the world.
“Of course I will be a bit nervous, but I have had enough moments over the years to deal with that and play some good golf. I can’t wait.”
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