I felt it was my turn to grab it, and not wait for someone to hand it to me

I felt it was my turn to grab it, and not wait for someone to hand it to me

Six years after he became a professional golf player, ending a brilliant amateur career (he was European champion in 2010 and played twice in the Eisenhower Trophy for Denmark), Lucas Bjerregaard reached his first European Tour title at the age of 26 at the 11th Portugal Masters at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura. 

In May he had won the European Tour’s inaugural GolfSixes event for Denmark alongside partner Thorbjorn Olesen, however this event was not part of the Race to Dubai. 

With the win in Vilamoura, Bjerregaard jumped from 114th on the Race to Dubai standings to 48th, comfortably getting him into the tour’s final playoff events later this fall. More importantly, the win secured his tour card through the 2018 season. 

This was the third time he has held the 54-hole lead. In the two previous events he finished in second place at the 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open and tied third at the 2016 Volvo China Open. 

It’s the 34th European Tour win by a player from Denmark, and the tenth different Danish winner. But this was the first Tour’s win by a player from Denmark this season. 

How did it feel to win the Portugal Masters?

It felt very good. It’s definitely the win I’ve been looking for, and, to be honest, it’s been really tough. To be in contention again felt really good, and to come out on top felt even better. I felt pretty confident. My girlfriend asked me Sunday morning if I was nervous, and I said: “Don’t worry, I got this.” Probably more to calm her down than anything… I’ve been in this position a couple of times before, so to finally come through and get my first win feels really good.

Have you ever played better than that, especially under pressure?

I think that last round is definitely out there with one of my best. Maybe not so much for the six under around here – I’ve done it before – but for hitting the shots I did under pressure. The two shots I hit on the 17th are some of the best I’ve hit on long time. And even on 18th there’s so much than can go wrong. To come out and make some birdies early felt really good as well, it felt like it was my turn to grab it, and not wait for someone to hand it to me.

What pleasured you must on Sunday, the 24 putts you had or the ball striking?

I did putt well, my pace was a bit better on Sunday, but all and all I just played really well. Drove it nicely, a lot better than I did on saturday, more like the first two rounds. I gave myself plenty of chances out there, and took advantage of some of those 24 putts.

You join Thomas Bjorn and Soren Kjeldsen and your good friend Thorbjorn Olesen, and many others, as a Denmark player to win on the European Tour. What does that means to you?

It means a lot. I’ve been out here here for four years now, and to be honest you start doubting if it’s ever gonna happen, because you  know you have to have a week where it all comes together. Luckily this was the week for me. It’s been though, I’ve had a couples of chances before and didn’t take advantage, so to come up on top now is really nice.

Who are the Danish players you get along the most?

Allf of them. When we’re out we all go for dinner, and yes, I’ve learned a lot from some of the older guys. The younger guys, we know each other for a long time, but Bjorn and Keldsen and others have been a great help with advice. We get along very well all of us.

Tell us how did you start playing golf?

My dad started playing when I was 10 years old, and then he took me to the golf course. I liked it straight away. It was on our local course, 40 minute north of Aalborg. My father was out there with some friends, and we kind of played against each other for a long time.

When did you realize you wanted to become a pro?

I think quite early, when I was maybe 15, 16, something like that. Well, it was a dream since I started playing golf, but it was at 16, 17 that I started to realize maybe I had a chance. Then I won the European Championship when I was 18, so after that I tought I would become a pro.

What does Portugal means to you?

Means a lot. Obviously this win is special, I get my first win here! My girlfriend, she’s been with me the last four years, and we enjoy it here. The wheather is fantastic, so are the hotels, the golf courses, the food… So we enjoy it here and we are definitely coming here next year. I’ve done well here before at the Portugal Masters, I think I finished top-10 two years ago and around top-10 last year as well, so it’s obviously a course I like and to go a little bit better this year means a lot.

Obviously you won the GolfSixes along with Thorbjorn Olesen, but could this win at the Portugal Masters be a turning point in your career?

I hope so. It’s been a rough year, so far, so I hope it turns things around a little bit and things are better from now on.

Thinking about buying anything special with the prize-money

No. I haven’t thought about that, but I’m sure there’ll be a little pressing from my girlfriend.

Tells about your interest in wheight lifting

Well, I like working out. I don’t know if that’s an interest, but I enjoy. When I got some time off, all I do is train and stay at home, so I don’t have many other hobbys.

Lucas Bjerregaard interviewed by Rodrigo Cordoeiro photographed by Filipe Guerra





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