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Ken Borland

Tremendous Bachem makes it seem like Euro Tour wins are not retailing for much these days

Posted on March 26, 2023 by Ken

Nick Bachem is all smiles after his dominant victory in the Jonsson Workwear Open at Steyn City.

The way Nick Bachem cruised to victory in the Jonsson Workwear Open at Steyn City on Sunday, it may have seemed that DP World Tour titles are not retailing for much these days.

But don’t be fooled by the ease with which the 23-year-old German soared to 24-under-par and a four-stroke victory with a tremendous final-round 64; this was high-quality golf overpowering a field boasting plenty of strength in depth.

Having won his DP World Tour card for the first time at qualifying school in November, Bachem claimed his first title in just his 10th start in the 2022/23 season. The engaging youngster admitted that he did not expect to be winning tournaments quite so soon.

“It’s just amazing, this is just my 10th start. I believed I could win, but just to be playing here is actually pretty overwhelming. I don’t really understand what has happened over the last couple of days, in fact over the last year-and-a-half,” a beaming Bachem said.

“Today was just my day. I thought it was going to be super-close, but I was still chilled and so relaxed. But then on the 15th I saw a scoreboard and saw I was four ahead. And then I got super-nervous! I knew I just needed three pars and I would win, but suddenly that felt so hard!

“But I had to tell myself that it is just golf I am playing and a missed putt or something is not the end of the world. And then it was a nice finish.

“Getting my tour card is always in mind when I’m playing, and now I’ve got the job done pretty early. Now I can just enjoy playing all the events and letting all the experiences sink in.

“It feels unreal right now, it’s definitely a dream come true. I felt it would take more time,” Bachem said.

Beginning the final day one stroke behind leader and fellow German Alexander Knappe, Bachem was struck with terrible bad luck right from the outset, a decent opening tee-shot ending in a plugged lie. He had to take a drop and did exceptionally well to still get a par-four.

From there he reeled off four birdies in the next five holes, which sent him soaring to the top of the leaderboard. Four more birdies on the back nine sealed the deal, the second-placed South African duo of Zander Lombard (65) and Hennie du Plessis (68) left in his wake on 20-under-par.

Another South African, Ockie Strydom, finished in a tie for fourth on 19-under with Scotsman Ewen Ferguson.

The genial Bachem showed he has the bottle to win on the main tour and he said making sure he enjoyed himself on the course was a vital part of handling the pressure.

“I was leading a tournament for the first time a couple of weeks ago in the Kenya Open and I just wanted to win so badly, I wanted to shoot course records, and I ended up nearly finishing last.

“But yesterday I was really calm, I just felt like if I finished top-20 I would be happy. And then my goal today was to just enjoy myself and enjoy as much as possible having the chance to win.

“It’s definitely something I have to keep telling myself because it is not always easy out there. But I just reminded myself that I am in sunny South Africa while it is winter in Germany, playing on a beautiful course. So life is actually pretty good and you need to try and remember that in the tough times.

“I don’t believe there is anything better that I could be doing, playing golf just brings me so much fun and joy. Even when there are bad weeks, it is nice to be able to enjoy them as well, because that is when you learn. In Kenya I learnt so much and without that experience I would have had no chance of winning here,” Bachem said.

It’s been a crazy 18 months for Bachem and now he has even more exciting possibilities in store to look forward to.

“When I was still an amateur, I played a few events on the Pro Golf mini-tour and then I turned pro. Playing on the Challenge Tour in 2022 was pretty good, but I just missed winning my DP World Tour card. Qualifying School was then a real rollercoaster, I was four-over after the first round but then shot 10-under. Just a couple of months later, here I am having won my card for the next two years. So I am pretty excited about the future,” Bachem said.

In his immediate future, there is a trip to France next week. Bachem does not just enjoy riding the waves of fortune and misfortune in the golfing world, he is also a keen surfer of literal waves.

Between the Kenya Open and the Jonsson Workwear Open, Bachem spent time at South Africa’s surfing mecca, Jeffrey’s Bay.

“My family used to go to the west coast of France for holidays on the Atlantic and I started to get into surfing since I was young. I’ve been doing it more and more since I turned 18. Now I can drive a car and I spent six weeks in Portugal recently in a campervan. Maybe there is a career in surfing after golf for me … ”

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