Robert Karlsson is looking to end an injury-hampered season on a high as he prepares to take part in this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
The European Tour’s reigning Order of Merit champion returned to action last month after a four-month layoff with an eye injury.
“I’m going to have four more events to play, so it’s important to hopefully get a couple of decent results in the bag to get a good feeling for next year,” said the Swede.
Karlsson has good reason to look forward to the US$2.5 million UBS Hong Kong Open, which tees off this Thursday at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
On his last visit to the tournament two years ago he played some magnificent golf on his way to finishing tied second, one shot behind winner Miguel ángel Jiménez of Spain.
On that occasion, the big-hitting Karlsson kept his driver in the bag for most of the four days as he negotiated Fanling’s tight par-70 layout and he is relishing the challenge of doing that again.
“It’s always good to come back to a tournament where you have played well in the past, it’s a good feeling,” he said
“I’m used to doing well on other courses that are perhaps longer and a bit more open, so it is very good practice for me to learn how to play a course like this.
“I really enjoy playing here because it is different from many of the other courses we play on tour. I think I’ll only be using my driver on No.6 and that’s about it.”
Karlsson, who has nine European Tour victories to his name, his hoping to hit form at Fanling as he prepares to defend his World Cup crown with fellow Swede Henrik Stenson in China at the end of this month.
“The aim this week is to give myself the best possible chance to have a good result and at the end of the week we’ll see where I’m at. It’s just good to be here and to be playing this tournament. I’m looking forward to it.”
Other stars on show in the UBS Hong Kong Open include Asia’s first Major winner, Yang Yong Eun, world No.4 Lee Westwood and former British Open champions Mark O’Meara and Ben Curtis.
Returning to Fanling are defending champion Lin Wen Tang and the man he beat in last year’s unforgettable playoff duel, world No.17 Rory McIlroy.
In addition, English ace Ian Poulter – the world No.13 and recent winner of the Singapore Open – and Northern Irish star Darren Clarke, a 13-time winner on the European Tour, are in the line-up.
The UBS Hong Kong Open – Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event, having started in 1959 – is once again co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.