Moritz Lampert is hoping the positivity from Germany’s World Cup win last Sunday can spur him onto a career-changing victory at this week’s Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf.
The 22 year old is playing just his eighth tournament of the European Challenge Tour season this week at the picturesque Golf Sempachersee, outside Lucerne, but by this time next week he could be a fully-fledged European Tour player.
Two victories in the space of three weeks in May and June mean Lampert is just one victory away from a return to The Race to Dubai, where he played last year having earned his place via Qualifying School.
His form on the Challenge Tour – two wins, one runner-up, one top five and another top 15 finish in seven appearances – conjures memories of Martin Kaymer’s incredible rise through Europe’s second tier in 2006, when he won twice while also claiming four further top fives and two more top 15 finishes in the space of eight events.
Lampert arrives in Switzerland this week riding on a wave of positivity, having watched his home nation beat Argentina in extra time to claim the World Cup last Sunday, and the Sandhausen player admits that the victory has put a spring in his step.
“It was just amazing,” said Lampert, who is attached to European Tour Destination Golf Club St Leon-Rot. “I was so nervous the whole of Sunday. I watched it at home with my girlfriend and her family as the weather was quite bad at home.
“The team arrived in Berlin this week and 400,000 people welcomed them. It makes you proud to be German.
“There’s definitely some extra pride now when I go out on to the golf course. In another way, it makes me feel almost a little jealous of those guys. I know unless you make the Ryder Cup you’ll never have an experience like this as a golfer.
“Of course I’ve always wanted to play Ryder Cup. I played the Junior Ryder Cup at Valhalla and Gleneagles and watched the Ryder Cup twice while I was there, once you’ve seen that atmosphere you just want to go there and play.
“Especially on the first tee on the opening day – I haven’t seen anything like it on a golf course. I’m hoping one day I’ll be there.”
First things first for Lampert though, as he aims to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Swede Kristoffer Broberg and Brooks Koepka of the USA by earning automatic graduation to The European Tour courtesy of three Challenge Tour victories in one season.
He believes he learned a lot from a disappointing maiden season on the top tier and is now keen to make a success of return to The Race to Dubai, whether it happens this week or at the end of the season, having already claimed enough money to virtually guarantee graduation.
Lampert is in confident mood this week, especially given he has won on this course before as an amateur, back in 2008 at the Swiss International Amateur Championship.
“I took last week off because I’m trying to learn from what I did wrong on The European Tour last year,” he said. “I played too many tournaments in a row and was worn out at the end of the season, so I’m taking it a little easier now, taking weeks off as much as I can to get some good practise in at home.
“A third win would be amazing but I feel like I’m playing well so I don’t need to put any more pressure on myself. I decided to come here because I won the Swiss International as an amateur here six years ago. Memories definitely came back when I was out there practising.
“I’m just trying to get a good rhythm and prepare as good as I can for next season. But it’s not like I can just come out here and just try and get better, I still have to play my best golf and beat all the others.
“There are so many good players out here and obviously my goal after two wins is not to finish in 30th or 40th place, my goal is to win.
“I think my game has developed a lot over the last 12 months so I think I can win on most golf courses. This course is wet so it’s playing quite long, the greens are undulating and the rough is very tough. I figured I will just enjoy the week and see what happens.”
Lampert is joined by his fellow two-time winner on the Challenge Tour, Jake Roos – who added the Aegean Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort title to his trophy cabinet two weeks ago, alongside the Barclays Kenya Open crown he won in March.
Challenge Tour Rankings leader Jordi Garcia Pinto also returns to action in Switzerland after week off while a host of French players will be hoping to make it four consecutive winners from the western European nation.
Victor Riu, who makes his Major debut in this week’s Open Championship, won last year and Edouard Espana, whom Riu shared a room with this time last year, is in the field alongside compatriot Thomas Linard, who is only French winner on the Challenge Tour this season.
Source: European Tour