It’s not a stretch to say that Alex Norén is the hottest golfer on the planet right now, though his tear across Europe has taken place somewhat under the radar.
The 34-year-old Swede’s victory at last week’s British Masters was his third of the season, following successes at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July and the Omega European Masters in September. Unfortunately for him – and for Europe – his latest two victories came after the Ryder Cup qualifying period had ended and captain Darren Clarke had made his captain’s picks.
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Norén’s victory outside London last Sunday vaulted him into the world’s top 20, and his success is particularly noteworthy given where he was at the beginning of last year. Coming off a 2014 season in which he played only two tournaments because of tendinitis in both wrists and earned less than €5,000 in prize money, he was ranked 471st in the world. He experienced extreme inflammation and loss of movement in both wrists while injured, enough to a throw a severe scare into anyone who plays golf for a living.
Given his experience, it’s understandable that Norén hasn’t let his recent success go to his head.
“I know how tough golf can be. I’ve had my really bad runs before, so I don’t take it for granted,” he said.
NOREN’S TOP FINISHES SINCE JULY 2016
1st, Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (July)
1st, Omega European Masters (September)
1st, British Masters (October)
2nd, Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play (August)
8th, French Open (July)
11th, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (October)