Karlsson drawing on good memories ahead of Cape Town title defence

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Sweden’s Anton Karlsson believes his game is trending in the right direction as he gets set to defend his Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open title at Royal Cape Golf Club from April 29 – May 2.

The 27-year-old won his maiden European Challenge Tour title in the Mother City last year and will bid to defend his crown at Royal Cape this week in the second of three co-sanctioned tournaments with the Sunshine Tour.

After missing the cut by one at last week’s Limpopo Championship, Karlsson will be looking to bounce back this week and feed off the good memories he has from last year’s breakthrough victory.

“It was an amazing week for me last time I was here, it’s great to be back,” he said. “It plays a little bit different to what we’ve seen so far but it should be a good week.

“There are a lot of different memories. I tend to have quite a good memory for golf shots, but even more so around here. I had a look at some of the spots I was in last year and I had to show my caddie some of the shots I was able to pull off.

“It’s great but it’s a little different playing later in the year, there’s definitely not as much roll on the fairways. Today was calm, which I’ve never seen around here but we’ll see what it’s like on the tournament days.”

Hailing from the Swedish city of Uppsala, near Stockholm, Karlsson twice earned his European Tour card through Qualifying School in 2016 and 2018, with his best finish a tie for second place at the 2019 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

After a tough time on the course in 2020, he feels like his game is trending in the right direction and this week could be the catalyst for a return to form.

“I would say my game is trending and going in a good way,” he said. “It’s been a little off lately. I’ve been working on some new stuff which feels like it’s getting there, anyone who knows golf knows what it’s like. It’s a struggle most of the time and then when you find it, it’s really easy. Last week I was getting better and better the longer we went on –  so far, so good these few days.

“You need to hit a lot of fairways, for sure, and keep out of the trees. You’re able to attack quite a lot if you stay straight off the tee, then you need to hole putts when you get to the greens. It offers quite a few chances if you keep out the trees.”

Karlsson will be joined in the field by last week’s winner Brandon Stone and his fellow countrymen, who all contested the play-off in Limpopo, Oliver Bekker, Hennie du Plessis and Daniel van Tonder.

The Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open begins at 7:20am local time on Thursday April 29, with Karlsson teeing it up at 12:10pm alongside Deon Germishuys and Lucas Vacarisas.

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