Sports Monks

Mansell aiming to build momentum with Spanish Swing set to begin

Richard Mansell has his sights set on earning his first European Challenge Tour victory during the end of season Spanish Swing, which starts with this week’s Andalucía Challenge de España at Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri.

This week’s event precedes the Andalucía Challenge de Cadiz, which takes place at the same venue next week, before the Challenge Tour Grand Final brings the season to a close in Mallorca a week later.

The Englishman currently lies second on the Road to Mallorca Rankings with his best result of the year so far coming at the dual-ranked Euram Bank Open where he finished second to France’s Joël Stalter.

Although the 25-year-old’s goals are not normally performance-based, Mansell admits his main aim is to chalk up his first victory at Challenge Tour level and hopes the next three weeks prove fruitful in his quest for silverware.

“I want to win,” he said. “I’ve come close. I came second in Austria and I like to make my goals like process goals, rather than results based, but the reason I play this game is because I want to win. I haven’t done that yet on this Tour but I’ve been close a couple of times.

“I like playing in Spain; hopefully we can get some decent weather and I can put some good work in and see if I can get one of them over the line, maybe even two.

“I’m happy with my game, I’ve put some good work in during the last month. I was struggling a little bit in Italy at the start, with my body mainly. My back hasn’t been great, but I’ve got to the bottom of that, found out what was happening and put in some good work in the gym.

“I do feel better physically and mentally and in terms of my game, I found something on that last day in Italy and felt like how I was playing last year a little bit more.”

The 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup player is somebody who likes to play several tournaments in a row to build momentum and is therefore relishing the opportunity to play three consecutive events in the Spanish Swing.

“It’s been a tricky year,” he said. “The Tour has done a great job of putting events on for us because at the start of the year I was quite sceptical. I remember actually looking for jobs just to kill some time.

“I think that you’ve got to take the approach of when you get the chance to play, you’ve got to appreciate that there’s more important things going on in the world right now and we’re actually lucky to be able to go out and play golf. I take it a bit less seriously and when I get an opportunity, try to play well.

“I have felt like I’ve struggled a little bit this year in terms of finding a rhythm. I quite like playing four or five weeks in a row and building off the last week and take it into the next week, but we haven’t been able to do that at all.

“I’m quite looking forward to having three weeks in a row, hopefully with some sunshine.” The first round of the Andalucía Challenge de España will begin at 8.00am local time, with Mansell beginning his tournament alongside three-time Challenge Tour winner Ricardo Gouveia and Cape Town Open champion Anton Karlsson at 9.55am

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