Swedish Challenge win first title in four years

09-1886-17''Oliver Wilson
09-1886-17''Oliver Wilson

Mansfield golfer Oliver Wilson is back enjoying the sport he loves.

The 37-year-old has endured a tough time of it of late but turned that around to win the European Challenge Tour event in Sweden - his first title in four years.

Wilson, who was part of the 2008 European Ryder Cup team, overcame Joachim B. Hansen in a dramatic two-hole play-off at Katrineholms Golfklubb to clinch victory.

And he couldn’t hide his delight.

“I’m absolutely delighted, I really am,” he said. “It was hard. The last few years have been hard and I battled well today. I didn’t have my A game, for sure, but I got off to a good start and it was a good battle between me and JB.

“I was delighted to get a putt on the last to tie with JB because I’ve holed nothing today. Just to get the job done, it means a lot. There’s a long way to go on my journey but this is definitely a big step in the right direction.

“I hung in there over the last few days and that probably means more to me now that I feel like I’ve got it done without my A game over the weekend, so it’s all going in the right direction.”

Wilson’s last title came in 2014 when he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and admits he has struggled with the sport.

“The last three or four months have been crucial,” he said. “Without those three or four months, I probably wouldn’t be playing because I wasn’t in love with the game, I didn’t have the answers and I was struggling.

“I couldn’t get it on the fairways, I couldn’t even play – I couldn’t get it round the golf course. Last year was a bit better but it wasn’t good enough and it didn’t really give me any belief that I could get back to where I wanted to be.

“I haven’t played a tournament yet where I feel like I’ve put it all together but it’s certainly going in the right direction and I’m back in love with the game. It’s on an upward trend but I’m well aware that there’s still a long way to go to get to where I want to get to.”

A patient Wilson has targetted a return to the European Tour and the world’s top 100 long term.