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Caldwell looking forward to taking on the women in Sweden

Caldwell looking forward to taking on the women in Sweden

Jonathan Caldwell would love to go toe-to-toe with a woman on the back nine on Sunday as he makes his first DP World Tour title defence at the 2022 Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed.

Jonathan Caldwell

The Northern Irishman carded a closing 64 12 months ago to lift the trophy, finishing two shots ahead of Ladies European Tour player Alice Hewson, who finished in third.

The innovative format that sees a field split evenly between men and women playing the same course for one prize fund has been kept for 2022, with the event moving to Halmstad Golf Club for the first time.

And Caldwell is hopeful that both a man and a woman will be in contention to win on Sunday.

“It is great to be able to play against the girls and the prize money is up this year, so I think the field has got stronger," he said.

"Hopefully the course stands up for both men and women and they get the set-up correct and we can have a good battle with the ladies.

"We can compete together and hopefully it comes down to a man and a woman on Sunday fighting it out for the event.”

Caldwell's victory came in his 48th DP World Tour appearance some 12 years after his first, part of a career that had seen him working in a local golf shop while he played on the EuroPro Tour.

The 37-year-old - who celebrates his 38th birthday this week - has not secured a top-ten since his victory and has struggled with a shoulder injury but he is hoping Sweden can inspire him once again.

“I am feeling good," he said. "I would like my form to be a bit better but hopefully I can remember the good vibes from last year and find my game this week.

“I have been thinking about last year a little bit, obviously we are at a different venue this year, a beautiful venue mind you, but it would have been lovely to go back to where I won last year. I have been thinking about it a little bit so I will try and get it out of my head on Thursday morning when I need to get back to playing golf.

“Obviously lots of satisfaction. It was a dream come true from being a small kid at home, to then win on Tour, to do it and feel that, not the relief but the excitement of winning and knowing that you can do it and compete was hugely satisfying.

“It gave me that belief that I could win. My form hasn’t been great since, I haven’t given myself too many chances to win, but knowing that I have done it under the pressure of having a chance and having been able to see it out gives me great belief.

“Recently I had a shoulder injury over Christmas, I got no practice in at all and came out to compete.

"I worked pretty hard with physios and what-not at home to get ready to play in the Desert Swing, and I just haven’t been performing early on or had anything go my way really so far this year, so hopefully this week we can turn it around."

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