Mexico’s Abraham Ancer will make his first appearance on Continental Europe this week as he contends with the formidable Porsche Nord Course at the Porsche European Open.
The 30-year-old, currently ranked Number 17 on the Official World Golf Ranking, has not missed a cut since the Genesis Invitational on the PGA TOUR in February, recording six top 20 finishes in ten starts since.
He travels to Germany in search of a maiden European Tour title at Green Eagle Golf Courses, facing one of the longest tests on this year’s Race to Dubai – the 7,603-yard Porsche Nord Course.
“I played here for the first time yesterday in the Pro-Am and the golf course is an absolute beast,” he said. “It’s going to be a true test. You have to hit it far and straight. It was pretty windy and that back nine was one of the toughest I’ve ever played; it’s going to be a true challenge, you have to hit it really good out here.
“I definitely wish I could hit it maybe another 20 or 30 yards farther with my driver. You have to be in the fairway so driving accuracy will be important. With these green complexes and a lot of long irons into par threes it’s going to be extremely important to have a good ball-striking week, that’ll be the key.
“If not, your short game has to be super, super on-point. It’s a ball-strikers paradise out here.”
This week marks Ancer’s second European Tour start in Europe at a non-Major, after making his first appearance at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, where he finished in a share of 19th place at Lahinch Golf Club.
“I love travelling and getting to see different places I’ve never been and what better way than playing in a tournament?” he said. “I really enjoy seeing different golf courses and different conditions. I’ve been able to do that a few times on the European Tour at the Irish Open and in Saudi Arabia.
“So far this week has been really nice – the people have been incredibly nice and the hotel is great. I wish I could go out and about and check out the city. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that and have to stay in the bubble. That’s okay, I’ll be back when everything is a bit more normal and be able to check out Hamburg a lot more than this week.”
One player who is no stranger to playing in Germany is Max Kieffer, the third-highest ranked German in the world. Buoyed by the return of spectators this week, the 30-year-old is relishing the prospect of home support.
After constructive discussions with promoters U.COM Event, authorities gave the go ahead for a model project to allow 2,000 daily spectators.
“With crowds back, I’m really looking forward to playing at home,” said Kieffer. “I think we’ve all missed the crowds, and then when you play at home in front of home spectators it’s always extra special.
“When I played in Austria, where I played well but lost in the play-off, it would have been nice to have had them – I definitely felt as though they were missing there.
“I think a home tournament would be one of those events where you would feel like you miss them, because the atmosphere is always very nice and the support is always there; this is definitely the perfect tournament for spectators.”