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Victory with anticipation: Stirn wins Haugschlag NÖ Open

Haugschlag NÖ Open by perfect eagle 2023

Goal achieved: Zan Luka Stirn crowns his strong start to the season with the title at the Haugschlag NÖ Open by perfect eagle 2023 at the Haugschlag golf resort. The Slovenian triumphed after rounds of 68 and twice 66 strokes with an overall score of 13 under par ahead of the Czech Jan Cafourek (-12) and the Austrian amateur Florian Schweighofer (-11).


Haugschlag, Austria - It hailed, snowed, rained - and every now and then the sun showed itself over the Haugschlag golf resort in the north of Austria. The week near the Czech border was extremely varied in terms of weather. All the more credit to the Slovenian Zan Luka Stirn for his consistent performance on the final day of the Haugschlag NÖ Open by perfect eagle 2023. The 25-year-old did not let himself get rattled by anything. "I really played very consistently," said Stirn after a flawless 66 (-5) on the final day. "No bogeys speaks for itself."

Stirn had entered the final round as shared leader with Jan Cafourek and initially the pendulum had swung in the Czech's direction. "Jan [Cafourek] played a very good round but unfortunately made a few small mistakes at the end," Stirn said. Cafourek conceded two bogeys in the final phase - the chance for Stirn. He was also "quite nervous on the last holes". But in the end it was he who was "very happy" to win his first tournament on the Pro Golf Tour.

However, this premiere title on the Pro Golf Tour by no means came out of nowhere. Already at the first four events of the season in Egypt, Stirn had impressed with three top ten results. "That was already very consistent and I knew that if I could get all three rounds together, then I could play at the top," explained the winner, whose goal for the week in Haugschlag was a prophecy: "I came here to win."

Leaderboard: All results at a glance

The good start to the season, on the other hand, comes as something of a surprise. After his not entirely satisfying rookie year on the Pro Golf Tour in 2022, Stirn, whose father introduced him to golf at the age of two, decided to take a break from golf in the winter. "I didn't touch a club at all for two months. I didn't want anything to do with golf during that time. Practising so much and not getting the results I wanted took a toll on me."

How good this break was for Stirn was now shown at the latest by the highlight in Haugschlag, where he found a perfectly prepared course. "The greens were very good and for the fact that it rained so much here, it wasn't that wet either. The course played very well and it was fun." And the fun continued. After the prizegiving, Stirn went home with his younger brother Gal Patrik, who also plays on the Pro Golf Tour and carried his bag on the final day. "There we will listen to music and have a party in the car," he already announced. So will the third-placed player, local hero Schweighofer - albeit briefly. Because the amateur has his final exams next Wednesday, he had studied extra in advance to play the tournament. From a sporting point of view, it was worth it.

With this victory, Stirn moved up to second place in the Order of Merit. Frenchman Clement Guichard is still in the lead. Andoni Etchenique (France) completes the top three.