THE STORM IS BREW­ING

Graeme Storm thought his win­less streak would never end. But af­ter beat­ing Rory in South Africa, the fi­nan­cial wor­ries have gone and he’s in­tent on prov­ing that the old guard can still com­pete against the young guns

Golf Asia - - GOLFING PROFILE - BY MICHAEL CATLING IM­AGES HOWARD BOYLAN; GETTY

Graeme Storm can still re­mem­ber those sleep­less nights spent wor­ry­ing where his next pay check was com­ing from. Thir­teen missed cuts from 27 events in 2016 meant he fin­ished $100 short of re­tain­ing his Euro­pean Tour card, or so he thought. The 39-year-old earned it back at the 11th hour af­ter Patrick Reed failed to meet the min­i­mum start re­quire­ments to keep his. Wor­ries gone, Storm fin­ished fourth in his next tour­na­ment and then won the South African Open six weeks later. He had to beat Rory Mcil­roy in a play-off to do it, and took home more than half of what he’d earned for the whole of the 2016 sea­son. Lit­tle won­der he calls it the “great­est achieve­ment” of his ca­reer. Twelve months on and the Rock­liffe Hall pro ad­mits he’s a changed man. He’s started work­ing with a fit­ness trainer, and has no in­ten­tion of ve­to­ing on his no goals pol­icy. It’s a sim­ple for­mula de­signed to re­lieve any men­tal or phys­i­cal strain, and it’s al­ready yielded his most suc­cess­ful year on the Euro­pean Tour to date.

Did you ever think it would take you nearly a decade to re­peat your vic­tory at the French Open?

I never doubted my abil­ity to win again, but was I ex­pect­ing to win again? Prob­a­bly not. I had been wait­ing a long time. I had spent the last two or three sea­sons strug­gling to keep my card. It started be­com­ing more un­likely that I would ever win again. Then all of a sud­den… boom!

Did it come as even more of a sur­prise af­ter the events lead­ing up to the South African Open?

To say I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it would be a mas­sive un­der­state­ment. At the end of the Por­tu­gal Mas­ters in 2016, I didn’t re­ally know what the fu­ture held. I was all set to go to Q School. I had en­tered and then I heard a whis­per Patrick Reed wasn’t go­ing to play in Tur­key. Every­thing was up in the air for a good cou­ple of

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