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
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