Selfridge "excited" about big chance
 Chris Selfridge. Picture © Emanuel Stotzer

Chris Selfridge. Picture © Emanuel Stotzer

"I believe I am ready." That was Chris Selfridge and his feelings about winning in one of his first few starts playing on Challenge Tour invitations.  

Fast forward just over six weeks and he has a chance to win on Sunday for the second week running in his his second start as a professional.

After a six under 65 left him tied for third in the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf, just three strokes off the pace, he was answering texts.

Feeling good? Confident for tomorrow?

"Today was good," he replied. "Effortless. Excited for tomorrow."

No wonder. 

As the Challenge Tour reported:

Chris Selfridge graduated from University in the USA just two weeks ago, and the Northern Irishman feels like he is living the dream after a rip-roaring start to his professional career which has already culminated in his chasing a first title at the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf.
The former amateur star, who won four major Irish titles in the non-paid ranks as well as two on the American collegiate circuit, carded the best round of the week thus far at Golf Sempachersee to move from just two inside Friday’s cut to within three shots of Oliver Bekker's lead heading into the final day.
Having made his professional debut at the D+D Real Czech Challenge, where he finished in a share of 17th place, it is has been a stunning start to life in the paid ranks for the University of Toledo graduate.
“I was just happy to be playing the weekend and I just went out today and tried to relax and just play,” said Selfridge, who studies marketing in the USA. “I struggled a bit on Friday so I just kind of went out today with a lot less pressure because I wasn’t playing too well. 
“I did a bit of work on the range and then just played well, got off to a good start and hit some good shots. I made some putts and I just got it going, made nine birdies.
“I was really proud of how I did on Friday at the same time, shooting a one under 70, because I did not play well and things didn’t go my way but I fought to the end so I was happy to be here.
“I was also playing with my good friend Gareth Shaw today, we’re both rooming together this week, so that was fun too, being out there with him in a two ball. It was just relaxing and when I got four birdies in a row I was then thinking, wow I’m not far away. I bogeyed the last after a terrible lie off the tee but these things happen.
The 22 year old has just been riding on the crest of a wave of positivity since starting life on the Challenge Tour and he admits that, unlike many others making the transition from the amateur game, he has take to it like a duck to water.
“I turned pro last week in Czech Republic and I only just graduated from college two weeks ago,” said the Maghera player, who reached 80th in the World Amateur Rankings. “I came 17th last week, although I had a bad final round when I had a good chance of a good top five. I was still happy with it and I’m happy with how my game is progressing.
“I was very excited to play professional golf. This is a dream come true and I just wanted to try and enjoy it. Obviously I’ve been working very hard and I’ve got a good team around me.
“It hasn’t been tough to adapt at all. I love it. It’s great playing only 18 holes a day when in college you play 36 a day, which is miserable. So it’s great out here.
“I just need to do exactly as before, pick good targets, commit to the shots and see what happens. Things might go your way and you have a 65, they might not go your way. I understand it’s a process and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and if it doesn’t happen tomorrow it will happen some day.”
The former amateur star, who won four major Irish titles in the non-paid ranks as well as two on the American collegiate circuit, carded the best round of the week thus far at Golf Sempachersee to move from just two inside Friday’s cut to within three shots of Oliver Bekker's lead heading into the final day.
Having made his professional debut at the D+D Real Czech Challenge, where he finished in a share of 17th place, it is has been a stunning start to life in the paid ranks for the University of Toledo graduate.
“I was just happy to be playing the weekend and I just went out today and tried to relax and just play,” said Selfridge, who studies marketing in the USA. “I struggled a bit on Friday so I just kind of went out today with a lot less pressure because I wasn’t playing too well. 
“I did a bit of work on the range and then just played well, got off to a good start and hit some good shots. I made some putts and I just got it going, made nine birdies.
“I was really proud of how I did on Friday at the same time, shooting a one under 70, because I did not play well and things didn’t go my way but I fought to the end so I was happy to be here.
“I was also playing with my good friend Gareth Shaw today, we’re both rooming together this week, so that was fun too, being out there with him in a two ball. It was just relaxing and when I got four birdies in a row I was then thinking, wow I’m not far away. I bogeyed the last after a terrible lie off the tee but these things happen.
The 22 year old has just been riding on the crest of a wave of positivity since starting life on the Challenge Tour and he admits that, unlike many others making the transition from the amateur game, he has take to it like a duck to water.
“I turned pro last week in Czech Republic and I only just graduated from college two weeks ago,” said the Maghera player, who reached 80th in the World Amateur Rankings. “I came 17th last week, although I had a bad final round when I had a good chance of a good top five. I was still happy with it and I’m happy with how my game is progressing.
“I was very excited to play professional golf. This is a dream come true and I just wanted to try and enjoy it. Obviously I’ve been working very hard and I’ve got a good team around me.
“It hasn’t been tough to adapt at all. I love it. It’s great playing only 18 holes a day when in college you play 36 a day, which is miserable. So it’s great out here.
“I just need to do exactly as before, pick good targets, commit to the shots and see what happens. Things might go your way and you have a 65, they might not go your way. I understand it’s a process and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and if it doesn’t happen tomorrow it will happen some day.”

Mick McGeady double bogeyed the 18th but still shot a 67 that left him tied 19th with Selfridge's room mate and playing partner Gareth Shaw, who shot a three under 68 to leave them six behind South African Oliver Bekker, who recovered from an early collapse by playing his last six holes in six under.

It all added up to a 70 and two-shot lead over England's Gary Boyd at Golf Sempachersee near Lucerne.

Bekker started strongly and moved three shots clear at one point early on, but he proceeded to suffer a remarkable collapse with six dropped shots leaving him three shots off the pace on four under par for the tournament.

But the 30 year old staged a truly stunning finish and four birdies and an eagle in the final third of his round.

“I don’t think I have ever finished like that in my life,” said the three-time Sunshine Tour winner. “It was like two different people playing today, the first 12 holes were horrendous. I couldn’t do anything right and I actually got lucky on a couple of holes.

“I holed out from a fairway bunker from 46 yards at the fourth for birdie, I made a couple of 30-footers and then I missed four really easy putts. To shoot six under in the last six, it was a completely different golf game I was playing.

“I just found a bit of rhythm and started hitting good tee shots, which gave me a chance to hit my irons close, and then holed some good putts coming in.

“I got to a state where I was so far over par that I thought, just go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose now. Then I hit a good tee shot at 13, hit it close and made the putt. Then I did the same at the next and all of a sudden I was back in the mix. I just said, lets finish strong, and I managed to do that.”

203 O Bekker (RSA) 67 66 70, 

205 G Boyd (Eng) 66 70 69, 

206 J Hansen (Den) 72 67 67, R Enoch (Wal) 71 67 68, J Doherty (Sco) 67 67 72, C Selfridge (Nir) 71 70 65, J Heath (Eng) 69 70 67, 

207 B Parker (Eng) 68 72 67, S Tiley (Eng) 69 68 70, O Stark (Swe) 67 70 70, D Palm (Swe) 68 71 68, A Ahokas (Fin) 67 71 69, H Porteous (RSA) 67 69 71, 

208 J Senior (Eng) 66 70 72, D Foos (Ger) 70 71 67, R Gouveia (Por) 68 70 70, D Frittelli (RSA) 74 67 67, D Im (USA) 74 66 68, 

209 J Guerrier (Fra) 72 70 67, J Blaauw (RSA) 72 71 66, B Paolini (USA) 70 71 68, N Geyger (Chi) 71 68 70, S Brown (Eng) 67 73 69, G Shaw (Nir) 71 70 68, A Saddier (Fra) 70 71 68, T Remkes (Ned) 72 69 68, M McGeady (Irl) 72 70 67, 

210 A Bruschi (Ita) 69 69 72, M Delpodio (Ita) 71 70 69, L Claverie (Esp) 70 72 68, E Di Nitto (Ita) 72 69 69, 

211 G Drakeford (Aus) 70 72 69, F Praegant (Aut) 73 70 68, J Girrbach (Sui) 69 69 73, S Hodgson (Eng) 69 71 71, S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) 72 69 70, B Hafthorsson (Isl) 72 69 70, S Arnold (Aus) 71 68 72, J Harrison (Eng) 71 71 69, C Arendell (USA) 71 69 71, 

212 N Quintarelli (Ita) 68 73 71, R Russell (Sco) 70 71 71, T Gornik (Slo) 69 72 71, B Rusch (Sui) 75 68 69, R Kellett (Sco) 71 68 73, J McLeary (Sco) 71 72 69, 

213 T Tree (Eng) 71 67 75, S Heisele (Ger) 72 71 70, L Gagli (Ita) 69 72 72, M Wiegele (Aut) 69 73 71, G Murray (Sco) 71 70 72, M Orrin (Eng) 73 68 72, B Hemstock (Eng) 68 70 75, F Calmels (Fra) 70 70 73, R De Sousa (Sui) 68 75 70, 

214 M Trappel (Aut) 73 69 72, V Riu (Fra) 69 73 72, A Gee (Eng) 70 69 75, 

215 K Benz (Sui) 70 71 74, S Manley (Wal) 70 70 75, C Mivis (Bel) 72 69 74, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 67 74 74, M Pospisil (am) (Cze) 71 71 73, 

216 L Corfield (Eng) 71 72 73, 

217 D Ulrich (Sui) 73 70 74, 

224 L Nemecz (Aut) 72 71 81, 

226 P Figueiredo (Por) 71 72 83