Rocco Forte Sicilian Open champion Lagergren looks to Verdura Resort for inspiration

Rocco Forte Hotels

Joakim Lagergren is turning to some fond memories of Verdura Resort to help him recapture his best form.

After claiming his maiden European Tour success at the 2018 Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, subsequent results have been inconsistent and his form has dipped in recent months. 

But as he puts in the work in practice to iron out some technical issues with his swing, he believes those unforgettable memories from Sicily can provide some welcome inspiration.


How has your form been lately?

My swing isn’t quite where I want it to be, so it’s a battle to be honest. It’s been like that for a while but it’s always good to look back on that win for some positive memories.

Golfers sometimes go through these periods where it seems like everything is a struggle and nothing is working quite right. But you are sometimes just one swing thought from a great week, so I just need to find it and then you get that confidence again.

I’m trying to progress every day and to just get better and better. 


What are your memories from that win at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open in 2018?

It’s definitely my career highlight so far. It was nice to show myself and everyone else that I could do it under pressure – they are great memories for me.

It’s funny because everything just came together for me that week. I remember it was my fifth tournament in a row when I even got there so I was quite low in energy. I was actually even considering taking the week off.

Five weeks in a row is usually too much, but I decided to play anyway and obviously that went quite well for me. It’s the best decision I ever made!

My friend turned 30 the week afterwards and I was supposed to play that week instead.

Then when he planned his birthday, it made sense to play in Sicily and then take the week off to join in the celebrations. It was a good double celebration – definitely!

After winning the tournament, I was supposed to travel back a few hours later and had a flight booked but I decided to stay. I just wanted to enjoy it and let it all sink in while I was on the ground, rather than in a plane.

We had five or six suites and a few friends helped me celebrate. We had a nice dinner and a lot of wine. I don’t normally drink too much but in that scenario, I allowed myself a few more than a couple of glasses that night!


Is Verdura a course that suits your game?

I’d played there in 2012 and that was my first year on the European Tour and then revisited in 2018.

It was so different from 2012 to 2018. They grew the rough up and it was a lot tighter. It was also a lot more windy so it felt like a different course, but it’s a special place to play.

I can’t really say that it was one of those courses that suited me before the tournament, but I guess I can say that afterwards!


When did you first start playing golf? 

My stepfather at the time (Ola Eliasson) played on Tour between 1998 and 2001 and kind of taught me golf.

He was my golfing hero from a young age and I started playing from the age of six.

I had some talent in me I guess, then obviously had great support from home. He is a great player and I had the opportunity to watch him closely. I used to stand behind him and try to copy what he was doing.


Where do you stand on Bryson DeChambeau’s approach of just going for as much power and distance as possible?

It’s really impressive what he’s done but some people might get tired of it and they might design courses a little differently in the future.

I’ve had a few back problems this year and last year so it’s not the time for me to try to increase my swing speed in that way. I haven’t jumped on that train.

I try to stay in shape and do a lot of rehab to be able to play regularly.

But there are many ways to play golf and that is one of the great things about the sport. We don’t all have to do it the same way.


What are your ambitions for the rest of the season?

I don’t have any specific goals this year, other than to keep improving and to hopefully get my second win.

Of course, I’d love to play in any of the Majors and The Open Championship and I will be doing my best to get in there. I think the qualifying events have been cancelled but it will be done on rankings and specific tournaments.

I will keep working as hard as possible and hopefully, the results will follow.


Guests can book a range of golf breaks at Verdura Resort this summer and autumn including its popular Unlimited Golf package until 7th November, 2021, which includes an unlimited number of rounds, full daily breakfast and €100 dining credit to enjoy during your stay. Complimentary additions include shared buggies, use of the driving range and spa facilities.

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