Matthias Schwab stays cool on moving dayHamburg. He is the surprise package of the first three days of the Porsche European Open: Matthias Schwab, the 23-year old professional golfer from Schladming at the foot of the Dachstein mountain range in Austria – a town best known all over the world as a winter sports resort. In the penultimate twosome, the Austrian accompanied Masters champion Patrick Reed (USA) around the Porsche North Course and was completely unperturbed by the situation. At times Schwab even headed the leaderboard, which Bryson DeChambeau (-12, USA) and Richard McEvoy (England) jointly lead before the final round on first place. Matthias Schwab (-11) and Patrick Reed (USA) are in the third place, followed by Paul Casey (-9, England) in the 5th place.
After the tropical temperatures on the previous days, a violent thunderstorm during play on the third afternoon caused a three-hour break at the Green Eagles Golf Courses. Matthias Schwab also took everything – like the 7,900 crowd – in his stride. On the homepage of his main sponsor, he is quoted as saying, “I play with confidence, believe in myself and keep a cool head.”
And there really was no reason for him to freeze in for instance the company of the US PGA Tour stars. As a student at the prestigious American Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee – it voted him the Athlete of the Year in 2016 – he gained the necessary competitive toughness in college golf which included direct duels with a certain Bryson DeChambeau. He has also minutely planned his career on the professional tour. It started when he competed as a 15-year old amateur at the Lyoness Open where he finished in a sensational 32nd place.
He has been a pro now for a year. This is all the more impressive due to the fact that he was out injured for 11 months in 2014 with a back problem. “In this time, I not only doubted that I’d ever make it on the pro tour but also whether I would even ever be able to play golf normally again,” remembers Matthias Schwab. “The bottom line is that the phase actually helped me to be even more thankful for what I can do.”
The Austrian’s main pillars include his father, a former Olympic bobsledder, and his brother. No less important is his legendary coach Willi Hoffmann, who more than three decades ago guided Germany’s best ever golfer Bernhard Langer to the top of the golfing tree and who still coaches the serial winner on the PGA Tour Champions right up to the present day. Definitely a good omen for the future of the extremely single-minded and highly-talented young professional from the winter sport resort.
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Matthias Schwab stays cool on moving day