Graeme ready to Storm into BMW Italian Open

Graeme Storm
Graeme Storm

GRAEME Storm aims “to take the positives” of his last two tournaments into the BMW Italian Open tomorrow.

Storm has been in contention for honours at the Omega European Masters and KLM Open on successive weekends.

Those performances in Switzerland and the Netherlands have meant the Hartlepool golfer is “95 per cent certain” of retaining his PGA European Tour card for 2013.

Given his run of form throughout the summer, the 34-year-old was in real danger of finishing outside the top 115 on the Race to Dubai, the term for the tour’s league table.

But Storm’s equal fifth place at the KLM open moved him up from 114th to 84th.

Not only has that allowed him to relax, a little, it has meant he can set new goals and look forward, instead of over his shoulder.

The top 60 finishers on the table earn a spot at the mega rich World Tour Championship in Dubai in November – hence the tag ‘Race to Dubai’.

“After I missed the cut at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles I needed to re-set my goals,” he told SportMail.

“The first was to retain my playing rites for 2013.

“It now looks 95 per cent certain that I will keep my card so I’m now able to alter my goal to push hard for a place in the top 60.

“I have looked at the list and I probably need to win somewhere in the region of 220,000 euros over the next four or five tournaments to get in.

“If I continue to play well there is no reason why I can’t get some top five finishes.”

And, surely, there should be no reason why he can’t make an impact at the BMW Italian Open.

Storm has some happy memories of Royal Park I Roveri, just outside Turin, and has the confidence from the last two competitions flowing through his veins.

“I’ve played there a couple of times,” he said.

“I’ve made the cut on each occasion and two years ago I was seventh.

“It’s a good golf course, quite similar to the one we’ve just played in Holland, it’s tree-lined but this has a little bit of water.

“Hopefully, there will be some decent weather and I can play some good golf.”

Storm has played six super rounds out of the last eight with only the last days in Crans-sur-Sierre and Hilversum spoiling his chances.

He was in the mix in the Swiss Alps thanks to scores of 68, 70 and 67 only to shoot 75 on the Sunday and he then found the flatter terrain of the Netherlands to his liking.

Storm led there for three rounds after totals of 63, 66 and 69 before a three-over-par 73 saw him slip back into a share of fifth.

“I will look to take the positives of last weekend and try to move on, without a doubt,” he said.

“It had gone well in Crans the tournament before and it was only the back nine when things fell away.

“What happened there was more down to me being anxious.

“I’d been really struggling before Crans and was worrying about keeping my card, every day.

“All that caught up with me on the last day, but I knew I had played some decent golf and if I took that into Holland I had a chance.

“Holland went great and it was fantastic to be in contention on the right end of the leaderboard again.”