Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm putting his feet up having enjoyed his most successful year on the European Tour for a decade

Graeme Storm.
Graeme Storm.

Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm admits he will have to deal with a different kind of pressure next time he takes to the course.

But, for the time being, he’s taking a month off from the sport, having enjoyed his most successful year on the European Tour for a decade.

Despite the tour starting up this month, Storm is putting his feet to enjoy a well-earned rest.

He is not in action again until he heads to the BMW South Africa Open, which starts on January 11, 2018.

It was 12 months ago that Storm announced himself back on the title winning scene by beating the likes of Rory McIlroy at the City of Ekurhuleni event - his first win on the circuit since the Open de France in 2007.

Defending his own title will bring a different kind of pressure on his return, but it is a pressure the 39-year-old, who turned professional in 2000, is relishing.

“It will be very different for me,” said Storm.

“The last time I was defending the French Open I did really well the following year, so I would hope to play my best golf when I head out there.

“Last year people were not expecting too much from me, because of the struggles I had before.

“Maybe this time, being defending champion, people will be watching out for my name and my performance.

“Still, I do not put any kind of pressure on myself.”

While the success, money and high finishes are important to Storm, family time is even more so.

Storm admits to having to spend four and five weeks at a time away from his Teesside home during 2017.

And that’s why he has taken the step to let the rest crack on with their golf, sitting out the UBS Hong Kong Open, Australian PGA Championship, AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and last week’s Joburg Open in South Africa.

“That’s me done until January,” explained Storm.

“When you are away for busy parts of the year for four and five weeks at a time it is important to take some time with the family.

“It’s going to be a long season.

“I will have Christmas at home then be back out in the New Year.”