Cape Town - Home favourite Lucas Bjerregaard is enjoying a memorable season on the 2019 Race to Dubai, and he believes that another special week lies ahead at Made in Denmark.
The 27-year-old had just graduated on to the European Tour when the event was first played in 2014, and since then he has gone to win two European Tour titles and break into the Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
"It's a huge event and the crowds are amazing, they really are some of the best. They bring a lot, they just enjoy it, it's like a party. It's pretty special to play in front of them," said Bjerregaard.
He is hopeful that more young Danish talent will be inspired by playing in front of vociferous locals at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort this week, in an event that is renowned for fan friendly activities that bring the players closer to the passionate crowds.
"When it started I was a European Tour rookie. It's great for some of the young guys coming up on the Challenge Tour and Nordic League, they get a chance to see what's in front of them in a few years time. It's pretty cool and something that will mature all the young guys."
Bjerregaard has arrived in his homeland in good spirits as he seeks more success in a season that has seen him famously beat Tiger Woods en route to finishing fourth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and record a top 20 finish at last week's PGA Championship, drawing huge cheers after an ace on the par three 17th at Bethpage State Park Black Course.
"That's as much fun as I've had on a golf course for as long as I can remember (at the US PGA Championship)," said Bjerregaard.
Lee Westwood is making only his second appearance in this event, but he's also eyeing a successful week after narrowly losing out to countryman Matt Wallace in a four-man play-off at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club last season.
It's the first time he has teed it up at this venue, but he admits he's heard a lot about the atmosphere, particularly at the famous Himmerland Hill that encompasses the 16th hole, where around 3000 fans pack into the natural amphitheatre.
The 46-year-old Englishman acted as a vice-captain under Dane Thomas Bjorn - who is unable to play this week due to an ankle injury - at last year's Ryder Cup, one of many highlights of a 2018 season that included three top tens en route to his 24th European Tour victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.