England’s Harry Konig returned to the scene of the greatest triumph of his career so far, hoping to capitalize on his happy memories when he won the Journey to Jordan Tour Championship in November last year.
The 2020 season of the MENA Tour by Arena starts Monday with the $75,000 Journey to Jordan #1 at the stunning Greg Norman-designed Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan.
Among the several intriguing storylines at the start of the season is Konig, who was celebrating his 25th birthday on Sunday.
“It is very special to come back to this place. The win last year was life-changing for me. I have been in Aqaba for the past four days and played nine holes every day, and I have tried to recreate all the pivotal moments from last year, like the pin location on the 18th hole on Sunday and trying to hit shots there,” said Konig.
The Englishman secured a spot in this year’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic with that win and even though he missed the cut at the Majlis course, he enjoyed every moment of it.
“It was the best moment of my life, without a shadow of doubt. I would have liked to score much better…I am disappointed, but I am not going to worry about that too much. I prepared really well for that week and I felt comfortable the whole week, but it was a very tough set-up.
“The good thing is that because of Desert Classic, I have spent a lot of time over the Christmas and New Year’s time practicing. I think it is only going to help me play better this season.
“My expectations have definitely changed after last year. It’s more knowing in your own head that you can get over the line. I am now going to play to win, rather than just being there.”
Also looking forward to a big season on the MENA Tour by Arena was England’s Curtis Knipes, who was one of the most consistent amateurs last year and finished second in the Amateur Journey to Jordan. The 19-year-old also qualified for the Open Championship at Royal Portrush last year.
“Very excited about this new chapter in my life,” said Knipes. “Obviously, made this decision to turn pro a couple of months ago. I was edging towards it last year, but given the opportunities I have, not only on the MENA Tour but other Tours as well, I think this is the right time.
“I would have been fairly up there on the MENA Tour Order of Merit if I were a pro last year, and then playing the Open Championship gave me a lot of confidence that I can compete with the best.
“It would be nice to win the Journey to Jordan this year and get one of those spots at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. That’s the main goal, but I also want to be consistent throughout the season and make some money.”