Alex Noren has reflected on his decision to walk away from the chance to play at the Open.
The Swede was first reserve for the Open at St Andrews, but left two days before the event and jetted over the Atlantic to play in the Barracuda Championship.
Justin Rose’s withdrawal on the morning of the Open due to a back injury would have handed Noren a place in the field, but he was in America preparing to tee it up in California.
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His first thoughts on learning of Rose’s withdrawal were of regret, but he regrouped and made the journey worthwhile by claiming a second-placed finish behind Chez Reavie.
“Through the Scottish Open I came in not playing great but got better and better each day,” Noren told Eurosport. “I thought I was going to get into the Open.
“I was first reserve and was standing there not knowing whether I would get in. It was perfect weather, perfect venue in a perfect town in St Andrews and I thought I cannot be here and not be in the tournament so I was suffering more than anywhere. I said I can’t be here so I just left.
“And when I got some sleep, my friend texted me in the middle of the night and said I would have got in. I was like ‘oh my god’. I slept a few more hours and then started par, bogey at the Barracuda Championship and was thinking ‘what am I doing here?’
“I had a bad first round. I then had three good days and it worked out great.
“I then had three weeks and the best vacation weeks I’ve ever had. I saw my kids more than I see them in a season stretch, so it was great.”
It was a welcome return to form for Noren, and he has admitted to having a mixed season.
“I came off last season on a high, almost making the Atlanta tournament (Tour Championship) - three spots out,” Noren said. “I did not play so well in the fall. I tried for the Ryder Cup and didn’t make it. After that it was a not so good stretch.
“I then got going again at the end of January and played consistently until May. Then not so good, and now a little better. Overall it is fine.”
Noren is in action this week at the BMW Championship, the second event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.
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