Nordea Masters: Alexander Noren looking to retain trophy

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 30/05/13 8:45am

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Alexander Noren: Heading strong Swedish challenge

Alexander Noren: Heading strong Swedish challenge

Sky Bet

Sweden have a strong home challenge headed by 2012 winner Alexander Noren in the Nordea Masters at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm.

Noren won by seven shots two years ago but could only finish tied tenth last year behind winner Lee Westwood - who will not defend his title as he plays in the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour this week.

Noren shot a course record 63 during his victory in 2012, and on a course he knows better than any other he is confident of another success on home soil.

"I have played Bro Hoff so many times," Norden said. "Before I moved to Monaco, I played it every day in the summer when I was home.

"It's a bit like the greens at Wentworth last week - if you know where you want to be it makes it a lot easier. It certainly helps to play there a lot. Being from Stockholm, it's obviously a special event for me too with so many friends and family there.

Good shape

"I feel like my game is in good shape. Last week, tee to green was among the best I have played. I didn't take advantage of the birdie chances there and made too many two-putts but I feel good coming into this week."

Also going for Sweden is Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson, who returns to action after missing last week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth with a back injury.

Hanson, who won his sixth European Tour title in the BMW Masters last November, finished tied third in last year's Nordea Masters having won the title in 2008 when the event was played at Arlandastad Golf.

Compatriot Nicolas Fasth heads home following a tied 12th finish in the BMW PGA Championship last week, while the Swedish challenge is further bolstered by the emerging talent of Kristoffer Broberg, who won four times on the European Challenge Tour in 2012.

Newly crowned BMW PGA Champion Matteo Manassero will also be teeing it up in the Nordea Masters field after his magnificent play-off victory at Wentworth on Sunday.

The 20-year-old leads The Race to Dubai after becoming the youngest winner of The European Tour's flagship event, a victory which also gained him exemption into the US Open in a fortnight.

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