What’s On chats to Swedish golfer Alex Noren ahead of his appearance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this weekend.

You’ve been a regular competitor at the Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship. What makes you keep coming back?

Well I think it is one of the best events on tour and I’ve always started my year in Abu Dhabi. I always loved the course and I’ve done okay on the course.

Looking back on 2016, you’ve jumped up 87 places in the world rankings. What’s the reason behind your recent success?

I’ve worked with my coach over the last few years and I’m hitting a bit straighter than before. I can concentrate on the whole game and not just the driving. That’s one part and the other is that I’ve played a lot more off the tournament side and I practise a lot. I feel a bit more prepared for what’ll happen on the course.

What are you ambitions for 2017?

I really want to see a difference in my driving. When you’re playing with Rory and the other guys, they hit it really far. I’m trying to improve my gym work and technique so I can get those extra yards.

Tell us about the course here in Abu Dhabi. What do you need to focus on?

I know it’s a driving course and the fairways are very narrow and the rough is quite tall. I think the better your driving, the better chance you have on the course.

How do you see your tournament playing out?

I’ve been practising and trying to improve on a few things. I feel okay but maybe not super. That’s how I always feel, you’re always a little bit nervous about one part of the game. I wouldn’t bet too much money on myself this week (laughs) but maybe there’s a chance.

February 19 to 22
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Dhs50 day pass, Dhs150 season pass. Tel: (02) 5588990. Taxi: next to the Westin. abudhabigolfchampionship.com