Swedish golfer Johan Carlsson believes last year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open was a crucial learning experience.
The 29-year-old from Gothenburg has yet to win on the European Tour but put himself in the running for a maiden victory at Gullane Links 12 months ago.
Carlsson was tied second at the halfway stage after scores of 65 and 67 and could have been forgiven for allowing his to dream of a breakthrough victory, but his pursuit of success faltered over the weekend with rounds of 72 and 73.
Carlsson was forced to settle for a tied 53rd placing – and knows it could have been so much better for him.
He said: “I was almost leading at the halfway stage at Gullane, it was a good week for me and a great learning experience for the years ahead.
“I learned I don’t have to feel my best to do well in an tournament.
“I didn’t feel I was in particularly good form going into the tournament, but I realised I had to play to my strengths on the course.
“I hit a lot of irons, playing links courses I just try to keep the ball in play and in the right spots.
“That was what I did and I played pretty well, even though I didn’t finish as high up the leaderboard as I would have liked.”
Carlsson graduated to the European Tour in 2013 after victory at the Kazakhstan Open helped him finish fifth in the final Challenge Tour rankings.
He is yet to land a top three finish on the main tour but the links conditions of Castle Stuart should suit the powerful Swede’s game.
He added: “Links courses tend to be pretty firm and there is usually a bit of wind and that fits my game pretty well I think.
“I tend to hit a lot of iron shots off the tee, which can work well.
“My season started well and then I had a bit of a slump where I didn’t feel quite on top of my game and my results reflected that.
“I tried to get round that by playing simple golf.
“When I feel confident with my game you can go for pins and be more aggressive. I felt I had to take a slightly more defensive approach, but needed to work through those times and look ahead for the remainder of the season when, hopefully, results improve.”