GRAEME Storm has targeted a return to the winner’s podium as the 2010 European Tour kicks into top gear.
The 32-year-old Seve Trophy and Walker Cup golfer from Hartlepool feels he is ready to win again after recovering from a shoulder problem which restricted his early-season endeavours.
He spent five weeks away from the action in the hope of seeing the shoulder improve – and it has – and he also used the time to make a major move from Wynyard to a new base at Rockcliffe Hall.
Storm has decided to move from Wynyard to Rockcliffe in a 12-month affiliation deal which has a two-fold target.
First and foremost, he reckons the facilities at Rockcliffe are top-notch and will help tournament preparations and general conditioning necessary to compete in the European Tour.
Secondly, it’s an opportunity to be in position to help attract the biggest tournament in golf to the North East.
Clearly, Storm envisages the partnership between himself and Rockcliffe as likely to be long-term if everything goes well.
If that’s the case he sees himself being involved in a campaign to bring a top-line European Tour event to Rockcliffe and, eventually, the big one, the Ryder Cup.
But all that is very much in the future as he looks for another victory to add to his breakthrough 2007 French Open triumph.
“The shoulder is a lot better now,” said Storm as he relaxed in the five-star surroundings of Rockcliffe’s plush clubhouse.
“I was a bit down about it and I really shouldn’t have gone to Dubai, but I’m hitting the ball without pain now and I just have to focus and get on with it.
Storm, who turned 32 before jetting out to Morocco to rejoin the tour, hopes he has seen the last of the shoulder problem which affected him last season, although it didn’t stop him finishing in the money in 23 of the 30 tournaments he played and clinching 49th spot in the tour rankings with nearly £500,000 in winnings.
Nevertheless, he needs a good season – with a win – to make sure of his playing status for the next two or three years and that means being more consistent.
“I have to focus on cutting out the one bad round I seem have in the four now and then. It always seemed to be a Saturday last year, and it’s probably psychological.