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Dale Whitnell embraces 'weird' challenge of defending Scandinavian Mixed title

England's Dale Whitnell has vowed to embrace the "weird" feeling of defending his maiden DP World Tour title in the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed.

Whitnell was in a terrible run of form ahead of his victory last year, the former courier driver missing the cut in four of his previous five events and finishing 81st in the other.

However, the 35-year-old from Colchester carded a brilliant second round of 61 on his way a three-shot victory and will be seeking a similar turn around in fortunes at Vasatorps Golfklubb in Helsingborg.

"It's a bit weird to be honest," said Whitnell, who has missed the cut in four of his last six events, but did finish 16th in the Porsche Singapore Classic.

"It's my first time defending a DP World Tour event, so it's going to be a good experience and I'm going to embrace every second of it.

"It's nice to look back on victories. There's a lot of times when you're playing poorly, so you have to really look back at when you're playing well and swinging well and there's some good footage of that on YouTube.

"I had a six-shot lead going into the weekend (last year), which was a lot but that could make it harder. I stuck to my game plan and tried to keep in the moment as much as I could and play as solid as I could."

This week's event is the only one of its kind on the DP World Tour and sees 78 men and 78 women — from the Ladies European Tour — come together in Sweden to play for one prize fund and one trophy.

Two years ago home favourite Linn Grant became the first female winner of a DP World Tour event as she stormed to a stunning nine-shot victory in Halmstad.

"It's a very exciting week," said Grant, who missed the cut in last week's US Open. "I love this week, it's so fun to be here, to play at home and be in this format as well.

"I took the weekend off so I'm pretty energised. Last week was a different week, very tough. Coming here feels very easy going, which is always a good feeling to have going into a tournament.

"Last year I got sick in the middle of the event, which was such a bummer. But I do love the week. It doesn't matter how I play, I just like to play."

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