Morten Ørum Madsen was born in the same town of Silkeborg as Danish professional Thomas Bjørn, and also began his career at the same golf club in the town.
The son of a father who was an engineer and a mother who worked as a school
teacher, Madsen was at first not convinced that golf was the sport of choice
for him. The young Dane was more focused on becoming a professional footballer,
and to this day has a passion for Manchester United.
But by his father's promptings, he eventually took up golf at the age of
12 and during the summer holidays. He enjoyed a successful amateur career,
representing Denmark in the Eisenhower Trophy in 2008 and 2010 and winning the
2009 Danish Amateur Stroke Play title.
He honed his skills on the American college circuit in the colours of
Oregon State University, and then turned professional in 2011.
His first victories as a professional came on the Nordic League that
year when he won the Finnish Open and the Actona PGA Championship within a month
of each other. That earned him a spot on the Challenge Tour, and a 19th place finish on the rankings there saw him qualify for the European Tour.
But by far his biggest triumph to date was a surprise victory in the
South African Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club.
With his two-stroke triumph for a maiden European Tour victory in the world's second oldest national Open, Madsen went from a world ranking of 244 to suddenly qualifying for a lucrative invitation tournament such as the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
He also became the first Dane to win the South African Open with an impressive final round during which he overcame a strong South African challenge. Charl Schwartzel held the lead before a triple bogey on the sixth hole and then a double bogey on the tenth. And Hennie Otto was in front as he chased a second South African Open title in three years, but then he bogeyed the 15th and double bogeyed the 16th. That left Madsen to close with a 67 and win on 19 under
par, two clear of Otto and Jbe Kruger.
"From the very first
time I played in South Africa I thoroughly enjoyed it. I always thought I would
play pretty well in South Africa, but I didn't expect to win. It's an amazing
feeling", he said after his victory.
"To have the SA Open
as my first victory on the European Tour is extremely special. If you look down
the list of names that have won this tournament in the past there are Major
champions and really great champions all around, so it's an honour."