Matt Wallace Secures Maiden PGA Tour Title At Corales Puntacana Championship
Wallace carded a final round 66 to hold off fellow European Nicolai Hojgaard in an enthralling day
As the WGC - Dell Match Play took centre stage on the PGA Tour, there was still the small matter of the Corales Puntacana Championship, with a lot up for grabs in the Dominican Republic.
In an enthralling final day, it was Matt Wallace who came out on top, with the Englishman producing a classy finish to pick up his first PGA Tour title and a first win since the 2018 Made in Denmark on the DP World Tour.
Nicolai Højgaard's putt slides by and Matt Wallace is PGA TOUR champion!@MattSJWallace | @CoralesChamp pic.twitter.com/O5PqNMf2kJMarch 26, 2023
Beginning the final day, it was Nicolai Hojgaard and PGA Tour rookie, Sam Stevens, who started Sunday in a share of the lead, with a number of names looking to chase them down as the duo went in search of a first PGA Tour title.
It was set to be a thrilling final round and, early doors, it was Ricky Barnes who amazingly took the lead, with the American three-under-par through his first six holes. However, Barnes is yet to win in 337 PGA Tour starts and, as the round wore on, he couldn't keep the momentum going as he finished at 14-under-par for the tournament and five shots back of the eventual winner.
That left a number of players in contention and, with the back nine left to go, there were five people within a shot of the lead, with Tyler Duncan, Wyndham Clark and Hojgaard sharing a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.
Soon though, it was Duncan that took the advantage. On Friday, the American was involved in a bizarre incident which saw his driver head fall off his club but, just two days later, he was leading the championship by one with just six holes remaining.
However, no-one was prepared for the charge that Wallace was about to make and, with five holes to go, he made his move, birdieing the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th to sit two shots clear with just two holes remaining.
A costly par save then came at the difficult par 3 17th and, after finding the fairway and then the green at the 72nd hole, he safely two-putted for par. Wallace then had to endure a nervy wait, especially when fellow European, Hojgaard, birdied the 17th to move within one.
Playing the last, it was good news, for Wallace, as Hojgaard couldn't make the crucial birdie he needed to force a playoff. As a result, the Englishman picked up his first PGA Tour title and first victory in four-and-a-half years.
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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