England’s Matt Wallace held on to win the Open de Portugal at Morgado G&CC in Portimao by three shots from Julian Suri of the USA.
Matt Wallace fired a closing round of 69 at Morgado G&CC to win the European Tour's Open de Portugal by three strokes. The Englishman began the final round with a five shot advantage but saw that lead reduced to just one, first by Germany’s Sebastian Heisele and then by American Julian Suri.
But Wallace remained calm and made a couple of key birdies at the 13th, after a magnificent approach shot, and then the 16th to pull away from the pack. He finished on 21-under-par, three clear of Suri who closed with a 65.
"That was the turning point where I thought 'right, I've got this’," Wallace said of his approach to the 13th. “I didn’t see it coming, I never envisioned standing here with the win.”
3 Talking points from the Open de Portugal
1 – It was a career changing win for Matt Wallace. He won six times on the Alps Tour last year to gain a place on the Challenge Tour for this season. With this win, he now has a European Tour card to the end of 2018. “It’s the best feeling ever,” he said. “It’s always been a dream to win on the European tour. A good friend of mine, Tom Lewis, won here in Portugal and I spoke to him yesterday and he has great memories here and I’m going to as well.”
2 – Julian Suri of the USA made a great last day charge, carding nine birdies in his first 15 holes. But his run halted with a bogey on the 17th and he came up just short. "Putting was the difference for me today,” he said. “It definitely wasn’t my best ball striking day. Being able to trust my stroke inside 10 or 12 feet, because out here you will have so many of those putts, that definitely made the difference. It’s been a long time coming.”
Putting arc drill video:
3 – It was another good week for English golfers. Matt Wallace was champion but there were another five Englishmen in the top-10. They were: Sam Walker in a tie for fourth, Ben Evans, Mark Foster and Oliver Fisher in a tie for sixth and Marcus Armitage in a tie for 10th.
Open de Portugal Morgado G&CC, Portimao, Portugal May 11-14 Purse: €500,000 Par: 73
1 Matt Wallace (Eng) 63 66 73 69 271 €83,330 2 Julian Suri (USA) 67 68 74 65 274 €55,550 3 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 69 70 69 276 €31,300 T4 Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 64 70 71 72 277 €23,100 T4 Sam Walker (Eng) 69 69 68 71 277 €23,100 T6 Ben Evans (Eng) 68 68 73 69 278 €14,050 T6 Oliver Fisher (Eng) 69 72 68 69 278 €14,050 T6 Mark Foster (Eng) 70 72 67 69 278 €14,050 T6 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 70 69 70 278 €14,050 T10 Marcus Armitage (Eng) 70 68 71 70 279 €9,600 T10 Erik Van Rooyen (RSA) 68 69 72 70 279 €9,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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