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Golf | European Tour

Wallace secures dream win in Portugal



Matt Wallace described it as a dream come true after he held his nerve to complete a sensational wire to wire victory at the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort.

Having held a five shot lead at the halfway stage and gone into the final round three clear, Wallace saw his advantage reduced to a single stroke by first German Sebastian Heisele and then American Julian Suri.

But the 27-year-old Englishman found birdies at key times and produced a third blemish-free round of the week to sign for a closing 69 and 19 under par total.

That was three better than Suri, who rattled in nine birdies in his first 15 holes only to ease the pressure on Wallace slightly when he dropped his only shot of the day at the 17th.

France's Matthieu Pavon was third on 16 under, with Heisele and England's Sam Walker a shot further back in fourth.

Wallace won six times on the Alps Tour last season - five of those victories coming in a row - to secure a place on the Challenge Tour.

However, he now finds himself in possession of a European Tour card after maintaining the winning habit in only his fourth event at this level.

"It's the best feeling ever," he said. "It's always been a dream to win on the European Tour.

"Those first two days were really easy, that third day was the hardest day of my life and today was tough but it's so satisfying and I'm really happy.

"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."

After a sedate start featuring six straight pars, Wallace made gains at the seventh and ninth to keep his nose in front.

However, with Suri looming, it was a five iron third to tap-in distance following a poor drive at the par-five 13th that set up a birdie to send him two clear again, and another gain at the 16th sealed victory in style.

"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, I just tried to go through my processes and work as hard as I could to be standing here today.

"I'll have a few beers."

FINAL SCORES

-21 Matt Wallace (Britain) 63 66 73 69

-18 Julian Suri (US) 67 68 74 65

-16 Matthieu Pavon (France) 68 69 70 69

-15 Sebastian Heisele (Germany) 64 70 71 72, Sam Walker (Britain) 69 69 68 71

-14 Oliver Fisher (Britain) 69 72 68 69, Ben Evans (Britain) 68 68 73 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Finland) 69 70 69 70, Mark Foster (Britain) 70 72 67 69

-13 Erik Van Rooyen (South Africa) 68 69 72 70, Marcus Armitage (Britain) 70 68 71 70

-12 Thomas Linard (France) 68 75 69 68, Pontus Widegren (Sweden) 73 70 72 65, Robert Rock (Britain) 69 69 72 70

-11 Ryan Evans (Britain) 71 68 71 71, Pedro Oriol (Spain) 68 70 72 71, Jamie Abbott (Britain) 70 71 71 69

-10 Max Orrin (Britain) 69 73 72 68, Ashley Chesters (Britain) 66 71 75 70, Tom Lewis (Britain) 71 70 70 71, Estanislao Goya (Argentina) 71 68 75 68

-9 Filipe Lima (Portugal) 67 71 71 74, Roope Kakko (Finland) 70 70 72 71, Alvaro Quiros (Spain) 70 73 75 65, Aaron Rai (Britain) 70 72 74 67

-8 Christian Braeunig (Germany) 68 69 76 71, Matthew Baldwin (Britain) 71 69 73 71, Charlie Ford (Britain) 73 68 70 73, Adrien Saddier (France) 68 71 73 72, Matthew Nixon (Britain) 69 72 74 69, Scott Fernandez (Spain) 69 72 73 70, Darius van Driel (Netherlands) 67 75 73 69, Laurie Canter (Britain) 70 68 73 73, Jordi Garcia Pinto (Spain) 70 73 67 74

-7 Trevor Fisher (South Africa) 69 69 78 69, Steve Webster (Britain) 74 69 73 69, Zander Lombard (South Africa) 70 70 75 70, Oscar Stark (Sweden) 73 70 71 71, Matt Ford (Britain) 70 69 71 75, Moritz Lampert (Germany) 71 70 72 72, Mark Tullo (Chile) 68 70 72 75

-6 Jamie Rutherford (Britain) 67 68 75 76, Jens Dantorp (Sweden) 69 73 71 73, Damien Perrier (France) 70 72 74 70, Gary Hurley (Ireland) 71 69 71 75, Adrian Meronk (Poland) 71 72 71 72, Pedro Figueiredo (Portugal) 75 68 72 71

-5 Steven Brown (Britain) 73 69 72 73, Filip Mruzek (Czech Republic) 68 72 79 68, David Drysdale (Britain) 70 72 73 72, Ben Eccles (Australia) 72 71 74 70, Robert Coles (Britain) 70 69 75 73

-4 Johan Edfors (Sweden) 73 68 74 73, James Allan (Britain) 68 72 74 74, Alessandro Tadini (Italy) 73 70 71 74, Lorenzo Gagli (Italy) 75 67 72 74, Dominic Foos (Germany) 72 69 74 73, Andrea Pavan (Italy) 72 71 75 70

-3 Wil Besseling (Netherlands) 67 73 76 73, Grant Forrest (Britain) 70 67 76 76, Jaco Ahlers (South Africa) 71 70 72 76, Simon Khan (Britain) 73 70 72 74, Paul Lawrie (Britain) 72 70 73 74

-2 Rhys Davies (Britain) 69 72 76 73, Daniel Fox (Australia) 71 72 76 71, Sebastian Soederberg (Sweden) 75 67 78 70, Jack Senior (Britain) 70 72 76 72

-1 Ricardo Santos (Portugal) 71 69 74 77, Jeff Winther (Denmark) 71 71 72 77, Duncan Stewart (Britain) 74 69 77 71, Nick Cullen (Australia) 71 72 75 73

0 Paul Maddy (Britain) 67 72 76 77

2 Borja Virto (Spain) 70 73 76 75

Article courtesy of European Tour



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