Matt Wallace claims victory in Portuguese Open

Englishman Matt Wallace was crowned the winner of the 2017 Portuguese Open after a truly dominant performance at the Morgado Golf Course in Portimão.

Wallace held a five-shot lead at the halfway stage and was three ahead starting the final round, in which he had to break a sweat after seeing his advantage reduced to a single shot, first by German Sebastian Heisele and then American Julian Suri.

But a number of birdies at key times allowed Wallace to record a closing 69 and 19 under par total.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” he told the official European Tour website. “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,” he added, admitting that he’d be enjoying a “few beers” afterwards.

“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.

“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.”

Wallace won six times on the Alps Tour last season – including five in a row – to secure a place on the Challenge Tour.

Julian Suri shot a round of 65 that propelled him to a second-place finish, while France’s Matthieu Pavon was two shots further back in third, with Heisele sharing fourth with England’s Sam Walker on 15 under.

The prestigious Portuguese Open was held for the first time since 2010. It took place at the Morgado Golf Course in Portimão between Thursday, May 11 and Sunday, May 14.

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Photo: Winner Matt Wallace, pictured with Miguel Franco de Sousa, president of the Portuguese Golf Federation, and economy minister Manuel Caldeira Cabral