Wallace and Harrington have happy memories of winning Portugal Masters

2017 Portugal Open winner Matt Wallace
Matt Wallace was playing for Hertfordshire Colts eight years ago this week… next week he returns to the Algarve for next week’s Portugal Masters, having won the Portuguese Open two years ago at Morgado. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

A STAR-studded field is set to tee it up at next week’s Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, on the Algarve.

Former World No.1 1 Martin Kaymer, 2020 Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington, four-time European Tour winner Matt Wallace and 2017 Portugal Masters champion Lucas Bjerregaard have all confirmed their attendance on the Iberian peninsula.

The quartet join a field which includes a host of European Tour winners and Ryder Cup players as the 2019 season reaches its climax with just four events left to play following the Portugal Masters which takes place in Vilamoura, from October 24-27.

Wallace, who hails from Pinner, in Middlesex, has happy memories of Portugal after securing the first of his four European Tour titles at the Open de Portugal in 2017.

The Moor Park amateur, who played junior golf at nearby Batchworth Park, in Rickmansworth, helped Hertfordshire beat a Hampshire team featuring future European Tour player Scott Gregory in the South East Colts League Final, eight years ago this week.

Since then Wallace reached a career-high position of 23rd in the Official World Golf Ranking earlier this season, and is currently fourth in the Race to Dubai Rankings.

“Portugal is a very special place for me,” said Wallace who graduated via the Alps and Challenge Tours, having attended the same Jacksononville State University in Alabama as Hampshire’s Tom Robson for 12 months.

Wallace added: “Winning for the first time on the European Tour there a few years ago was huge for me, and I’m proud of how I’ve developed as a golfer since then.

“There’s still so much to play for in the last few events of the season and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Germany’s Martin Kaymer
Two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer is looking forward to returning to Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course after a long absence. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Kaymer, who won the US Open Championship at Whistling Straits in 2010, will make his first appearance at the Portugal Masters since 2015.

The German, who has played in four Ryder Cups, has a quartet of top-20 finishes this season and is looking to secure his place in the final three events on the 2019 Race to Dubai.

“It’s an event I’ve always enjoyed playing,” said Kaymer. “The move to October has given me the opportunity to add it to my schedule again.

“I’ve had some encouraging results this season, but it’s my goal to make the last three tournaments on the Race to Dubai, so Portugal gives me a great opportunity to take some momentum into those events.”

Harrington, who will captain Europe at Whistling Straits in next year’s Ryder Cup, won his first European Tour title in eight years when he was crowned champion at the 2016 Portugal Masters.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to Dom Pedro Victoria,” said Harrington. “It’s a golf course which suits me, and it’s always nice to return to a venue where you have won before.

“We might be nearing the end of the season, but there’s still a lot for everyone to play for. It should be an exciting week.”

Defending champion Tom Lewis, another graduate from Hertfordshire’s junior programme that produced Wallace, and Essex’s history-maker Oliver Fisher, who carded the European Tour’s first 59 at last year’s Portugal Masters, will also return to Vilamoura.

Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington claimed the Portugal Masters title in 2016. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Meanwhile Ricardo Gouveia and Pedro Figueiredo will fly the flag for Portugal as the two highest-ranked players from the host country in the field.

Tickets for the Portugal Masters are available from €8 for juniors (ages 12-17), €17 for concessions and €20 for adults.

Season tickets are available for €24 for juniors, €50 for concessions and €60 for adults. To purchase tickets, click here.

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