Portuguese golfer Ricardo Gouveia could make history as he competes at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final at Club de Golf Alcanada in Mallorca this week. Having won both the Grand Final and Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2015, he has the chance to become the first man to win either, or both, of those titles for a second time.
Gouveia, who currently stands at tenth in the standings, is also within reach of the Challenge Tour winning record with an eighth professional victory. Although his form has been inconsistent this season, his recent win at the Hainan Open in China has given him a confidence boost.
With two victories in the bag, Gouveia said, "It’s been a special season."
Ricardo Gouveia, statements
Although my consistency hasn't been as strong as I'd hoped, securing two wins on an arduous Tour is cause for celebration.
Taking first place in the Abu Dhabi Challenge earlier this year proved to be a turning point. As I split my time between the Challenge Tour and DP World Tour, the victory in Abu Dhabi caused a scheduling shift that potentially led me to play in the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final this week.
I refrained from impatience and finished strong in the tournament, hitting a remarkable shot to claim the eagle putt for the triumph at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Gouveia's ascent to prominence on the Challenge Tour began back in 2014 when he claimed his first victory just seven starts in at the EMC Challenge Golf Open.
Since then, he's continued to accrue wins on this stage. He earned promotion to the DP World Tour as Challenge Tour Number One, pulling off two wins in 2015, culminating in his Grand Final success.
In the current season, he's added two more victories, finishing second on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, which ensured his Tour Card.
In the prior year, he concluded the Race to Dubai at 122nd place, implying he lost his full playing privileges for the next season. Nonetheless, two more victories in 2023 led him to clinch the tenth spot in the Grand Final standings.
Despite this familiarity with winning, he confronts a demanding challenge this week: playing at a golf course he's never experienced.
He won the Grand Final in Oman in 2015, whereas the last two tournaments, including this week's, were hosted at a different venue where he was not in attendance.
Despite the current situation, Gouveia maintains hope that his current form and vast experience in this event will serve as a catalyst to propel him up the rankings, securing a notable status on the DP World Tour in the upcoming season.
Expressing his enthusiasm for being part of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final this week, Gouveia expressed his love for Mallorca, and his eagerness to play on this new cour se, albeit having heard great reviews about it.
With prior success in winning the Grand Final when it was held in Oman in 2015, the seasoned golfer recalled vividly his most memorable week on the greens.
Despite playing an outstanding season, he remembers with great pride the incredible finish at the Grand Final which led him to win the Rankings, describing it as an immensely fulfilling achievement.
Should he emerge victorious this week, it would propel him into the top three on the Rankings, positioning him favourably for the next season, as he will now have the great privilege of participating in all of the Rolex Series events on the DP World Tour, which would be an incredible accomplishment for him.
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