Mallorca, Spain: Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia is just four rounds of golf away from regaining his playing privileges on the DP World Tour.
Currently placed 10th in the Road to Mallorca Rankings on the Challenge Tour, the top 20 players on the order of merit come Sunday evening after the conclusion of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A will graduate to golf’s top tier.
With two victories under his belt so far this season along with six top ten finishes, the 32-year-old is adamant he wouldn’t be in the position he is in without claiming his sixth Challenge Tour victory earlier this year in the Abu Dhabi Challenge at Abu Dhabi Golf Club back in April.
Abu Dhabi win completely changed my schedule
“I was planning on playing mostly DP World Tour events this season, so that win in Abu Dhabi completely changed my schedule. I don't know if I would be playing the final this week if I didn't win then.”
“I knew I just had to stick to my game plan in Abu Dhabi and wait for the right opportunities. I was very patient and I felt like the last few holes I had a chance, and I went for it.
“The 17th was really big after the bogey on 16. To hit two great shots in there and then hole the putt it was really important. The tee shot on 18 was key for me because I was struggling with that tee shot all week. And I had a nice chat with my mental coach the night before and we had a really good plan for that hole and it worked really, really well.”
Victory for Gouviea in Abu Dhabi reset his seasons plan of attack to return to the DP World Tour full time. This week Gouveia, who won both the Grand Final and the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2015, has the opportunity to become the first man in history to win either (or both) of those titles for a second time.
“I had a really good chance in 2021 to win the Order of Merit but it didn't work out in the end. But in 2015 in Oman, it was one of the most special weeks I've ever had on the golf course.”
With his family in tow, Gouveia is looking for a strong performance in Mallorca to climb further up the Road to Mallorca Rankings even though a DP World Tour card is already secured.
“I’m still trying to win the golf tournament. I know with three wins I'll be ahead of everyone going into next season, so it's going to be massive for the Rolex Series events. So I'm really trying to push for that win and finish as high as I can in the Rankings.”
Ricardo tees off on Thursday morning at 08:55 local time alongside the Italian pair of Matteo Manassero and Andrea Pavan.