Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia secured victory at the Abu Dhabi Challenge on a dramatic final day on the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Gouveia started the day four shots off the lead, which was held by overnight leader Englishman Tom Lewis. The 31-year-old chipped in for eagle on the eighth hole before birdieing the 17th and eagling the last to get to 19 under par for the tournament to win by two shots.
At various points throughout the final round there where five separate players in the lead, but it was Gouveia who took the spoils, finishing two shots ahead of Lewis, Dubai based Joshua Grenville-Wood, Wilco Nienaber from South Africa and Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez who all took a share of second place on 17 under par.
“It was a crazy day. I didn’t feel like I brought my best game off the tee, but I managed myself really well. I knew the pins were going to be tucked away and my strategy was really good. I holed some nice putts and I’m so happy to finish on top.
“I tried to focus on finishing the round strong because in golf you never know what can happen. It was a special way to finish, and I’m delighted right now.”
Gouveia, who became a father for the first time in September, was delighted to return to form in Abu Dhabi as he returned to the winners circle.
I felt ready
“I had a good pre-season, and I knew my game was heading in the right direction. I didn’t start the season great, but I had five weeks of very good preparation for this event and I felt ready to compete at the top of the leaderboard again.
“I have done a lot of mental preparation recently and I have managed my nerves a lot better. I have been using the pressure as fuel coming down the stretch. ”
This is win number six on the Challenge Tour for Gouveia who previously topped the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2015 when the Grand Final was held in Oman.
With this victory, Gouveia moves to ninth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings which is still topped by Frenchman Ugo Coussaud.
The Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca remains in the UAE for the UAE Challenge, which takes place at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from May 4-7.