The inaugural edition of the Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort saw the introduction of two young stars to the world stage.
On the final day of the European Tour and European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned event Julian Suri was chasing down Matt Wallace as the pair, who are now well known on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, went in search of their maiden victories.
Wallace had started the tournament with a stunning ten under par round of 63 to take the first round lead, and after further rounds of 66-73 the Englishman held a three shot lead with 18 holes to play.
Meanwhile, Suri had started with rounds of 67-68 before a one over par 74 saw him begin the final round seven strokes behind Wallace.
The American teed off five groups before the leader but made quick work of closing the gap as he made four birdies in his opening five holes. The Englishman responded with gains of his own on the seventh and ninth, but Suri would not lie down.
With six holes to play, Suri closed the gap to two strokes, before he tied the lead with back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. Having teed off 50 minutes ahead of Wallace, the pressure had been piled on by Suri and the Englishman could not afford to make any mistakes down the home stretch if he was to succeed.
As Wallace picked up his third gain of the day on the 13th, Suri made a costly error to drop a shot on the 17th hole – Wallace’s lead stretched to two shots. With Suri unable to find a birdie at the last, the west London-native picked up another stroke on the par five 16th hole to extend his lead.
Back-to-back pars on the closing holes were enough for Wallace to seal victory and continue his trajectory to European Tour stardom. For Suri it was a huge stepping stone on the way to his European Tour success.