Ricardo Gouveia and José-Felipe Lima recorded the joint-best performance by a home player at the Portugal Masters.No Portuguese player had previously finished higher in the event than Ricardo Santos’ 16th last year, but the pair produced fine final rounds to tie for fifth.
Gouveia was round in 65 and Lima 67 as they finished on 14 under, six shots behind winner Lucas Bjerregaard.
“It was an amazing day for me,” said Gouveia. “In front of home crowds as well. On the last day, on a Sunday, it was really, really nice.
“I played a lot better today. I knew I had good chances, good opportunities on the back nine. I just stayed patient. I rolled a good putt on 11, a good putt on 12, and all of the sudden, I started believing that I could get close to the leaders.
“Overall, I'm really happy with the week.
“[The crowds] were amazing all week. I can't thank them enough. I really felt the support, the vibe, the good vibe behind the crowd. At certain points this week, I needed it, and I can't thank them enough.”
The pair are both fighting to secure European Tour cards for next season, and Lima was pleased to have boosted his chances.
“I'm happy today,” he added.
“It's a very good result in my own country. Very happy.
“It's what we are working on, to have more and more players, and now we show two already on top of the European Tour this week. Just try to do better and better to have more younger players coming. I think it's a good country for golf and we need some more players now.
“I'll just try to keep going with three more weeks to come, and I'm going to try my best.”