Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Matt Wallace  (Getty Images)
Matt Wallace (Getty Images)

Matt Wallace is looking to make it successive European Tour wins this week when he tees it up in the Open de España.

The Englishman lifted the trophy at the the Hero Indian Open in his last start and a victory at Centro Nacional de Golf would make him the first back-to-back winner since countryman Justin Rose at the end of 2017.

The win was Wallace's second after his stunning wire-to-wire triumph at the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort in 2017 and after being a serial winner on the Alps Tour before making the move to the Challenge Tour last season, he is now starting to feel truly at home on the European Tour.

"It's changed my life again after being on the European Tour last year and getting the opportunity first year," he said.

"It's been my first full year and getting the win in India has made the first win feel like it wasn't a fluke or luck. I've worked really hard towards getting this second win and to do it in that style and fashion was really nice.

Hopefully I'll use the confidence from India to put in a good performance this week - Matt Wallace

"I've done some really good work this last week and had some time off so I'm refreshed and I'm ready to go. Hopefully I'll use the confidence from India to put in a good performance this week."

Wallace is not the only Englishman arriving in Madrid in good form, with defending champion Andrew Johnston also sure to be feeling confident after going close in New Delhi but losing out in a play-off to the 27 year old.

Wallace's move onto the European Tour has led to him making some adjustments to his swing, a task he has been undertaking under the tutelage of two-time Tour winner Robert Rock.

"I went to Rocky in Ireland last year and he was someone that I'd never spoken to before but I had the courage to go over there and asked him if he'd be my coach," said Wallace. "I knew he had been working on similar things that I'd been working on, so I thought it was the right move.

"We've changed the swing quite a bit but mostly made it able to swing under pressure, which is key, especially on the European Tour. We've tightened it up a bit and let it flow and have my own flow towards it."

Eddie Pepperell is another player who has been getting a new take on his swing and he is also going for back-to-back wins, albeit further apart.

The Englishman has not played since claiming a maiden victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in February and is excited to see how his recent work away from the course will play out on it.

"It feels like such a long time ago that I played golf, so I don't really know what I'm feeling," he said. "I'm just looking forward to getting out there. I've been working with a new coach. I've had a bit of opportunity and some time to spend to work on some things with him.

"I'm excited to see go out and compete and play with a couple of really similar swing thoughts to what I had in Qatar. Just hope they're going to be a little more ingrained, but I'm just excited to compete."

"Historically this is a huge event on the European Tour. It was a shame obviously to see it go but now it's back and hopefully it can be here for the future. It's great for us guys in Europe and important for golf on the continent and in Spain."

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
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4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-16
T5WARREN, MarcSCO18-15

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