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Tuesday, 04 December 2018
Matt Wallace  (Getty Images)
Matt Wallace (Getty Images)

Matt Wallace is not planning on stopping his meteoric rise as he plays for the first time since making the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg.

The Englishman was on the Alps Tour as recently as 2016, before breaking a number of records including a stunning five triumphs in five consecutive starts.

And it did not take long for the 28 year old to claim his maiden European Tour title - whilst on the Challenge Tour - when he claimed a three-stroke victory at the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort in May 2017.

Wallace has gone from strength to strength since joining the European Tour and enjoyed a stellar 2018, with victories at the Hero Indian Open, BMW International Open and Made in Denmark in the last nine months. He finished tied-second at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to propel himself inside the top 50 to World Number 44.

As a result, he will make his first appearance at Augusta National for the Masters Tournament in April but Wallace insists he can keep up his terrific form as he tees up for the first time in the 2019 season.

I’m just riding with the wave that I’m on. I feel like I can win every time I tee it up - Matt Wallace

"I've still got loads of energy," he said. "I love playing. This will be my 34th event of the year, and 35 after next week, which is a lot for someone who travels across the Atlantic and worldwide. 

"So we’ll revisit that at the end of this year and probably get a better schedule for next year.

"I had a decent category at the end of the year but I had to finish inside the top 100 to keep my card. 

"Now I’m standing here with a two-year exemption, a three-time winner this year and 44th in the world.

"To say it’s surreal is an understatement. But it’s kind of what I worked for. I’ve got confidence in my game. I’m working hard and that’s what I try to do.

"I’m just riding with the wave that I’m on. I feel like I can win every time I tee it up."

Wallace will also hope his return to South Africa can help replicate his tied-fifth display at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player in Sun City last month, which saw Lee Westwood win on the European Tour for the first time in four years.

"I’ve had two weeks off," the four-time European Tour winner added. "I was sceptical about how my game was going to be. 

"I’ve come here, hit a couple of balls, warmed up and played really well in the Pro-Am, so it’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to doing some short-game work a little later.

"The course is brilliant. I’ve just played Firethorn and I’ll play nine holes on Bushwillow tomorrow. Last year for the Joburg Open, it was really wet, so it’s a little bit different this year.

"It’s nice to be in warm weather. I spent a week at home after Dubai and it was pitch black and wet and raining. To be in weather that is nice and shiny and warm is why I came down here really."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-18
2LANGASQUE, RomainFRA18-12
T3EASTON, BryceRSA18-10
T3AIKEN, ThomasRSA18-10
T3WILSON, OliverENG18-10
T3SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-10

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