Ricardo Santos (Getty Images)
Ricardo Santos has set his sights on cementing his place in the lucrative season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai with a strong performance on home soil in next month’s Portugal Masters.
The 2012 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year knows just how to delight home crowds, having secured a thrilling victory in last year’s Madeira Islands Open, and at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course he has even more support, having lived his whole life in the nearby Algarve town of Vilamoura.
Santos, who is currently 51st in The Race to Dubai, will feed off that strong backing as he looks to guarantee his place in the top 60, therefore
qualifying for a debut appearance in the season’s climax at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
“I’ve put myself in position to get into the DP World Tour Championship, and I want to have a good week in Portugal to cement my place,” said the 31 year old. “I started the season amazingly well with four top tens in six tournaments. It has not been quite so good since then, but overall I’ve had a great season and I can feel I’m getting back to my best.
“I’m working all the time to improve, and hopefully it will all come together at Oceânico Victoria.
“The Portugal Masters is always a special event for me because it’s my home country and my home club. I know the course better than the other players and I always have a big crowd supporting me, including my family and many friends.
“I live two minutes from the course and my wife is the marketing manager there. It’s an exciting week for me and all the Portuguese players.
“It’s a lovely event and all the players always enjoy it. The course is always in great shape, the weather is excellent and the food is very good.”
Santos will join a typically strong field for the €2million event, which also includes Ryder Cup players Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari, defending champion Shane Lowry and Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jiménez, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Alvaro Quiros, the 2008 champion.
Advance tickets are available now for the 2013 Portugal Masters, with substantial savings on the gate prices. Admission to the Pro-Am on October 10 is €10 in advance (€15 on the gate), with Any One Day Adult passes costing €20 (€25 on the gate) and concessions €15 in advance or €20 on the gate. Adult Season tickets are priced at €50 (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to €60 on the gate. To buy tickets, click here.