Ricardo Santos will return to the European Tour in 2020 following a four-year absence after regaining his playing privileges in an impressive European Challenge Tour campaign.
The former European Tour winner reclaimed the form that earned him a maiden win on home soil at the 2012 Madeira Islands Open – Portugal in a strong season where he collected finishes in every spot on the podium.
One of seven graduates in the Class of 2019 over the age of 30, the 37-year-old utilised his experience to navigate his way to the top ten on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, helped by a memorable win at the Swiss Challenge Presented by Swiss Golf.
Entering the tournament on a high following a runner-up finish at the previous week’s D+D REAL Czech Challenge, Santos enjoyed a thrilling battle down the stretch with Richard Bland at Golf Sempachersee, Lucerne, carding a final round of seven under par 65 in tough scoring conditions to clinch his first victory in seven years.
The Portuguese veteran appeared to have a natural affinity for the Swiss Alps, returning for the Rolex Trophy in August where he recorded a tied third place showing, which stepped him ever closer to a European Tour berth for 2020.
Santos occupied one of the top 15 spots in the Road to Mallorca Rankings from the fourth event of the season and showed no intention of slipping outside the coveted promotion places as he wrapped up his season with three consecutive top 25 showings, including a top ten at the Foshan Open, to lock down his card.
With a new trophy on his mantle, Santos will head back to the European Tour for the first time since 2015 full of confidence as he chases his second-career European Tour victory and a berth in the Portuguese Olympic golf team.