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Darius van Driel thrilled to keep his card with fine Portugal Masters performance

Darius van Driel thrilled to keep his card with fine Portugal Masters performance

Darius van Driel was delighted to secure his DP World Tour playing rights for the 2023 season with a fine performance at the 2022 Portugal Masters.

Van Driel

The tournament provided the last chance for players to earn points to keep their cards, with Van Driel occupying the final position of safety going into the week.

The Dutchman posted scores of 66, 68, 70 and 66 at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course to finish in a tie for 18th and move from 117th on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex to 112th.

He fired six birdies in his first 14 holes on Sunday to ease any lingering pressure before a bogey at the last saw him finish the week on 14 under par.

"For keeping my card, I feel really, really happy," said Van Driel.

"I felt I coped really well with (the pressure). The first two rounds I felt so much pressure and after the third round it was a little bit less because I knew where I could finish to keep my card.

"And the last round I felt very relaxed and played freely.

"I’m going to fly home to my wife and my son and spend some quality time with them. They deserve it."

Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez was the man who finished in 117th, but he had to endure an anxious wait after missing the cut this week.

Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond was in 116th following a Sunday 70 which included a nerveless eagle at the 17th.

He said: "I came in this week knowing what I needed to do. I wish things would have gone better, but it’s a long season and I'm happy with how I ended it.

"I knew that I needed a good finish, not just for the Rankings, but for myself because it’s the last event I’ll play this year on the DP World Tour.

"I just wanted to give myself a good ending to the season, I’ve played a lot of events this year, so I’m glad I did that.

"The season has been up and down, but I’m happy because three weeks ago I wasn’t even close to the projected cut-off. The last three weeks I’ve played some really good golf. I’m going to take this long break and build upon it."

Espen Kofstad also kept his playing privileges, moving up one place to 113th in the standings after finishing on 11 under par courtesy of a final-round 64 which featured seven birdies - including six in a row from the tenth hole.

He said: "It feels amazing. I knew I needed to play pretty good today, I didn’t have to do something super special, but once I got on that run on the back nine where everything just went in, all the shots were good, I felt pretty at ease in that moment.

"The last month has been so anxiety-ridden and terrible. I’ve been looking at the Rankings, which I probably shouldn’t have done, then people have been overtaking me and I was dropping steadily towards the 117 mark. 

"Being able to make the cut this week with a great round on Friday and top it off with seven under par today was amazing."

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