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Ricardo Gouveia eyeing history at Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final

Ricardo Gouveia eyeing history at Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final

Ricardo Gouveia has the chance to make history in a multitude of ways when he tees up at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final at Club de Golf Alcanada in Mallorca this week.


The Portuguese player, who won both the Grand Final and the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2015, has the opportunity to become the first man in history to win either (or both) of those titles for a second time this week.

He could also match the Challenge Tour winning record, which currently belongs to Ian Pyman, with an eighth professional victory.

Gouveia, who enters this week at tenth in the standings, arrives in Mallorca full of confidence two weeks removed from his second win of the season at the Hainan Open in China.

It was a bounce-back in form which arrived at the perfect time for the 32 year old.

He began the year playing both Challenge Tour and DP World Tour starts, but quickly changed his mindset to focus on the Challenge Tour when he produced a miraculous 18th hole eagle to win the Abu Dhabi Challenge in April.

He followed it with an initial dip in form before bouncing back with a top ten at the Porsche European Open on the DP World Tour and back to back tied seventh place finishes at the Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz and the Open de Bretagne.

Since then, with the exception of a tie for eighth at the Challenge de España, things have been less consistent for him, but his most recent victory puts him right back in the frame of another chance at Road to Mallorca glory.

“It’s been a special season with two victories," he said of his season.

"I haven’t been as consistent as I would have liked but to get two wins on such a difficult Tour, I am very happy.

“It was very important to win the Abu Dhabi Challenge at the start of the year. I was splitting my time between playing on the Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour but that victory in Abu Dhabi completely changed my schedule. I don’t know if I would be playing the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final this week without it.

“I stayed patient throughout that week and managed to finish very strong. I hit a special shot into the 18th green and holed my eagle putt for victory at Abu Dhabi Golf Club."

Gouveia first played on the Challenge Tour in 2014, winning on just his seventh start at the EMC Challenge Golf Open. Since then, he's become a prolific winner on the Challenge Tour.

In 2015 he won twice - including the Grand Final - to earn promotion to the DP World Tour as Challenge Tour Number One, and showed his class throughout another season where he earned two more victories in 2021 to regain his Tour Card with a second place finish on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.

Last year, he ended to Race to Dubai in 122nd spot to lose his full playing privileges for this season, and now enters the Grand Final as the Challenge Tour's most recent champion in tenth spot thanks to two more victories in 2023.

Yet while winning on this stage is not something Gouveia is unfamiliar with, this week he faces the challenge of competing at a golf course he's never played.

When he won the Grand Final in 2015, the tournament was played in Oman, and he was not part of either the 2019 and 2022 tournaments, which were both hosted by this week's venue.

Despite this, Gouveia is hoping that current form and experience in this event can help propel him up the rankings to secure a strong status on the DP World Tour next season.

“I’m very excited to be at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final this week. I love Mallorca and I’ve never played this course, but I’ve heard some great things about it.

“I have won the Grand Final before when it was in Oman in 2015. It was one of the most special weeks I’ve ever had on a golf course. I was playing very well all season and then to produce a strong finish at the Grand Final and win the Rankings was amazing.

“If I can win this week then it would push me into the top three on the Rankings which would be massive for next season because I would get into all of the Rolex Series events on the DP World Tour.”