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Ricardo Gouveia puts local knowledge to good use on day one in Portugal

Ricardo Gouveia puts local knowledge to good use on day one in Portugal

Local favourite Ricardo Gouveia highlighted the importance of his experience at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course after making a strong start to the 2022 Portugal Masters.

Ricardo Gouveia

This week's event is the last chance for players to earn points to keep their playing privileges, and with Gouveia going into it 119th on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex - two places shy of the magic mark of 117th required to retain his card for 2023 - he knew a special performance was needed.

He has fond memories of the host course, having recorded two top-tens here in previous visits, and made his home advantage count on Thursday, carding six birdies and a single bogey on his way to an opening 66.

Gouveia is hoping that local knowledge will continue to stand him in good stead as the week goes on.

When asked how important the good memories and support will be throughout the week, Gouveia said: "It’s very valuable.

"I know this course probably better than anyone out here. I’ve played it plenty of times and I have great memories here. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

"It's still another tournament. I’m going about it as if it was any other event. I know there’s some pressure behind it but I’m trying to stay away from that and focus on what I can control."

Gouveia started from the tenth tee and turned in 31 after making five birdies on his front nine.

The 31-year-old picked up another shot at the second from five feet but bogeyed the ninth - his final hole - after missing the green.

"My game was solid all around," Gouveia said. "I started off well, hitting a lot of fairways and greens, hitting it close and making some key putts on the front nine. 

"On the back nine I kept playing well but the putts weren’t dropping and on the ninth, my 18th hole, I pulled it a little. Was too greedy, left it in a tough spot and finished with a bogey. 

"Overall, I played really solid. It felt like the best round of the year from tee to green, so a lot of positives to take into the rest of the week."

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