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By On September 20, 2018

Garcia eyes positive week in Portugal

Cape Town - Sergio Garcia will make his Portugal Masters debut this week at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course as he gears up for an event in which he has rather more experience.

The Spaniard is preparing to make his ninth appearance in the Ryder Cup after being selected as one of Thomas Bjørn's four Captain's Picks, but first of all the 2017 Masters Tournament champion is looking forward to a week of competitive action in the golfing mecca of Vilamoura.

The 12-time European Tour winner's most recent experience on this course came back in 2005 when he represented Spain alongside Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the WGC-World Cup, and he's expecting an entirely different challenge this time around.

"Since the last time I played here in 2005 there have been a lot of changes. The fairways look much narrower than they were then, the rough is much thick er, so you have to drive the ball well here. If you do that then it's a course that's going to give you some chances of scoring, but you have to be very precise off the tee, so that's going to be important," said Garcia.

"Obviously getting a win here would be amazing. You can't beat confidence. That would be nice but more than anything I just want to get some rhythm, get some competition juices flowing, that's one of the main reasons that I wanted to come here. It's a nice tournament and I want to do the best I can, but obviously I'm thinking a little bit about next week. You can't help it.

"I'm excited about it. Everyone knows how much I love The Ryder Cup, and that hasn't changed, so I'm really excited about it. I'm very thankful to Thomas and the vice captains for picking me and I'm just going to try to help the team as much as possible," said Garcia.

He is joined in the field b y Ryder Cup team-mate Thorbjørn Olesen who is also looking forward to getting back into competitive action after a few weeks of rest.

The Dane sealed his maiden appearance in the biennial contest after putting together an impressive run of form that has included six top 20 finishes since capturing his fifth European Tour title at the Italian Open in June.

He's looking forward to a week in a place that he enjoys so much, he visited for a training camp earlier in the year.

The field for the 12th Portugal Masters includes a further four Major winners in Argentinian Angel Cabrera, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, South African Charl Schwartzel and Danny Willett of England.

Meanwhile it will be a family affair for home favourite Ricardo Gouveia, who will be joined by his dad Tomas on caddie duties.

Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal

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By On September 20, 2018

Ryder Cup snub Matt Wallace grabs share of Portugal Masters lead

Chalk up a small moral victory to Matt Wallace in the opening round of the $2.35 million Portugal Masters. The Englishman won the opening skirmish against playing competitor Sergio Garcia. Who will ultimately win the war?

Both have a point to prove before next week’s Ryder Cup. Garcia, despite what he says, wants to prove he was worthy of receiving one of Thomas Bjorn’s wild-card picks, while Wallace will deep down want to show the European captain he should be making the trip to Paris instead of Garcia.

The two players have no problem keeping up with the other’s progress. They’ve been drawn together for the first two rounds along with defending champion Lucas Bjerregaard.

Wallace finished two shots ahead of Garcia after posting a 7-under 64 to tie the lead with countryman Eddie Pepperell, another who made a strong bid for next week’s team only to receive a neg ative phone call from Bjorn.

Wallace began on the 10th tee and had a shaky start over the first two holes before chipping in for eagle at the par-5 12th hole. He added five birdies to take the early clubhouse lead.

“It wasn’t start on the first two holes I wanted but managed to get out of there with two pars and then the chip in on 12 was nice to get the tournament going,” Wallace said.

“I didn’t feel too comfortable out there. A couple left shots which I haven’t had for the last few weeks. So I need to work on that.”

Wallace is the only player to win three times on this year’s European Tour. One of those victories came in the Made in Denmark, the last qualifying event for the Ryder Cup. Many felt that victory should have earned him a spot in Bjorn’s team but, with five rookies already in the side, Bjorn opted for veteran Ryder Cupper Garcia.

The Spaniard returned a 5-under 66 to be joint fourth when he finished. A good start, but it could’ve been better.

“I played well, but I still like I left easily three or four shots out there,” Garcia said. “Had a couple of easy birdies putts. It was nice to play at a good level after a little break and have a nice round.”

Garcia hasn’t played since the Wyndham Championship a month ago, and only turned up in Portugal to prep for Paris. He says how he plays this week will have no bearing on how he performs in his ninth Ryder Cup.

“I’ve had three or four week breaks before,” he said. “More than anything it’s nice to be out there to get some of the competition juices going and try to get as many good rounds as possible. Next week is different, the pressure’s different, the atmosphere’s different.”

As they say in that other ball sport: Advantage, Wallace.

Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal

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By On September 20, 2018

Portugal Masters leaderboard

Portugal Masters leaderboardSeptember 20, 2018 Golf News

Follow NCG's live Portugal Masters leaderboard from Vilamoura, where Sergio Garcia is looking to fine-tune his game ahead of the Ryder Cup

Portugal Masters leaderboard

Portugal Masters leaderboard:

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September 18, 2018 Golf News TopSource: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal

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By On September 20, 2018

Garcia finds form in Portugal with Ryder Cup looming

VILAMOURA, Portugal (AP) â€" Sergio Garcia shot a 5-under 66 and was two strokes off the first-round lead at the Portugal Masters on Thursday as the Spanish golfer looked to find some form in his final event before next week's Ryder Cup.

He is one of four wild-card selections by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, who kept faith with the 2017 Masters champion despite Garcia only having one top-10 finish since April.

English pair Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace, who both missed out on a pick from Bjorn, shared the lead after bogey-free rounds of 64 at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal