Olesen & Bjerregaard claim victory at the inaugural GolfSixes

It was another successful team event for Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, this time teaming up with Lucas Bjerregaard and claiming victory at the first ever GolfSixes event on the European Tour.

Denmark had finished second in Group A on Saturday, with them then coming out victors against France and Italy in the quarter and semi-final matches.

It was a tight final match with a birdie on the third hole, giving Australia a 1-0 lead. But it was no surprise when Denmark came back and won the final three holes to be crowned the inaugural GolfSixes champions, with a 3-1 win over Australia.

“It’s gone pretty well for me in team events recently,” added Olesen. “I don’t know if I’m a lucky charm. I feel like I’ve had good partners, as well.”

“I was hoping for a win but Lucas played great, especially these last six holes. I was struggling a little bit.

“It’s been fantastic. Team Denmark has got a lot of support, so we’re really happy with that.”

“It’s been a very intense couple of days. Feels like you’ve played 72 holes or even more. Six holes, it’s very intense match play, playing only six holes and every shot really counts.”

Congratulations to Thorbjørn and Lucas on their fantastic win!

Team Portugal

Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia and José-Filipe Lima cruised into the knockout stages of the GolfSixes with another dominant win in the second round of matches at the Centurion Club.

They had made five birdies in a 4-0 win over Wales in the first round of matches and made three more in another 4-0 victory over Australia to guarantee progression from Group C.

Unfortunately, they were beaten by Scotland at the quarter-final stages, 3-0, after the Scotsmen made two birdies and an eagle to claim victory and progress to the semi-finals.

It was a fantastic weekend for Ricardo and José and they both go on to play in their home open this week, at the Open de Portugal.

Gouveia delighted by Challenge Tour’s return to Portugal

One of the eye-catching additions to the Challenge Tour schedule for 2017, was a return to Portugal for the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort, a dual-ranking event with the European Tour.

The tournament’s status as a dual-ranking event means that points won that week will count towards both the Race to Dubai and the Road to Oman, with the field made up of both European Tour and Challenge Tour players.

Carrying a significant prize fund of €500,000, it is sure to be an early season highlight, and one man looking forward to a week in the Algarve at the start of May is 2015 Road to Oman winner Ricardo Gouveia.

The 25 year old won twice during his record-breaking Challenge Tour campaign before acquitting himself well last season after stepping up to the European Tour, with top ten finishes in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters – one year ago this week – the Made in Denmark and the Nedbank Golf Challenge taking him to 54th place in the Race to Dubai.

Having started his season with a creditable tie for 23rd at last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Gouveia was excited to learn that his national open would form part of the 2017 Road to Oman.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “It’s very important for Portugal, for the Portuguese golfers who are having a bit of a struggle to get invites and have the opportunities to play on the Challenge Tour or the European Tour, so to have this tournament on home soil is great for Portugal.

“I will definitely be playing. I always like to give back to my country, to the Portuguese federation, to the PGA of Portugal – they were all really helpful when I was growing up and in getting me to the professional ranks, and I like to play in front of home crowds.”

The Challenge Tour has not had a tournament in Portugal since the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI in 2015 – which was also a dual-ranking event, won by Finland’s Roope Kakko.

Gouveia carried great form into that week, having finished first and second in his previous events, but could only manage a tie for 25th spot in front of his home fans.

However, 2015 was an undeniably momentous year for the Portuguese, with ten top ten finishes supplemented by two victories, including his triumph at the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final which secured his Rankings hot spot and took him to €251,592 won for the year – a Challenge Tour record.

It is still early days in his European Tour career, but Gouveia is quick to acknowledge the role the Challenge Tour played in preparing him for life at the very top of the golfing world.

“The Challenge Tour was very important for me,” he said. “I had just come back from college in America and it was a great stepping stone to then playing on the European Tour.

“I want to wish all the Challenge Tour players a great season for 2017 – have a good one.”

Article from The European Tour – http://www.europeantour.com/challengetour/season=2017/tournamentid=2017724/news/newsid=319371.html

Ricardo Gouveia announces partnership with Quinta do Lago

Quinta do Lago, one of the most desired addresses in Europe, has announced its new multi-year partnership with Portugal’s highest ever ranked European Tour golfer, Ricardo Gouveia.

Gouveia will be the Quinta do Lago ambassador for the company. The relationship between Quinta Do Lago and Gouveia goes back many years as his family house is located on the grounds of Laranjal, one of the Quinta Do Lago golf courses. When in Portugal, Gouveia has always used Quinta Do Lago as his base for practice.

In 2016, Ricardo finished his maiden European Tour season at 54th on the Race To Dubai, comfortably retaining his card for the 2017 season. He had a T7 finish at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, T8 at the Made in Denmark, T13 at the Turkish Airlines Open and the highlight of the year being a T3 finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge enabling Ricardo to play at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Gouveia also represented Portugal at the Rio Olympic games and again at the World Cup at the end of the year in Melbourne.

‘Quinta do Lago is one of the most recognised golf resorts in the world and for me to partner with them is a huge honour. As a Portuguese player, to be an ambassador for this resort with 3 amazing golf courses, fantastic practice facilities and beautiful properties, is something that I am extremely proud of. The relationship between Quinta do Lago and my family is extremely important to me and I look forward to showcasing the Quinta do Lago brand on the International Golfing Stage,” said Gouveia.

“Sean Moriarty, chief executive at Quinta do Lago, said: “To have Portugal’s highest-ever ranked golfer as Quinta do Lago’s partner is indeed a very special privilege for us. The fact that Ricardo grew up on the same piece of land where our Laranjal course is makes it even more special. We’re looking forward to seeing Ricardo around the resort, and making full use of our superb golf facilities”.

Quinta do Lago is a unique destination where stunning golf courses and grand villas blend with green umbrella pines, the tranquility of lakes, the beauty of sandy beaches and the wildlife from the Ria Formosa Natural Park. It also boasts one of the finest practice facilities in Europe. With its state of the art driving range, Paul McGinley Academy and TaylorMade Custom Fitting Centre providing the ultimate practice experience.


The Bottle Smash Challenge

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Portugal Masters, The European Tour thought they would mark the occasion with a challenge on the driving range at Victoria Clube de Golfe. Thirty bottles of beer, three players and one drone later, and they created a smashing video.

On the eve of the tournament, defending champion Andy Sullivan was joined by his Ryder Cup team-mate Thomas Pieters and Portugal’s number one Ricardo Gouveia for a unique challenge on the range. Ten bottles were lined up and each player was asked to hit ten balls to see how many they could knock off the wall.

The bottles were positioned 30 yards from the players, and around four feet off the ground. All three player selected a five-iron as their weapon of choice, and began trying to smash the bottles.

As the Portugal native, Gouveia had the honour and promptly smashed his first bottle with his second shot. Last year’s Challenge Tour Rankings winner ended with four bottles down from ten shots.

Next up was Thomas Pieters. The Belgian, who set the record for the most points gained by a European rookie at The Ryder Cup last month, showcased his skill by taking out two bottles with one shot.

Pieters eventually finished with five bottles down to take the lead in the challenge.

It was then the turn of the defending Portugal Masters champion Sullivan. After missing on his first five efforts, the four-time European Tour winner struck form, hitting three bottles with his next five attempts.

He eventually finished with three bottles down.

It was at that point that Sullivan threw down a bonus round to the other two. He called in the drone, which had a bottle suspended from it.

To have a look at the fantastic video that the European Tour created, have a look below:

Video Credit: The European Tour

Home challenge for Ricardo Gouveia

Ricardo Gouveia is looking forward to teeing it up in his home event and is hopeful the Portugal Masters can inspire the next generation of Portuguese golfers.

The local favourite has enjoyed a productive first season on the European Tour and knows that his card is secure for next season.

That should mean that the pressure is off for the 25 year old but after finishing first on the Challenge Tour last season, Gouveia is determined to put up a good show in home soil.

“It’s a great event for us Portuguese, especially me,” he said. “I grew up playing junior golf around here. I know the course really well and a lot of family and friends are coming along. It’s always a great tournament.

“It’s very important, especially for kids to come and watch not only the Portuguese players but the best in Europe play and hopefully motivate them to start playing or to keep going.

Gouveia may have missed three of his last four cuts, but that took his tally for the season to just seven and he has enjoyed top tens at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Made in Denmark.

He credits his experience on the Challenge Tour as a major factor in his bright start to life on the European Tour but admits he is still learning among Europe’s elite.

“It wasn’t easy at the beginning but now I’m comfortable,” he said. “My game has not been 100 per cent this year but to achieve my main goal, which was to guarantee the card for next year, even though I wasn’t playing very well, it’s great.

“I feel like it’s going back to school for me, just learning to play out here and to pretty much score when the game is not on.

“I started pretty much right away in Leopard Creek. I had a top 20 there and then I had a bit of a break and came back and had a good week in Qatar and it was good to have those two good weeks in the beginning of the season. It took a bit of that pressure off from the beginning of the season.

“My main goal, which was to guarantee the card for next year, was achieved in Denmark.”

Gutsy double victory leads Gouveia to break records

The seventh day of November, is one that Ricardo Gouveia definitely isn’t going to forget for a long time, as he finished off a stunning season with a gutsy victory at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, which also led him to capturing the Road to Oman and Challenge Tour No. 1 title. His double victory wrote history in the European Challenge tour books, as he finished his year with the highest total earnings for a season ever, pipping Edoardo Molinari by a mere 8,612.

With his 2016 European Tour card safely secured, he was under absolutely no obligation to travel to the other side of the globe to play in the penultimate event of the year, The Foshan Open. But this Portuguese native wasn’t just satisfied with having his full card for next year – he wanted it all!

With the thoughts of other players having the opportunity to scoop up ranking points and gaining ground on him in his bid to capture the Road to Oman title, Gouveia did not take the week off. He went and played this event and finished strongly in a tie for third place.

2015 had been a flawless season for Gouveia: 11 top tens from 17 starts, only one missed cut and a victory in the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge Tour tournament. But could he claim the double and cement his place as the Challenge Tour’s number one player for 2015?

Having shot a +4 (76) in round 3 of the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, staged at the beautiful Almouj golf, The Wave, it looked as if maybe he had lost his momentum. However, he was only 1 shot back from Sweden’s Jens Dantorp. The front nine of the closing round for Gouveia saw him shoot a -2 (36), steady, but he was not where he wanted to be – top of the leaderboard. It was now or never for the Portuguese player if he wanted to complete his dream double.

A gentleman both on and off the course, it was time for him to use his raw desire to win, to dig deep and produce the golf that was needed to claim victory. He got his rhythm back in the middle of his round, when his putter saw red and held 5 putts for five straight birdies, beginning on the 12th hole. He shot seven under par in his closing round, setting the clubhouse target at 13 under, one that could not be matched by another player in the field.

‘I saw on the tenth tee that I was a bit far back and then after birdies on 12, 13 and 14 I saw the leaderboard on 15 and I was one ahead, then one more birdie on 16 put me two ahead at that point. Then on 18 I saw the big leaderboard to see what I needed on the last and just holed a beautiful putt.’

The 2015 Challenge Tour season was purely about Ricardo. He captured the Road to Oman title, NBO Golf Classic Grand Final and the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge tour event. He is now ranked the highest Portuguese golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings at 84th, having catapulted himself 313 spots higher than he was this time last year. He has also tied Edoardo Molinari as the joint highest ranked European Challenge tour player ever.

With a full status 2016 European Tour card in his back pocket and playing the golf of his life, the world is now his oyster. Gouveia has well and truly conquered the European Challenge tour and is on to bigger and better things next year.

We at Hambric Sports Group are so proud of your achievements Ricardo, and cannot wait to see you compete next year on the big stage – The European Tour!

Gouveia victorious in Germany

Ricardo Gouveia stormed to a second European Challenge Tour title at the AEGEAN Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort courtesy of a flawless final day performance which earned him a four-stroke victory on the Beckenbauer Course in Bad Griesbach.

The 26 year old began the day two shots off the lead set by South African Dean Burmester but a four under par 67 moved him to 15 under for the tournament, earning a first title of a remarkably consistent 2015 season and moving him to second in the Road to Oman Rankings.

His maiden victory came in Rome after just seven appearances and, while it was not enough to earn graduation to The European Tour at the conclusion of the 2014 season, he has returned this year an even bigger force to be reckoned with. Gouveia is the only player in the top 15 to have made it to the weekend in every event he has played thus far and seven top 20 finishes in eight events suggested it was only a matter of time before a second career title adorned his trophy cabinet.

He did it in nerveless fashion and he was delighted to double his win tally on Europe’s top developmental tour.

“It feels great to win again on this very competitive tour,” said Gouveia, who had his brother Tomas on the bag all week. “To win once is really good but to win twice is even better because it proves that I have the capability to win more than once. I’m just really happy.”

Congratulations Ricardo from all of us at Hambric Sports, we are absolutely thrilled for you!

Gouveia rules Rome after play-off Victory

Ricardo Gouveia claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title in dramatic fashion as the Portuguese defeated Germany’s Florian Fritsch in the third play-off hole to win the EMC Golf Challenge Open in just his seventh event as a professional.

The 23 year old only turned professional in July before making his debut in the paid ranks at the D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge, after a glittering amateur career in the American collegiate ranks where he studied at the University of Central Florida.

“I cannot even describe how good I feel right now,” said Gouveia, who moved to 49th in the Challenge Tour Rankings from 167th.

Congratulations Ricardo from all at Hambric Sports. We are very proud of you!

Check out the action from the last day on the below link courtesy of the European Tour.