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.”