Matt Wallace is hoping to play his way into contention at this week’s inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, just as he did at Fairmont St Andrews in October.
The Englishman put on a brilliant show in the early rounds of the Scottish Championship presented by AXA to open up a three shot lead after 54 holes. Wallace had to settle for second place in the end as Adrian Otaegui shot a closing 63 to storm to victory, but he has set his sights on challenging again at Jumeirah Golf Estates as he seeks a return to the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Four time European Tour winner Wallace said: “I’m feeling really good, excited for the next couple of weeks. My game is there and I’m just being consistent, doing the same thing over and over and hopefully I can produce another result like Scotland and give myself a chance.
“Now is where I believe I should be able to compete, I’m playing really well and my expectations are there for me to do the same things on the golf course as I’m doing in practice rounds. I’m showing that on the course, so I just need to do that again. My expectations are there to produce and where I’m at in the world, 51 having moved outside of the top 50, so I’m looking to move back inside.”
Thomas Pieters will be hopeful that a change to the way he practices will pay dividends when he tees it up for the first time since October this week. Pieters, who became a father during the four month hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year, last played at the BMW PGA Championship. But the Belgian has been getting a lot of practice in and is looking forward to returning to action.
“The form should be good, I’ve practised a lot,” said Pieters. “I’ve kind of changed the way I practise, a bit more structured and efficient and I’m quite happy to get going, it’s been eight or nine weeks since I’ve played.”
Dublin duo Niall Kearney and Gavin Moynihan will look to take advantage of a precious Main Tour start when the action gets underway on Wednesday. Royal Dublin professional Kearney showed some decent form in Andalucia this November with a tie for 22nd at the Challenge de Espagna followed by a tied 14th result at the Challenge de Cadiz, however Moynihan hasn’t played all four rounds in a tournament since the Austrian Open back in July and will be eager to break that streak ahead of breaking for Christmas.