Wallace secures maiden PGA Tour victory at Corales Puntacana

John Craven
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Victorious Matt Wallace in Punta Cana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

An emotional Matt Wallace was proud of his mental fortitude as he ground out a maiden PGA Tour victory at the 80th time of trying at the Corales Puntacana Championship on Sunday.

The Englishman produced four birdies in succession down the stretch to swing the tide in his favour and claim the win thanks to a final round 66 for a 19-under par tally, holding the brilliant Nicolai Hojgaard at bay by a single stroke.

“I didn’t know it was my 80th, feels like I’ve been out here for years. Getting grey hairs now all the stress I put myself under in golf,” Wallace joked, a four-time winner on the DP World Tour.

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“Everyone knows I’m a feisty character, but that got me through that today. I was calm, felt I was determined, I kind of felt like I had it in me all week. I really felt like I was playing some really good stuff and I felt like I was going to be up there at the end of the week no matter what.”

“Self-talk was very good today,” he highlighted. “I realised at The Players Championship that out of the 145 shots I hit to miss the cut by one, two of those I spoke to myself nicely. That’s not going to get the job done.”

Given the event was held opposite the WGC-Dell Match Play, Wallace doesn’t earn an automatic invitation into next week’s Masters tournament, meaning he will tee-up in Thursday’s starting Valero Texas Open with Georgia on his mind.

He does, however, earn his place in the PGA Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions next year at Kapalua, ample reward for a sweet success that’s been five years in the making.

“I’m hopefully not going to have a week off because hopefully I can do this all over again and then get to the Masters,” said Wallace, who banked $684,000 for the win.

“But if not, I’ll be heading home and that will be really nice to take a trophy home. I haven’t been able to do that for five years and been wanting to do it for a long time. I get to celebrate with my family and friends and my loved ones and stuff.

“It’s crazy, it hasn’t even sunk in yet. That will be great. I’m out here all alone. I’ve got Sam here with me, my French caddie, the only Frenchman to win on the PGA Tour, so I’m so happy for him and I thank him a lot. Hopefully we can go take a lot from this and go to bigger and better things.”

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