Green and Smith share Portugal Masters lead

28 October 2022

Gavin Green and Jordan Smith share the halfway lead at the Portugal Masters with the pair reaching 13 under par after 36 holes at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

Englishman Smith held the overnight lead after a nine under par 62 on Thursday and carded a four under par 67 to share first place with Malaysia’s Green. Smith is chasing a second DP World Tour title, while Green, who carded a six under par 65, is seeking a maiden success in Portugal.

Green, who has represented Malaysia twice at the Olympics, is also bidding for a place in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, with the top 60 available players on the DP World Tour Rankings set to tee it up in South Africa next week.

In a share of third place on 12 under par are Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen, one stroke ahead of four golfers in fifth place. Sharing fifth on 11 under are Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, Eddie Pepperell of England and the German pair of Sebastian Heisele and Nicolai von Dellingshausen.

As the final counting event on the 2022 DP World Tour schedule, the top 117 golfers on the DP World Tour Rankings will retain their playing rights for next season. The player currently occupying 117th position on the Rankings is Spain’s Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.

Player Quotes

Gavin Green: “I think today was a little tighter, all around. Yesterday we had a few soft bogeys with wedges and short irons. Today we had one soft bogey. Other than that everything else was a little tighter. We just kept playing, kept hitting it in the fairway, driving it well. Hitting it long enough past most of the trouble and we’re in the fairway, so it changes a lot of things and helps out. It’s nice because from where I was a year ago and to be in this position again, we’re just enjoying it.”

Jordan Smith: “It’s always tough following a round like that yesterday. I felt like I hit it just as good, just missed a couple more greens and quite putt as well, but I was happy with the way I finished there. “(On changing putting) It’s really made a difference to the way I stroke the putter. It was in France, I picked up the putter I was going to test over the winter after Dubai, and I had a little roll with it on the greens and it felt good. My putting coach said I should throw myself in the deep end and give it a go and it’s really paid off.”

Benjamin Hebert: “There’s no pressure for me this week. I just want to play and practice as much as I can to prepare for Q School because there’s a big chance I’m going there. I played pretty good the last few weeks now. I try and focus a bit on the mental part of my game and see what’s going on. “I’m in a good position for the weekend and I like this course. It’s a good one and you can be aggressive with the soft greens.”

Tapio Pulkkanen: “I’m hitting the ball well, that’s the key. Tee to green it has been really solid. Today I made some more putts, so I’m happy with the score. “I played in the second group, so the greens were pretty good in the morning. I made some putts because of that. They are firming up a little bit, they were really soft yesterday and they were a little quicker today as well. “I want to play well this week and secure the spot in the final already this week. I’ve played well here before, so I’m looking forward to the next few days."

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