Matt Wallace has continued his good form with a three-under-par opening round of 68 at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily.
The Moor Park Golf Club professional is now eligible to play on the European Tour after winning the Open de Portugal last weekend in just his fourth tournament at that level.
The 27-year-old won the event, which had dual status with the Challenge Tour, after not dropping a shot in three of his rounds, a feat he was to accomplish again this afternoon at Verdura Golf Club.
Wallace’s third birdies came at the par three seventh, par five 12th and par four 17th to leave him in a share of 47th place at the time of writing, seven shots behind joint leaders Sebastian Soderberg and Michael Hoey after they both went round in a superb 61.
The Pinner-based professional has risen to 137 in the world rankings following his victory in Portugal and Chubby Chandler is convinced he is destined for “bigger and better” things.
Wallace, who secured his Challenge Tour card after winning the Alps Tour Order of Merit with a historic six victories in 2016, joined Chandler’s stable of golf stars at International Sports Management (ISM) last year.
Speaking after Wallace’s win in Portimao, Chandler told ISM’s website: “It was a testimony to both his talent and dedication and I am convinced he will go on to bigger and better now that he has shown he can mix it with Europe’s top professionals.”
Among others to pass on their congratulations was golfing legend Gary Player.
He tweeted @garyplayer: “Congrats @mattsjwallace on your wire to wire victory at the Open de Portugal & securing your @EuropeanTour card in the process! My best. GP”