Matt Wallace puts celebrations on hold and eyes back-to-back PGA Tour wins
Matt Wallace has put the celebrations for winning his first PGA Tour title on hold as he seeks back-to-back victories and a place in the Masters.
Wallace restricted himself to a couple of beers on Sunday after winning the Corales Puntacana Championship, well aware that another triumph in the Valero Texas Open would bring a welcome reward.
The 32-year-old Londoner, who finished third in the 2019 US PGA Championship, did not qualify for any of the four major championships last year, but the winner in San Antonio on Sunday will secure the final place in the field at Augusta National, if not already exempt.
“Hopefully I can do this all over again and then get to the Masters,” Wallace said after his one-shot win in the Dominican Republic.
“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 I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time.
“I get to celebrate with my family and friends and my loved ones and stuff. That will be great. I’m out here (on the PGA Tour) all alone.”
Wallace missed the cut at TPC San Antonio last year, but finished third in 2021 after sharing the lead with eventual winner Jordan Spieth heading into the final round.
The world number 117 will partner Matt Kuchar and Nico Echavarria in the first two rounds, while defending champion JJ Spaun partners former Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler.
Fowler could have secured a place in the Masters via the top 50 in the world rankings by reaching the quarter-finals in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin last week.
However, after beating second seed Jon Rahm in the first round of group matches, Fowler lost to Billy Horschel on day two and Horschel’s subsequent victory over Rahm meant Fowler’s win over Keith Mitchell was not enough to reach the knockout stages.
“My short-term goal is to obviously get myself back in Augusta,” said Fowler, who had fallen outside the world’s top 170 in August last year.
“If that doesn’t happen, we’re going to continue to move forward and be in a good position.”