Justin squeaks entry into Portugal Masters

2014 Investec Cup: Day 3Justin Walters was the first reserve at the Portugal Masters, but got the call-up late on Wednesday and will compete this week in Vilamoura.

“I knew I was first reserve and was hearing a lot of things, so it was great to get the text and know that I was in. To have the opportunity to play has got me walking on cloud nine,” he said.

Oceanico Victoria Golf Club holds a special place in Walters’ heart, because he drained an immense putt there in 2013 to retain his playing privileges on the European Tour.

This week he faces a similar trial, but his memories of past success in Portugal will surely help him to make the most of the week.

“I played 18 holes yesterday and it’s amazing how your mind thinks of all the great shots and moments that you’ve had. I am so excited to be back and had pretty-much written this week off, because I didn’t think I would get in,” he said.

He ranks 147th in the Race to Dubai with only two events remaining before the Final Series of the European Tour begins and needs to make the top 60 in order to qualify for that elite run of four tournaments.

“I’m almost becoming accustomed to being in this position. I’ve had some struggles since March last year, when I injured my shoulder and, from a career standpoint, it has been a hard stretch for me. I feel like I’m coming through the other side, even though I’m running out of events. There’s always somewhere to go and play, and I’m sure I will do something special along the way and get back to where I belong. It would be amazing to do something this week, and there would no one prouder than myself,” he said.

The two-time Sunshine Tour winner is starting to play well and that, combined with fond memories and a real need to perform, could well lead to him doing something truly great at the Portugal Masters.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve found a bit of form and it has put me in a position to maybe secure some kind of category. First and foremost I’m happy to be here and playing.

“It’s a special place for me, and even if I don’t have a great week the Portugal Masters has provided a moment for me that even my grandkids will get to see. Although I do hope that this year I can once again do something,” he said.

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