Ricardo Gouveia is eager to truly establish himself on the DP World Tour after making an encouraging start to the 2022 season.
The Portuguese finished top of the European Challenge Tour Rankings in 2015 and finished inside Europe's top 60 in his rookie campaign as part of an impressive start to life on Tour.
He had to fight to keep his card for the next two seasons and eventually lost it in 2019, spending the Covid-19 interrupted 2020 campaign back on the Challenge Tour.
He was back to his best in 2021, claiming two wins en route to finishing second on the Road to Mallorca, and he began 2022 with made cuts in the points-rich Rolex Series events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
A 65 in round one of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Classic matched his lowest ever DP World Tour round and the 30-year-old did not want to let his second chance pass him by.
I’m more mature this year, coming back on the main tour, and hopefully I can continue my good form from last year
“I’m more mature this year, coming back on the main tour, and hopefully I can continue my good form from last year," he said.
"I had a good start in the first couple of tournaments, last week didn’t go so well but that’s golf. I had a few days to practise and I played some good golf today.”
Gouveia birdied five of his first seven holes at Al Hamra Golf Club to turn in 31 and while he bogeyed the tenth, he bounced back with gains at the 12th, 13th and 17th to get to seven under.
“I am very happy, it was a great round, I played solid," he said. "I put the ball in play which was what didn’t happen last week, so if you do that you can create a lot of chances and I holed a lot of putts which helped.
“Mostly, my putting and driving wasn’t good last week so I had some time to fix that after missing the cut last week and it paid off today."