Matt Wallace said is he hoping to regain confidence in Wales and kick-start a run of form that will help him secure a spot in Padraig Harrington’s European Ryder Cup team.
The Englishman, who arrives at The Celtic Manor Resort following a tie for 40th at The Open, said that while confidence has been what he has been most lacking of late, he feels like he is close to putting every part of his game together.
“I feel like I’ve solidified myself there at the majors and had some decent results at the big stages but I’ve realised that with this game there is a big confidence level that you need to have to be able to compete and I don’t think I’ve quite had that,” said Wallace, who is making his debut at the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale.
“I feel like my game is the best it’s ever been, but you need to have proper high confidence to get the job done sometimes. What I haven’t been able to do is put it all together.”
Wallace had some success early in the year with a top ten in Abu Dhabi before a third place finish on the PGA Tour at the Valero Texas Open and a tie for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
Since then, his best has been a tie for 26th at the abrdn Scottish Open two weeks ago, and Wallace admitted that it's been a case of not being able to have all of his game in sync at the same time.
“That week (in Texas) I led the field in tee to green but my putting let me down, and that came back to a bit of confidence not seeing the ball go in the hole. And then when my putting has been quite good the long game hasn’t been as sharp so there’s a little bit of too-ing and frow-ing with that, and if I can put it all together that’s where I think I’ll be contending for tournaments
“We’re here to win, we’re here to play some good golf like I have been doing and put ourselves in to contention and hopefully get across the line. I’ve never played this golf course before. Obviously it’s iconic with the Ryder Cup in the past, and I’m looking forward to it.
“The weather is supposed to be great and just done some putting, the greens are quite good so looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do this week.”
Yet while his focus is on winning week, one thing that is hard to escape at The Celtic Manor Resort are the memories of the 2010 Ryder Cup. And with the legacy of that victory showcased in various places, it's no surprise that those reminders put the idea of making the team at the forefront of Wallace’s mind.
The four time European Tour winner was on the cusp of making the 2018 team that went to Le Golf National after his victory at the Made in Denmark, and once again finds himself outside of the automatic qualifying spots. Wallace wants it just as much this time around, but said he is trying to find the balance between focusing on wanting to be in Padraig Harrington’s team versus focusing on his game.
“It’s been really difficult this year of trying to find the balance of what I want to do,” said Wallace.
“I want to make the team absolutely, but it’s what do I think about - do I want to think about making the team, or do I want to think about performing well and that will get me into the team. That’s the best way to think about it, be selfish in that sense, but I want Padraig to know like I did with Thomas that I’m rooting to get into that team because it’s what I want to achieve and so this is why I’m here this week. I need to start putting some results on the table so Padraig can see that I’m playing well and fingers crossed this is the start of what’s to come in the next couple of months.”