Martin Couvra – Getty Images 

Tournament preview

Martin Couvra is looking to build on a maiden European Challenge Tour victory when he tees it up at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos this week in his first tournament as a professional.

The Frenchman, who became only the seventh amateur in history to win on the European Challenge Tour when he triumphed at last week’s Challenge de España, made the decision to turn professional following conversations with the Fédération Française de Golf.

The 20-year-old had initially planned to remain in the amateur ranks for the remainder of the year with the intention of teeing it up in the World Amateur Team Championships in October, but has opted to turn professional with a new plan in mind.

“My career is more simple now,” he said. “I’ve spoken with the French Federation a lot since my win last week, to talk about if I turn professional or if I stay as an amateur. 

“I’ve decided to turn professional and play all of the Challenge Tour events to the end of the season, to hopefully win some points and play on the DP World Tour next year.

“Now I just need to play some great golf, play my own game, and hopefully at the end of this tournament and the end of the season it’ll work out.”

Couvra’s career-changing victory catapulted him 126 places to 41st in the Road to Mallorca Rankings. With the top 20 at the conclusion of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final at Club de Golf Alcanada, Mallorca earning DP World Tour playing privileges for the 2024 season, he’s hoping to continue his upward trajectory.

“It was amazing for me to win last week with my caddie next to me,” he added. “I earned some points in the Rankings and my goals for the season have changed.

“I didn’t start my season very well on the Challenge Tour, but the win is amazing. It’s a new goal to me to be in the top 20 in the Rankings. I’m not too far off but I need to play a lot of great golf to make it.

“At the start of the season, I didn’t think I’d be in the position I’m in now, so it’s pretty good. I’m happy to be where I am with five tournaments to go.”

Couvra joins a stellar field in Portugal that includes Road to Mallorca Number One Casey Jarvis, two-time DP World Tour winner Lucas Bjerregaard and three-time DP World Tour winner Brandon Stone.

Round one gets underway on Thursday at 7:50am local time with Couvra teeing off at 9:00am alongside Ricardo Gouveia from Portugal and American Jordan Gumberg.