Richard Sterne carded a closing five-under-par 66 on Sunday for his best round of the week in the DP World Tour’s Portugal Masters, and he finished in a share of 27th on 13-under-par.
That left him 17 shots behind the winner, Jordan Smith of England, who rounded out a sparkling week with an eight-under-par 63 to move to an incredible 30-under and a three-stroke win over Gavin Green of Malaysia. In third, eight shots back, was Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen on 22-under, while Eddie Pepperell of England was in fourth on 21-under.
Sterne made six birdies and a bogey, and he was projected to rise to 154th on the DP World Tour rankings. That is well short of the 117th spot which is the position of the last man likely to retain playing privileges.
Daniel van Tonder also closed with a 66, and was projected to climb to 125th. His 2021 win in the Kenya Savannah Classic will keep him in action for the 2023 season.
Wilco Nienaber closed in a hurry, with four birdies in the last four holes taking him to four-under for the round and 11-under for the tournament. His share of 43rd projected him to rise to 136th on the rankings.