A SUPERB last round at the Palmares Open has given Lewys Sanges every reason to be optimistic for his next appearance on the Portugal Pro Tour in February.

The new Gwent professional shot a five-under-par 67 over the final 18 holes on the Algarve to finish in 17th place.

“I’m very pleased with my finish,” said Sanges. “It was good to put a low round in so early in my pro career, it has certainly given me a boost.”

Sanges had made a solid start to his second event as a pro, with four birdies and as many bogeys in a level-par opening round.

Day two was bogey free for the Welshman, and one birdie gave him the first sub-par round of his career in the paid ranks.

His run of holes without dropping a shot had reached 24 when he bogeyed the par-five fourth on day three.

Another dropped shot followed at the next, but Sanges responded with six birdies in seven holes to soar back up the leaderboard.

He closed his tournament with four pars to finish the event on 210 (72, 71, 67), 17 strokes behind Scotland’s Sam Locke, the winner on -23.

Meanwhile, Newport amateur Callam Morris finished 46th after rounds of 73, 76 and 79.

Having started steadily and then been two-under going into the back nine on day two, Morris carded three double bogeys to go to one-over-par overall.

He then dropped six shots in three holes towards the end of his final round for a closing seven-over-par.

“I was playing quite nicely until the 11th hole (of round two), but I hit one poor shot and then had a couple of bad breaks,” he said. “I need to learn from these experiences.

“I feel like I’m going in the right direction with my golf and looking forward to the start of the season.

“It has been a great learning experience and I have plenty to work on going forward.”

Sanges and Morris will return to Portugal with coach Paul Mayo next month for more tournament practice before the domestic season gets under way.

Gwent Matchplay champion Dafydd Rowberry and Ioan Jones will also be going to the Algarve with Mayo for some pre-season events.

As amateurs they can play alongside professionals to gain invaluable experience.

“The standard of golf in these events is truly fantastic,” said Mayo.

“There are many young up and coming pros playing alongside some seasoned campaigners. A great platform to learn and improve.”