Andy Sullivan chasing successful title defence at Portugal Masters
Last Updated: 19/10/16 3:33pm
Andy Sullivan hopes a large travelling support will spur him on to successfully defend his Portugal Masters crown at Victoria Clube de Golfe.
The Englishman cruised to a dominant nine-shot victory last year, following wins at the South African Open and Joburg Open earlier on in his breakthrough year.
Sullivan has struggled to replicate his 2015 success and is yet to reach the winner's circle this season, but remains upbeat on kick-starting his form ahead of the Final Series.
"I was defending in South African which didn't go too well and didn't get to defend the Joburg Open, so it will be nice to go back to Portugal and put up a stellar defence," Sullivan said.
"It's one of those courses where if you do hit the fairway you can shoot a low number but on the other hand if you don't hit the fairways it can eat you up.
"With about 70 members of my golf club coming out, I think the crowds will hopefully be cheering me on and getting behind me, so hopefully that'll inspire me to go on and do it again."
Sullivan tees off for the first two rounds alongside Ryder Cup team-mate Thomas Pieters and Sweden's Alex Noren, who claimed his third victory in eight starts at last week's British Masters.
Noren's two-shot triumph at The Grove has lifted him inside the world's top 20 for the first time, with the 34-year-old focused on improving and extending his recent winning run.
"I've tried not to put too much happiness and energy in to that (British Masters) win," Noren said on Wednesday. "The middle part of my final round wasn't very good and I let (Richard) Bland and the other guys in.
"In the end I finished better than I expected and I was happy with that. I had a tremendous week but my Putting was the best thing, so we are working a little bit on the driving."
Watch the Portugal Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home golf. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 11.30am.