Matt Wallace is aiming for an Open goal as the European Tour season builds to its climax.

The Moor Park Golf Club professional will get his campaign under way at the Turkish Airlines Open tomorrow, the first of three premier Rolex Series events that end the current European Tour calendar.

The 27-year-old is also due to be in the field for next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, but he will need to be in the Race to Dubai’s top-60 if he is to assure himself of a place at the season-ending World Tour Championship.

Wallace is currently – and tantalisingly – 61st in the rankings, dropping one place following last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions event in China, but he is seeking to finish the year sufficiently high to be assured of a place at next year’s Open Championship.

“We’re in good shape,” he told the Watford Observer at the end of last week. “My main goal was to get into these last three events, it wasn’t going the way I wanted it to but then came Italy. I’d been playing really nice stuff until then and that bumped me all the way up to 62nd.

“And last week I played some really nice stuff as well at Valderrama on a really tough golf course, so [I’m] 60th, that may change with some of the people playing at the WGC, but we won’t be far off and we’ll definitely be in Turkey and Nedbank and my goal is now top-30 which will get me automatic promotion to The Open next year.”

Wallace finished in a tie for 18th at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters last time out, but it was his performance at last month’s Italian Open that not only elevated him significantly up to the Race to Dubai standings, but was also an event where the Pinner-based professional mixed it at the sharp end from wire-to-wire with some of Europe’s very best.

The 2016 six-time Alps Tour victor had proven he can win on the European Tour – he gained his card after triumphing at the co-sanctioned Open de Portugal in May – but the last Rolex Series event presented different challenges to a player who had at the top of the leaderboard from the first round.

Ultimately Wallace came up short, finishing two shots behind winner Tyrrell Hatton, but a haul of 297,121 Race to Dubai points moved him into a position where he felt a reassessment of his targets for the end of the season was needed.

“I think I’ve already taken it to that level when playing Italy because you just learn so much in one event,” he explained. “I was sleeping on the lead every night - I’ve done it before but this is another level - and using all the energy to not think about what can happen if you win.

"That’s a hard thing which you get used to, and [also] first tee nerves. I got introduced [on the tee] on the last day and I smiled and all the nerves just went away. That’s what I’ve learnt about myself. A smile goes a long way and you feel confident.

“I felt like I deserved to be there, I’d worked hard for it and played great stuff and I played really nice in those first five or six holes, I just couldn’t hole a putt to get away and then I got caught up so it’s a different sort of tournament then.”

It seemed Wallace’s hopes of winning were over; then came the 17th hole and one of the most memorable shots of this year.

The 27-year-old was through the back of the 354-yard par four in two by some distance and faced a challenge to save par. His response was to bump a chip shot into the bank where it bounced twice before the ball accelerated at pace across the green and into the hole, causing the Moor Park golfer to leap into the air in celebration as he found himself within a shot of the lead again.

He explained: “I’d kept all the emotion in all week and all that emotion came out because I was back in the tournament and I put my hands on my head thinking ‘I’ve got another hole to play, I'd better calm down here’, but I was so pumped and I was so happy that it went in I let out that emotion. That was just natural, it was mental.

“If I play like I did that week again I’ll be up there and, who knows, I might be too far ahead to even catch, so we’ll keep working hard and get that win somewhere along the line.”

Wallace has played the Regnum Carya Resort twice previously, winning a Pro-Am around the 7,200-yard course, and he will have a couple of familiar playing partners tomorrow in International Sports Management (ISM) stable-mate George Coetzee and his coach, Robert Rock.

The pair first started working together at the Irish Open in July and their relationship is continuing to blossom.

“He’s been great,” said Wallace. “We work on the same stuff that I was working on before, but he teaches it in a different way and he’s teaches it also to help me play in tournament mode.”

Another key member of Wallace’s team is caddie Dave McNeilly, who has previously carried the bag for such as Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington and Moor Park club-mate Callum Shinkwin.

It may be down the player to make the shots and hole the putts, but Wallace was in no doubt of the importance of having the right people around him when he reflected on the difference to a disappointing run of tournaments earlier this year.

He said “I went through that phase of missing cuts, it was only by a few shots, but by my standards I don’t want to be missing cuts at all, even if it’s by one, but when you do miss cuts you’ve got to look at why you do it.

"Talking to (ISM managing director) Chubby (Chandler) and other people it was because I had things missing in my life, I didn’t have a caddie at the time I could rely on and I lost my coach.

“As soon as I got my team back together in a sense, I started to play good stuff. I think Tommy Fleetwood spoke about when he won in France, he was talking about his team, and a team in golf is huge.

“I’ve got my team together now, it’s a great team and it goes from having my osteopath to my trainer to the guys who do all the stats. I used stats in Denmark for the first time and I had a top-10 and then I had another top-10 and they’ve been for brilliant for me as well.”

Last week was the first Wallace had not played in a tournament for 10 weeks. He previously had a rule of thumb of competing in four events and then having a break, but felt the commitment was necessary to give himself the best chance of making the final three events of the year.

Apart from the British Masters when he had to withdraw with a wrist problem, Wallace has made the cut in each of the other eight tournaments and secured three top-10 finishes, including his Italian Open fourth place.

"Nine weeks in a row has been tough but I had to do it and sometimes you have to do things like that," he said. "You can’t take three weeks off and rely on one tournament, golf’s too hard like that. I’d rather keep playing and keep playing good stuff. Why not? It’s nice when you’re playing good and on some of the best courses in the world as well.

"It’s not bad to play a Rolex Series in Italy where the crowd and the food’s great and then play Valderrama. I dreamt as a kid of playing Valderrama, now I’m playing it in a European Tour tournament. It’s pretty cool."