The Portugal Masters 2015 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

The Portugal Masters | 15 October - 18 October | Oceanico Vitoria Golf Course

The European Tour heads to Portugal this week for the Portugal Masters and as things are beginning to wind down on the Tour, this will be one of the last chances that those competing will have to walk away with some silverware. The result is, a decent field has assembled at the Oceanico Vitoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, and this should be a tight contest.

Last year the tournament was cut short by severe weather conditions and after only 36 holes Alexander Levy walked away the winner. This week things are looking better though as no rain is predicted. If anything, the heat could prove to be difficult to contend with. That won’t be the only challenge the field face this week though, the course looks as though it may be difficult to navigate. Although the fairways are wide and forgiving, poor shots are punished harshly as there are a number of water hazards in play. Nowhere is this more evident than on the closing stretch, so expect a few surprises on Sunday, it’s definitely possible that the nerves will get the best of at least some of those competing and see them drop shots on the final few holes. The greens are large and undulating and considering that no rain is expected, they should be quick. This means that accurate iron play is going to be called for and those who don’t get it close to the pin are going to struggle to make birdies. Overall this looks like one for the punters to keep an eye on, there’s definitely a lot of value floating around. Let’s see if we can find it.

To Win Outright
Bernd Wiesberger  12/1
Martin Kaymer  12/1
Chris Wood  19/1
Soren Kjeldsen  21/1
Tommy Fleetwood  23/1

Tommy Fleetwood (23/1 a win, 46/1 a place)
Tommy Fleetwood has had an up and down season but last week he looked like he could be making a return to form with a closing round of 65 in difficult conditions. That finish showed that he has the game to make it around difficult courses and go low, and considering the way he was hitting his irons, he should be a contender this week. He hit more greens in regulation than almost everyone last week and that will stand him in good stead here, he just needs to capitalise and sink those birdie putts. At this price, Fleetwood looks like he’s worth an each way bet.

Alexander Levy (29/1 a win, 58/10 a place)
Last year's tournament was cut horribly short, but even in those tough conditions Levy excelled, and I think he’s worth an each way bet this week. Levy got the season off to a slow start but has improved over the months and now looks to be back at his best. This return to form could not come at a better time given the start he made to the season. He will need a few more pay cheques before the year ends to ensure it isn't a lean Christmas in the Levy household. Levy can hit the ball a mile and should be able to take advantage of these wide fairways. If he can putt well there’s no reason he won't be near the top come Sunday. I’m backing Levy each way.

Romain Wattel (47/1 a win, 94/10 a place)
Last year Romain Wattel showed that he can play great golf in difficult conditions. On his way to a T4, and although that was only after 36 holes, if he could handle this course in those conditions, this week should be a breeze. He looked to be in decent form last week on his way to a top 25 and I was particularly impressed with his approach play, which saw him hit a high percentage of greens in regulation. He also hits the ball long off the tee, a factor of his game that should give him an advantage this week. I’m backing Wattel each way.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello (69/1 a win, 14/1 a place)
The Spaniard has missed three cuts in a row on the European Tour and considering this uncharacteristic slump in form, it’s not surprising that he’s been priced up at such big odds. Be that as it may, on his day Cabrera-Bello is one of the best on the Tour and he’ll be looking forward to competing on a track he knows well. Having made the cut every time he’s teed off here, he’ll be no stranger to the layout and although small changes have been made to the course, he should still feel comfortable. I’m hoping he comes out firing and earns us a large payday. Get on before he fires on Thursday.

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