European Tour: The Portugal Masters Preview

Golfer admires his shot

We preview this week's Portugal Masters set to take place at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course between 20 and 23 September. 


The Portugal Masters | 20 September - 23 September | Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course

This is a fairly recent event that only enjoyed its debut in 2007, with Englishman Steve Webster claiming the inaugural title. The event was originally known as the Oceanico Victoria. It has struggled to draw a massively intriguing line-up, having to compete with both the Tour Championship and next week’s monumental Ryder Cup. Ashun Wu will be looking to double up after an astoundingly assured victory at the KLM Open last week. The players return this week to Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, the course that has hosted every edition of this event.

The Arnold Palmer designed course was only opened as recently as 2004, and was deemed impressive enough to host the World Cup of Golf a year later: incidentally, Wales beat Sweden to win that trophy. It’s a fairly typical resort course, usually something of a flat-track for these professionals. Alex Levy shot -18 in 2014 after just two rounds. The exposed course has minimal rough and inviting bentgrass greens. Furthermore, the fairways are generously wide. Outside of Levy, one look at the past winning scores reveal the true nature of this course. Scott Jamieson shot a 60 six years ago while Colsaerts also shot a 60 in 2015.

Defending champion Lucas Bjerregaard has been in fairly innocuous form and will be hoping to revitalize his game in familiar surrounds. Thorbjorn Olesen and Sergio Garcia will be in attendance of the Ryder Cup contingent. Garcia was a slightly controversial selection by Bjorn and will be hoping to fine tune his game ahead of Le Golf National. Chris Wood has been in encouraging form of late while Andy Sullivan and Eddie Pepperell help spearhead a strong English contingent.

Past Winners
2017: Lucas Bjerregaard (-20)
2016: Padraig Harrington (-23)
2015: Andy Sullivan (-23)
2014: Alex Levy (-18) *only 36 holes
2013: David Lynn (-18)

To Win Outright:
Thorbjorn Olesen 12/1 | Chris Wood 14/1 | Lucas Bjerregaard 16/1 | Charl Schwartzel 16/1 | Eddie Pepperell 18/1

Value Bets

Jorge Campillo- To Win 55/1, To Place 12/1
Jorge Campillo is a player who started the season in scintillating fashion. From February to July he enjoyed seven top 10’s, which included six top fives. His form greatly depreciated but has started to turn in recent weeks. He shot rounds of 65 and 68 at the Omega European Masters before an extremely solid outing last week. He shot rounds of 69-69-69 and 68 en route to an impressive top 15 finish at the KLM Open. He has made his last five cuts at this venue, including a tie for sixth in 2015. He ranks 14th in birdie average on tour, which could prove a potent indicator at this birdie fest.

Benjamin Hebert- To Win 66/1, To Place 14/1
Benjamin Herbert may seem slightly counterintuitive at this course due to his lack of length, but I still feel he may possess the all-round game to compete this week. He has only missed one cut once in his last ten events and is coming off his best result in some time last week. He lost the Belgian Knockout Final in May but had an impressive showing last week at the KLM. After a sluggish opening round 70 he went on to shoot rounds of 66-66 and 64, ensuring a solid top 10 finish. The six-time Challenge Tour winner clearly possesses the ability to seal the deal and ensure victory.

Nicolas Colsaerts- To Win 90/1, To Place 19/1
The mercurial Belgian is the ultimate ‘horse for courses’ pick and perhaps no other course on the European Tour suits his bombing approach as well as this one. It mitigates his short game woes dramatically. In fact, Colsaerts has an 82.79% GIR record on this course in seven visits. In 2014 he was only second behind Levy after the rain-truncated edition. He will have felt disappointed to lose considering he opened with a 60. He shot a 64 in the opening round in 2015 and a 63 in the rd round of 2016 and 2017. His form has improved slightly recently, with a few top 30 finishes of late. He could be a very appealing first-round leader bet at 80/1.

The Man to Beat- Andy Sullivan- To Win 20/1, To Place 44/10
While he hasn’t exactly had a sensational year, Andy Sullivan’s recent run of encouraging form seems to suggest he may be the man in the upper reaches of the betting markets to fancy. He missed the cut here 12 months ago, though that can largely be ignored due to the horrendous form he was in. He has now contended in his last two events, failing to capitalize on real opportunities to win. He romped to a nine stroke victory here in 2015 and lost by a single stroke the following campaign.

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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