While the PGA Tour draws to a close in America, things are heating up on the European Tour. We’re just a few weeks away from the tour’s own closing playoff events in the Race to Dubai but we’ve got top quality tournaments to enjoy before they begin in earnest. This week there’s a stellar field assembled in the Algarve for the 11th edition of the Portugal Masters.
Each of the previous 10 Portugal Masters have been held at Victoria Clube de Golfe and it’s back to Vilamoura we go for the 2017 edition. Victoria is one of the main draws for this prestigious event. Not only does the layout offer some of the world’s best players the chance to play in beautiful surroundings, it’s also a course at which players of this calibre have no trouble scoring well. Both of the last two tournaments were won with a score of -23 while Alex Levy reached -18 through just two rounds in 2014.
The timing of the Portugal Masters has not always suited the tournament. Seasonal wind and rain have had a major impact in previous years but thankfully we look set for four days of glorious sunshine this week. So, strap yourselves in for some very low scores around this par 71 layout that just about tips 7,200 yards from the championship tees.
Course Specialist Sullivan Can Triumph Again
Andy Sullivan returned to the European Tour last week and was well fancied for a good week at the KLM Open. Unfortunately it was not to be for the popular Englishman as he missed the cut. It’s never nice to miss out on the weekend but Sullivan can use that disappointment to his advantage as he returns to a course that holds very good memories for him.
Sullivan was just about edged into second place by Padraig Harrington last year but won the tournament in 2015. He’s had to work very hard on his game in recent months to give him a shot of a sustained run of form and a place at next summer’s Ryder Cup and that work could pay dividends at the Portugal Masters where he is 20/1 to win with Betfred.
Rock Ready to Roll Again
Robert Rock is another player who arrives in Portugal hoping to snap a run of missed cuts at a course where he’s played well before. The 40-year-old has secured back to back top 10s in Vilamoura as it suits his game which is based around top quality ball striking and a solid short game. At 70/1 with Betfred, Rock represents a good each way option.
Capitalise on Stalter’s Form at Big Odds
Sometimes things can just click for golfers. That certainly seems to be the case for Joel Stalter who has arrested a poor run of form with two very good performances over the last fortnight. The Frenchman made the most of the confidence gained from a fifth place finish on the Alps Tour when finishing in a tie for third at last week’s KLM Open. This is another big step up in class but it could pay to stick with Stalter and back him each way at 160/1 with Bet365.