There is plenty to play for in this week’s Portugal Masters. In the penultimate tournament of the regular European Tour season there are players needing ranking points to make it to the Finals Series events and others who need to secure their cards for next season. The field this week is very competitive so although this lacks the star quality of some of the weeks to come, this is still an event that will take a very good performance to win.
The Portugal Masters has always been played at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura so many of the players will be very familiar with the par 71, 7,209 yard course. It is a track that often throws up some very low scores and with the weather looking to be set fair throughout the week, we could be in line for something of a birdie-fest. Certainly players like Martin Kaymer, Bernd Wiesberger and Soren Kjeldesen can go seriously low as can many other of those competing.
What will it take to put together a low round at Vilamoura? Firstly the players need to keep it out of trouble. There is water in play on around half of the 18 holes and the fairways are littered with bunkers. Secondly, while the greens are comparatively large, it is important not to miss on the wrong side as there are plenty of slippy downhill putts that will catch even the best putters out.
Martin Kaymer is one of the biggest stars in the field this week. The two time major champion has endured rather than enjoyed this season but he has shown some glimpses of returning to his best recently. The German made a playoff in the Open d’Italia but couldn’t stop Rikard Karlberg from winning. Some of the bigger names in European golf have only featured briefly since the end of the PGA Tour season but this will be Kaymer’s fourth event since failing to make the FedEx cup playoffs so he’s in good nick, is perhaps the best player in the field and he shot a 61 round here once so back him at 12/1 with Coral.
Soren Kjeldsen is playing some of the best golf of his life at 40 years old but he has proven to be a frustrating player to bet on. Last week he failed to take the chances he had to trump Matthew Fitzpatrick much like he did on home soil at the Made in Denmark. This is another course that should suit Kjeldsen but with him on the metaphorical naughty step for punters, don’t back him to win but have a bet on Kjeldsen to finish in the top 10 at 11/8 with Ladbrokes.
Paul Dunne has been enjoying his very brief time as a professional golfer. After shooting to fame at the Open this summer, Dunne has performed well in his first couple of events as a pro and quietly made it through the first stage of the European Tour Q School earlier this week. He’ll enjoy the test here and clearly loves testing himself against the best so he could be a good each way option at 66/1 with BetVictor.