The Portugal Masters brings the curtain down on the regular European Tour season this week. That means it is the final chance for players to pick up those all important ranking points. Whether jostling for position towards the top of the Race to Dubai standings or scrambling about to get inside the top 110 and securing a tour card for next season, there is a massive amount still to play for at Oceanico Victoria.
The last couple of renewals of the Portugal Masters have been negatively affected by some unseasonably poor weather. Andy Sullivan was one of the only players to get to grips with the windy conditions last year as evidenced by his nine stroke victory over Chris Wood. In 2014 rain shortened the tournament to just two rounds but that didn’t stop Alex Levy from racking up a score of -18 to win by three.
Levy’s exploits in 2014 go to prove that this class of golfer can really take Oceanico Victoria to pieces. The weather looks as though it will be much kinder to the field this week so we should be expecting a really low winning score come Sunday afternoon. The players who will reach the lowest scores will be those who hit the best iron shots into the greens and those who manage to scramble well so as to keep bogeys off the card.
Pieters to Prove His Class Once More
There is now no doubt that Thomas Pieters is a genuine star of European golf. The big hitting Belgian has long been earmarked as one for the future but he’s now really starting to fulfil his potential. The 23-year-old opened up his tally for the season at August’s Made in Denmark and did enough to prove to Darren Clarke that he was ready for a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team. Pieters didn’t let Clarke down by becoming the best rookie in the Ryder Cup’s history.
Pieters did not enjoy his debut performance at the Portugal Masters. However, he followed up a missed cut in 2014 with a sixth place finish last year. He clearly got the hang of the course second time around so will be tough to stop at odds of 8/1 with BetVictor.
Colsaerts to Finally Click
There were few people talking up Thomas Pieters’ chances before Nicolas Colsaerts. As a fellow Belgian, he saw Pieters’ potential early but is now much more focussed on his own game. Colsaerts has been playing some great golf recently but only in fits and spurts. It’s time for him to put it all together and at a course where he’s finished second previously this could be a huge week for Colsaerts, who is available at 28/1 with Bet365.
Gallacher Worth Chancing
At this late stage of the European Tour season, Stephen Gallacher finds himself all the way down in 129th on the Race to Dubai standings. That is not good enough for a player of his quality but he has had his troubles over the past 18 months or so. Gallacher is now playing well and finished tied for 12th at the British Masters. The Scot has three top 10s at the Portugal Masters so is worth an each way bet at 55/1 with Betfred.