Betting Tips for 4th to 7th November 2021
Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura has been a sight for sore eyes over the years. The host of the Portugal Masters is a quality track designed by Arnold Palmer but it is a resort course for most of the year and doesn’t pose a serious challenge to European Tour professionals unless the wind really gets up.
The 108-player field competing in this week’s Portugal Masters will rack up lots of birdies but for many of the competitors, the tournament will be far from enjoyable. This is the penultimate regular-season event of the European Tour season which means that time is very much running out for those players who still have to earn their playing rights for next year. Others are in the hunt for Race to Dubai points to ensure they have a crack at the DP World Tour Championship in two weeks’ time.
The return to Vilamoura could be just the thing that Andy Sullivan needs to spark himself back to life. The affable Englishman has been struggling on the golf course more than he is used to throughout 2021, certainly more than he did during an excellent run of form in 2015 in which he won three of his four European Tour titles.
The Portugal Masters was the third of those wins and he followed up with a runners-up berth the following year. As well as being a course that suits Sullivan’s eye and his game, it’s a venue that he loves as he is often supported by a travelling contingent of friends and family in Vilamoura. It will feel a bit different this year as golf and travel continue to get back to normal but Sullivan will have lots of positive energy he can feed off to get back into contention on the European Tour so back him each way at 50/1.
Sam Horsfield doesn’t have the same happy memories from Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course as Sullivan but he does have a real chance of getting back to form here. Since last playing in this event two years ago, the 25 year old Englishman has won twice on the European Tour. For all that he hasn’t kicked on as he’d like this season, Horsfield is tantalisingly close to the top 50 and thus a place in the field for the DP World Tour Championship. Horsfield sees himself as being able to compete against the European Tour’s best and can get himself to Dubai with a big performance in Vilamoura and is worthy of support at odds of 30/1.
English golfers have a good record at the Portugal Masters having provided half of the winners over the last decade and the third Englishman to consider this week is Eddie Pepperell at a nice price of 50/1. As he is quick to remind people on Twitter, Pepperell is not playing good golf right now. It’s been about 18 months of struggle but there have been glimpses of what he is capable of in that time. Pepperell has an excellent record in Vilamoura without having got over the line and if something clicks for him he could find himself in the mix on Sunday.
|2021||Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course||Thomas Pieters|
2021: Thomas Pieters
Like every first time dad, having a child has had a huge impact on Thomas Pieters. The Belgian’s technical prowess and physical abilities have never been in doubt but, by his own admission, his mentality has not always been right. The way that he stuck to his task at the 2021 Portugal Masters to see out his fifth European Tour win suggests that this new, more serene Pieters could be about to really fulfil his potential.
The task at hand for Pieters coming into the week was to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship. He couldn’t afford to let himself to worry about the future though, not when the job at hand was to see off the challenge of Matthieu Pavon, Nicolai Hojgaard and Lucas Bjerregaard.
Pieters didn’t have his best stuff at the start of his round but gathered his composure to get back on track. He had to do so again when he found the water off the tee on the 14th. It helped that Pavon had his own water problems and Pieters knew that his mistake hadn’t cost him the tournament. It was all done when Pieters made an up and down for par on the 18th. He’ll have to be more convincing when in contention in the future but this was a very good week for Pieters who looks very much on the up. After seeming like a certainty for major success following his stellar performance in the 2016 Ryder Cup his game went downhill but hopefully he can get back inside the world’s top 40 once again.