Selectabet: Portugal Masters
October 11, 2011 1 Comment
Date: 13th – 16th October 2011
Competition: Portugal Masters
This week we turn to a small slither of mainland Europe that is a little bit Spanish, a bit African and more than just a little bit Brazilian. And so with no hairs (“Brazilian” – geddit?) or graces, it’s the turn of the Portugal Masters from the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, Portugal, West Spain.
Venue: Oceanico Victoria Golf Course
This jewel in the Algarve’s golfing crown is the most recent course project of one Arnold Palmer that opened in 2004. With wide, undulating fairways, extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers it is very American in look and feel and despite sounding relatively easy for us hookers, hackers and duffers, I am reliably informed that its not.
Yards: 7,231 yards
Five major champions and 20 Ryder Cup players take part in this week’s stroll around a wet and sandy field with the 416,660 tiny incentives to do so. Some names you may have heard of comprise Kaymer (10/1), Harrington 22/1), Pa. Lawrie (90/1) and The Mechanic (50/1) amongst their sort.
However, despite Portugal’s sporting prowess topping out with Ricardo “The Woodcutter” Carvalho, Cristiano “I dance!” Ronaldo and some bloke called Figo, also in the thick of it this week are golfing Portugeezers including the greasy Santos brothers – Hugo (1500/1) and Ricardo (200), Antonio “Mr Pink” Rosado (2000/1) and Nuno “No Overnight Stay” Campino (2000/1 – all at Bet365).
…what you like, but this weeks’ competition is wide open as the race hots up on Top 60 status; Dubai World Championships invite; Tour Cards; or just impress for increased event invites next year. Therefore it is anyone’s game.
Having said that, I smell brown envelopes and so….
Ones to watch:
Despite wanting to cut off his damn ponytail, it’s Marcel Siem (256/1 at Betfair) who, for me, has the X Factor this week. The little pedantic German will tee off at precisely 13:50 on Thursday fighting for a top 115 spot and secure next years’ tour card. Not the only one fighting out for the richest of European golfing prizes but certainly Marcel has the talent; turning Pro with a handicap of plus 6 in 2004, nearly hitting the gong on the European Tours “Every Shot Imaginable” series and is a consistent performer worthy of more than the sum of this year’s results.
Having viewed, analysed and dissected his swing (with Paul Lawrie) closely at the Dunhill Links Championships, Joost Luiten (24/1 at Unibet) is another one I will be watching this week. Not only does he has one of the better names on the tour, but Joost has had three top tens in his last three outings in a Luke Donald rich vein of form and 5 since June. That said it’s disappointing to hear that his interests are computers. Watch him play golf, just don’t engage him in conversation.
Ones to win:
Two second place finishes in the last two Portugal Masters have meant its third time lucky for Italian, Francesco Molinari (16/1 at PaddyPower and Bodog). With two card busting 62’s in last year’s event, expect a little more from the Inter Milan supporting 2010 Ryder Cup Rookie and a typifying end of season charge up the Race to Dubai Leader board. The Superbock awaits….
Proving himself to be more Portuguese than Nelly Furtado, Jay Kay, the leader singer of rock group Journey and some bloke called Tim (google them!), its Peter Hanson (16/1 at Coral and Bwin) who this week, is getting set for European domination and heading for a top ten R2D finish. As with Molinari above, a strong season finish (alongside the 6 top tens of 2011) will position the Swede at the business end of the European Tour chart.