Portugal Masters
  • Portugal is the next stop on the European tour
  • The Insider likes 4 main chances, ranging from $26 to $111

This week’s European golf tournament is the Portugal Masters.

We head to the south coast of the country for what should be a fiercely contested event that has produced some well-known winners in the past.

Here’s a preview of the action…

The Tournament

A relatively new fixture on the schedule, this event has only been held since 2007. And it’s no great surprise that given its lack of history, in a country which doesn’t have a huge golfing tradition on the world stage, the tournament is little more than a place-holder on the roster. A popular event with the players who do attend, but not one which typically draws in the strongest of fields – and this year’s line-up, you’d have to say, is average at best. But with ranking points and prize money up for grabs there will be plenty of guys fancying their chances of lifting the trophy come Sunday.

The Course

We’re at the Victoria Clube de Golf this week just outside Faro, which has become the host course for the Portugal Masters. It was designed by Arnold Palmer, opened in 2004, and this year will be the 13th time the event has been played here at Vilamoura on the South coast of the country. It’s a par 71 laid out over 7,146 yards where scoring should be good and low on account of the generous fairways and large easy-to-find greens.

72-Hole Record

261: Padraig Harrington (2016), Andy Sullivan (2015)

18-Hole Record

60: Scott Jamieson (2013)

Past Winners

2018: Tom Lewis

2017: Lucas Bjerregaard

2016: Padraig Harrington

2015: Andy Sullivan

2014: Alexander Levy

The Field

A full field of 156 golfers line up for this week’s tournament. Matt Wallace is the $11 favourite with BetEasy.

Portugal Masters Value Bets

Adri Arnaus: $23 with BetEasy

The Spaniard is right on track for a maiden European Tour win after a string of near misses, and he stands a great chance of challenging again this week. Six times he’s made the Top 10 this season, including three runner-up finishes, and for me he’s a nailed-on future winner. Length off the tee could be key this week in Portugal, and Arnaus ranks 23rd for Driving Distance, and 20th for Greens-In-Regulation. This tournament ties in with form at the Albatross course in the Czech Republic where Arnaus finished 2nd in August. He’s played well in Portugal before, in his Challenge Tour days, and back (almost) on home soil, if he can get the putter warmed-up, I rate him a live chance in what is a pretty moderate field.”

Dean Burmester: $51 with BetEasy

Burmester is another who gives it a fair crack off the tee. He rates fifth for Driving Distance and like Arnaus has shown up well in the D&D Masters. He came into form late in 2018, and there’s signs he’s about to do the same this year. His last three starts read 34-37-40 but this week’s test, and strength of opposition, will play more into the hands of the South African. His only start at Vilamoura was in 2017 when he finished seventh (a poor Round 3 cost him a winning chance) and his best efforts tend to be in low-scoring events. Burmester should have no problem with setting up birdie opportunities this week, it’s simply a question of how many he can convert.

Alexander Bjork: $67 with BetEasy

Bjork’s sole win to date came in China last year, but he’s a player who should have added more success since then – he’s solid all-round performer and a regular cut-maker. To counter this argument, slightly, he comes into this week on the back of three missed cuts, but missing last week’s French Open should see him well-rested ahead of the likely birdie-fest in Portugal. He’s another who has played well in the D&D, and his China win on 18-under-par shows his ability to shoot low scores back-to-back. In a field of this quality, Bjork is genuinely overpriced and I have him much shorter than several bookmakers.

Min Woo Lee: $81 with BetEasy

Lee is a young guy who a few golf-watchers that I know reckon will be a real future star. He’s only 21 years old but has played enough times on the European Tour this year to show his undoubted potential, and also secure his playing privileges for next year. He was fourth in Saudi Arabia earlier in the year and followed that with a Top 5 in the World Super 6 in Perth. Even if he’s only recorded one Top 20 since then, that was in a good field in China where he scored well. His odds this week are a reflection of his ability as well as the low calibre of opposition, and even if this week comes a bit too soon for him, Lee’s one to keep an eye on.

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