The European Tour makes its 12th stop at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura on the Algarve for the Portugal Masters as the Race to Dubai enters its final two months. The flat, exposed Victoria course features many fairway bunkers and water hazards on seven holes. But mastering the large, undulating greens is the major key to success. Andy Sullivan stormed to a nine-shot victory at this venue in 2015. He was shooting rounds of 64-64-67-66 to obliterate the competition, before returning in 2016 one shot behind Padraig Harrington. Lucas Bjerregaard then took the title by four shots last year. Other previous winners here include Alexander Levy, Shane Lowry and, back in 2009, Lee Westwood.
The Portugal Masters Favourites
Thorbjorn Olesen will be making his Ryder Cup debut next week and the Dane leads the betting for this tournament, at best odds of 16/1* with Paddy Power. Bjerregaard has been outstanding at this venue in recent years, culminating in his victory last season. With his recent form also strong he looks a worthy contender at best odds of 18/1*, also with Paddy Power. Chris Wood narrowly lost out to Ashan Wu at the KLM Open on Sunday and the Englishman is among the favourites here, with Paddy Power and Betfred each quoting 18/1*. Charl Schwartzel is at 20/1*, again with Paddy Power, while Sergio Garcia can be backed at the same price with Bet365, William Hill and Ladbrokes as he gears up for his appearance at Le Golf National as one of Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn’s wildcard picks.
The Portugal Masters Tips
Nacho Elvira picked up his third top 10 finish of the season at the European Masters a fortnight ago. Given his recent results here, he is worthy of an each-way interest at 50/1* with Ladbrokes. The Spaniard finished ninth in Vilamoura in 2016. He then followed it up with a share of seventh place last time around. He also finished 21st on his debut at this tournament back in 2014.
Stephen Gallacher has a real liking for this course and his recent form is strong enough to suggest he can go close here again this week. The Scot finished third here in 2013 and has since finished ninth and 12th, before being forced to withdraw through injury last year. He has finished in the 20s on each of his last three starts and is a tempting each-way bet at odds of 70/1* Bet365 or Betfred.
Benjamin Hebert has produced a consistent run of form over the summer. He has made the cut on nine of 10 starts and tied for 11th place at the KLM Open. The Frenchman missed this event last year. But he was in a tie for 10th place on his last visit in 2016. He shared 31st on his debut appearance at this tournament the previous season. He’s a 50/1* chance with most firms. But Bet365 are offering 66/1*.
*Odds at time of writing. All subject to change.