The Portugal Masters is the penultimate tournament on the regular European Tour schedule with those golfers outside the top 110 on the Race to Dubai standings set to scramble for every Euro on offer at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura.
Players on and around the bubble will be praying for a good week to secure their playing privileges for 2014 – and avoid having to travel to Australia next week for the final event – while those just outside the top 60 will be hoping to jump inside that mark to make the season ending Dubai World Championship.
Martin Kaymer hasn’t got to worry about anything like that, but he will be looking for a first win since November 2011. His last success came 49 starts ago, which should make you wonder why he is the 12/1 favourite. So, as those numbers suggest, he is easy to leave off the staking plan.
Fellow Ryder Cup star and 20/1 shot Nicolas Colsaerts isn’t one to ignore though, despite having indifferent form at Oceanico Victoria, which stages this event for the seventh straight year. Don’t worry about the Belgian’s withdrawal in Holland recently, as it was only due to flu. He showed us some of his best form in Italy a week later, when fourth, and picked up three and a half points for the winning Continental European team in the Seve Trophy in France last week.
It’s been a stop start season for Colsaerts following his decision to play more on the PGA Tour. However, at a venue where the rough is anything but punishing and big hitters can make mincemeat of the par fives, he might just grab a first win of the season.
Shane Lowry, priced at 16/1 by Ladbrokes, won here last year by putting better than everyone else, but despite this venue’s modest length, I still think distance off the tee is the key.
Tom Lewis, who can hit it out there, won in 2011, is of interest at 50/1, while four of the last five champions ranked inside the top 15 of the driving distance stats the week they won (only Richard Green in 2010 didn’t and he reversed into first place following Pablo Martin’s choke).
So for my final two picks I’m going for Bernd Wiesburger (20/1) and Marcel Siem (66/1). The Austrian is huge off the tee and a proven winner, while the German is coming here completely under the radar, after playing on the Web.com tour last month, but hits the ball a long way and was fourth here in 2009.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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