Portugal guide

A preview, stats and best bets for this week's European Tour event - the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura

Last Updated: 08/10/13 9:43pm

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The 13th green at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura

The 13th green at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura

Sky Bet

The European Tour heads to the Algarve and the Arnold Palmer-designed Oceanico Victoria Course at Vilamoura.

Opened nine years ago, this highly-respected layout made its professional debut in 2005 when it hosted the World Cup of Golf.

Oceanico Victoria has large, undulating greens, while water becomes a key factor on the back nine.

PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM at OCEANICO VICTORIA

Full Tour History

Player: '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Felipe Aguilar: - / 23 / MC / MC / 3 / 37
Thomas Aiken: - / - / - / 27 / 23 / 27
Fredrik Andersson: 3 / MC / - / 9 / MC / 27
Thomas Bjorn: 46 / MC / 64 / 17 / 8 / 37
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: - / - / 45 / 41 / 2 / 55
Robert-Jan Derksen: 12 / 16 / 12 / 17 / 44 / 16
Jamie Donaldson: - / 38 / MC / MC / 8 / 6
Simon Dyson: - / 7 / 61 / 17 / MC / 60
Johan Edfors: MC / 45 / 6 / 41 / 23 / 27
Gonzalo F'dez-Castano: - / - / - / 2 / MC / 12
Pedro Figueiredo: MC / - / - / - / 23 / 27
Ross Fisher: 7 / 3 / MC / 27 / 27 / 2
Richard Green: - / 42 / - / Won / 70 / 37
Gregory Havret: 54 / 59 / MC / 22 / 3 / MC
Thongchai Jaidee: 12 / MC / 19 / 9 / 23 / -
Martin Kaymer: 7 / 30 / - / - / 8 / MC
Simon Khan: 46 / MC / 30 / MC / 16 / 16
Soren Kjeldsen: MC / 16 / MC / 22 / MC / 49
Pablo Larrazabal: - / - / 53 / 22 / 11 / 63
Paul Lawrie: 67 / 2 / MC / 27 / 11 / -
Peter Lawrie: 16 / 23 / 37 / 6 / 11 / 49
Tom Lewis: - / - / - / - / Won / 49
Shane Lowry: - / - / 30 / 54 / 16 / Won
Joost Luiten: - / - / - / 2 / 29 / MC
David Lynn: 40 / 14 / 41 / Ret / 3 / MC
Francesco Molinari: 31 / 38 / 2 / 2 / 38 / 16
Alex Noren: 12 / 16 / 6 / 36 / 29 / MC
Hennie Otto: - / - / MC / 27 / 16 / 37
Alvaro Quiros: 11 / Won / 16 / 57 / 16 / MC
Anthony Wall: 21 / 10 / 12 / 41 / 38 / 16
Steve Webster: Won / 3 / 30 / 52 / 16 / 37
Danny Willett: - / - / 6 / - / MC / 6

PLAYERS with POOR to MEDIOCRE FORM at OCEANICO VICTORIA

Full Tour History

(No Top-35 Finishes from three or more starts)

Player: '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Richard Bland: MC / - / - / MC / MC / 37
Christian Cevaer: MC / MC / MC / MC / MC / -
Robert Coles: - / - / - / MC / MC / MC
Tiago Cruz: 69 / MC / MC / MC / - / MC
David Drysdale: - / - / MC / MC / 66 / MC
Niclas Fasth: - / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC
Dave Horsey: - / - / - / 41 / 66 / MC
Michael Jonzon: - / MC / MC / MC / 62 / MC
Jose Manuel Lara: MC / MC / MC / MC / 38 / MC
Thomas Levet: MC / 53 / MC / MC / MC / 55
Gary Lockerbie: MC / - / 61 / MC / - / -
Mikael Lundberg: - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC
Richard McEvoy: - / - / - / MC / 59 / MC
Damien McGrane: 64 / MC / 45 / 41 / 66 / 37
James Morrison: - / - / - / MC / 66 / MC
Phillip Price: Wd / 42 / 53 / 41 / 44 / Wd
Antonio Rosado: - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC
Hugo Santos: - / MC / - / - / MC / MC
Graeme Storm: MC / 68 / MC / MC / Ret / MC
Simon Wakefield: MC / MC / MC / - / - / -
Martin Wiegele: - / MC / - / MC / 52 / MC
Fabrizio Zanotti: - / - / 61 / MC / 44 / MC

TOP-25 Finishers at OCEANICO VICTORIA in 2012 (Not Already Listed Above)

Michael Campbell: (3rd)
Bernd Wiesberger: (4th)
Richard Finch: (5th)
Stephen Gallacher: (T-6th)
Raphael Jacquelin: (T-6th)
Lorenzo Gagli: (T-12th)
Scott Jamieson: (T-12th)
Matteo Manassero: (T-12th)
Andrew Dodt: (T-16th)
Mark Foster: (T-16th)
Keith Horne: (T-16th)
Ricardo Santos: (T-16th)
Lee Slattery: (T-16th)

LOWEST 15 STROKE AVERAGES at OCEANICO VICTORIA

(Last Four Years 2009/12)

Average (Rounds)

68.38: Francesco Molinari (16)
68.50: Thongchai Jaidee (12)
68.50: Tom Lewis (8)
68.75: Oliver Fisher (8)
68.81: Shane Lowry (16)
68.90: Danny Willett (10)
68.93: Ross Fisher (14)
68.94: Robert-Jan Derksen (16)
68.94: Johan Edfors (16)
68.94: Peter Lawrie (16)
69.10: Paul Lawrie (10)
69.13: Pedro Figueiredo (8)
69.13: Lorenzo Gagli (8)
69.13: Anthony Wall (16)
69.13: Bernd Wiesberger (8)

Min. No. of Rounds = 8

CHAMPIONS at OCEANICO VICTORIA

Over the six years that the tournament has been staged at the Oceanico Victoria layout in Vilamoura only one champion has led thru 54 holes. That was Alvaro Quiros in 2008.

(Winners' Positions after 54 Holes in brackets)

2007: Steve Webster (2nd)
2008: Alvaro Quiros (1st)
2009: Lee Westwood (3rd)
2010: Richard Green (15th)
2011: Tom Lewis (8th)
2012: Shane Lowry (3rd)

LOWEST ROUNDS at OCEANICO VICTORIA

61: Martin Kaymer (2007)
61: Jeppe Huldahl (2010)
62: Padraig Harrington (2009)
62: Alexander Noren (2009)
62: Francesco Molinari (2010)
62: Francesco Molinari (2010)
63: Five times

Note: Francesco Molinari has carded three rounds of 63 or lower over Vilamoura's Oceanico Victoria course.

Vilamoura (Oceanico Victoria): Par 71; 7,209 yards

Winning Totals (Last Three Years):

2012: 270 (Shane Lowry)
2011: 267 (Tom Lewis)
2010: 270 (Richard Green)

Tom Lewis with the Portugal Masters trophy in 2011

Conclusion

When Europe won the Ryder Cup 12 months ago, their victorious players went on a winning spree.

And, after ending their 13-year losing record in the Seve Trophy, just maybe Continental Europe's players might perform something similar.

The two of Jose Maria Olazabal's men I like for this event are Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Jimenez rounded his week in France off with a thumping 6&4 win over David Lynn in the singles while Gonzo played some sparkling stuff alongside Nicolas Colsaerts and suffered just one defeat in five matches.

Both will be on a high having honoured the memory of compatriot Seve and Fernandez-Castano has been quite outspoken about those who didn't turn up.

GFC has some impressive course form here with a runners-up finish in 2010 and a 12th last year and he actually has two second places from his last four starts in Portugal.

He's only failed to win in two of the last eight seasons so, although he'll be leaving it late, this is a great chance to post what has virtually become an annual victory.

As for Jimenez, he's been knocking at the door in recent weeks with a fifth at Crans and a second in the KLM Open.

His course form isn't great but it's littered with plenty of good rounds and last year he was sixth at halfway and also in the top half dozen going into the last day before falling away.

A previous winner of the Algarve Open de Portugal, Jimenez will enjoy the sun on his back and the 30/1 seems fair.

For my third bet I'll go for Tom Lewis at 50/1.

After he did this column a huge each-way favour at 175s in the Dunhill Links, it's worth following the youngster again given the boost he received from his third place in Scotland.

It was here two years ago that Lewis marked himself as the real deal by winning the event on just his third start as a pro.

It was clearly going to be difficult to follow that up and last year he finished down in 49th but he shot a pair of 69s in the process and clearly has very special memories of this venue.

With his card secure and none of the pressures of being defending champion I think the 22-year-old can have a free run at this and get involved at the finish once again.

Best bets

2pts e.w. Gonazalo Fernandez-Castano at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
2pts e.w. Miguel Angel Jimenez at 30/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Tom Lewis at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)

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