- Nick Fleming
This week's second tournament is the PORTUGAL OPEN on the European Tour.
Here's a preview of the action...
The Tournament - The event has been missing from the schedule since 2010 and returns this year as a co-sanctioned tournament with the Challenge Tour (as most of the "big name" players are at the Players Championship). But it's fair to say that even before it's 7-year break, the event didn't provide the strongest of fields. No different this time around with the field made up of newcomers, old-stagers and a host of bright young prospects.
The Course - Located in a valley in the inland Algarve, the Morgado Golf Course is a challenging par 73 course, with generous fairways that dominate its 7,419 yards. Morgado has the characteristics of a links course, with flat fairways and deep bunkers... but instead of being beside the sea, the course is set in an area of parkland!
72-Hole Record - 265, Thomas Bjorn (2010)
18-Hole Record - n/a
Past Winners - Thomas Bjorn (2010), Michael Hoey (2009), Gregory Bourdy (2008), Pablo Martin (2007), Paul Broadhurst (2006).
The Field - No reduced field this week but a mix of European & Challenge Tour players. Ricardo Gouveia is the 14/1 favourite.
The Weather - Expect rain this week, maybe even thunder, and some gusty winds - Sunday probably the best of the four days. Temperatures in the low-70s.
The Bookies - Most firms offer EW terms of 1/4 odds on 5 places. BFS, BOY, PPW, WHL pay out on 6 places at 1/5 odds - worth noting for Lee. COR pay out on 7 places at 1/5 odds - worth noting for Angles, Walters & Fahrbring.
Here are the details...
PORTUGAL OPEN - TOURNAMENT WINNER
(starts 07:00 UK time on Thursday)
Pep Angles - 32 betfair ,28 bet 365
"Angles unlike most in this field has some decent form on the main tour this year. He came 14th in Hong Kong, 16th in Joburg, 11th in India and 42nd in his last event in China. He's a class above the majority in his field and this week represents the perfect opportunity for this rookie to threaten his maiden victory as competition and quality is seriously lacking. He's a bomber who could tear this course to shreds."
C Bezuidenhout 48 betfair,45 bet 365
Young South African has a classic swing, this not a strong event so he should make an impact
Justin Walters - 38 betfair,33 bet 365
"Walters is another who should stand out in this company and has some encouraging recent form on the Tour. 9th in the Tshwane Open in March and 14th last time out at the China Open should see him much shorter in the betting. His form in the Algarve is also impressive with a runner-up finish in the Portugal Masters in 2013, and he finished 17th in that same event last year. Walters possesses a sharp short game so often contends during weeks when the winning score is low and this is to be expected again this week."
M Kinhault--48 betfair,28 bet 365
Promising Swedish youngster, his last four challenge outings have yielded form of 6-4-12-8.
J Guerrier- 90 betfair,80 bet 365
Power packed Frenchman, third last time out in Turkey, he performed well at Madeira islands open also!!
Jens Fahrbring -
"Back-to-back 13th place finishes on Tour mean Fahrbring is arguably the most in-form player in this field. Fahrbring also has form in Portugal, he was one off the lead in the Portugal Masters last year heading into the weekend but ended up in a share for 12th place. Another player who looks at auto-pick at 50/1 in this weak field."