Antoine Rozner threatened to make the Portugal Masters interesting for us heading into the weekend as the Frenchman sat in 3rd place despite a closing double-bogey on Friday. Sadly it wasn’t to be though as he made no progress over the weekend, with George Coetzee justifying his short price and winning his first European Tour title on the European mainland at 16-under par.
On we go then to the final leg of the Iberian Swing and as we saw with the Austrian Swing when the European Tour restarted following lockdown, this week’s event is an opportunity for both European Tour and Challenge Tour players to battle for the title and forms part of the money list on both tiers, making it an important part of the schedule for many.
With the halving of the prize fund versus last week’s event at Vilamoura though, this has understandably reduced the overall quality of the field, however a few of those involved in the action at the Dom Pedro Victoria have stayed in the country for another week and tee it up here, headlined by last week’s winner George Coetzee at around the 4/1 mark.
Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort, Obidos, Portugal. Designer: Seve Ballesteros; Course Type: Resort; Par: 72; Length: 7,283 yards; Greens: Tyee Bentgrass.
Course Overview. Royal Obidos was the final course designed by Seve Ballesteros and one that he sadly never got to play when it was completed. Stretching to 7,283 yards from the back tees for its par of 72, the track is a resort course first and foremost, designed for the tourist trade that attracts so many keen golfers to Portugal each year.
Sat close enough to the water for golfers to get magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, this is essentially a modern course design that’s been built around the open, exposed topography in the region. Undulating fairways with a variety of elevation changes makes the course quite a slog, however landing areas are generous which sets this up as a second shot course. Water is significantly in play on a number of the holes and greens are large, undulating Tyee Bentgrass in their composition.
Assuming we play the course as intended without any last-minute alterations from the European Tour, the players will be presented with 5 par-5s and 5 par-3s to compliment the 8 par-4s in what looks like a risk-reward style setup.
Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key statistics for this week’s event that will help to shape a view on players who traditionally play well in this event, although as previously noted this week’s venue is new to the tournament: Current Form | Event Form | First Round Leader Stats | Combined Stats.
Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.
Event Winners. 2019: Adrian Meronk, -15; 2018: Dimi Papadatos, -7; 2017: Matt Wallace, -21; 2010: Thomas Bjorn, -23; 2009: Michael Hoey, -7; 2008 Gregory Bourdy, -18; 2007: Pablo Martin, -7; 2005: Paul Broadhurst, -13.
For a summary of winners’ odds on the European Tour for the past 10 years click here.
Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here. A bright start on Thursday will give way to the potential for thundery showers through Friday and Saturday before things settle down for Sunday’s conclusion. The breeze will be moderate to start and end the 4 days at around 10-15mph, however as the weather system approaches on Friday we could see gusts in excess of 30mph for a time. Temperatures will peak in the low 70s Fahrenheit in the afternoons.
Incoming Form: Last year’s winner Adrian Meronk had recorded 5 top-10 finishes in his previous 12 starts and arrived off of a 28th place finish a fortnight before where he’d flashed some form with a 2nd round 65 which was amongst the best rounds of the week.
Dimi Papadatos was only playing his 5th start of the season the year before, however he’d opened and closed with a pair of 67s on his previous start to suggest he wasn’t in bad nick. Similarly, Matt Wallace was also lightly raced in 2017, however 3rd at the Kenya Open also hinted at what he was capable of at that level:
- 2019, Adrian Meronk: 7/MC/3/MC/18/50/10/8/MC/MC/10/28
- 2018, Dimi Papadatos: 11/MC/60/30/53/15/MC/MC/MC/11/37/19
- 2017, Matt Wallace: MC/1/MC/9/60/19/4/4/1/MC/3/25
- 2010, Thomas Bjorn: 43/8/15/19/13/MC/MC/MC/MC/MC/MC/9
- 2009, Michael Hoey: 6/5/WD/26/MC/11/12/2/40/22/6/MC
- 2008, Gregory Bourdy: 63/1/34/55/MC/MC/33/MC/MC/46/27/49
- 2007, Pablo Martin: 22/MC/63/MC
- 2006, Paul Broadhurst: 31/16/MC/2/6/19/17/2/22/33/MC/MC
- 2005, Paul Broadhurst: 33/26/MC/WD/7/4/11/22/60/72/49/MC
Event Form: With the nomadic nature of this event, plus its flitting between European Tour, Challenge Tour and co-sanctioned status, event history of the winners since 2005 is patchy at best:
- 2019, Adrian Meronk: 42/14
- 2018, Dimi Papadatos: Debut
- 2017, Matt Wallace: Debut
- 2010, Thomas Bjorn: MC/31
- 2009, Michael Hoey: 43
- 2008, Gregory Bourdy: MC/MC
- 2007, Pablo Martin: Debut
- 2006, Paul Broadhurst: MC/MC/59/1
- 2005, Paul Broadhurst: MC/MC/59
With no competitive results to study from this week’s venue, we’re going to have to take a leap of faith based on the course style and specification as it stands, plus the conditions that we should expect both underfoot and weather-wise.
Wide fairways that may well get softened if the forecast thunderstorms arrive as expected on Friday should play into the hands of the more aggressive types and 5 par-5s on the card also suggests that those who can maximise distance without losing too much accuracy should be rewarded with the most birdie and eagle opportunities.
My selections are as follows: