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Remind me next time

It was a bit of a nothing week last week, there was no 36 hole cut due to the size of the field but 4/5 tips really flattered to deceive from the start of the week. 55/1 tip Tom Hoge was the only one left with a real place chance going into Sunday but he unfortunately finished 1 shot outside of the places in a tie for 9th place.

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Rory McIlroy was victorious by 1 stroke over an impressive Kurt Kitayama. Rory capped off a really impressive 2022 year to date by taking position of World Number 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, a position he has not been in since 2012. In 2022 Rory has made 16 starts on the PGA Tour, he has finished in the top 10 10 times, winning 3 of them. Within this he retained 2 titles and won the FedEx Cup impressively. He also came top 8 in all 4 majors this year; 2nd at The Masters, 3rd at the Open, T5 at the US Open and 8th at the PGA Championships… quite a good year right?! No wonder he has returned to the Number 1 spot in the World.

Portugal Masters

outrights

We try our luck once again back on the DP World Tour this week at the Portugal Masters. The final regular event of the year of the DP World Tour. With some of the guys fighting to finish in the top 117 on the Race to Dubai listings to retain their Tour card for next season. Then the other agenda on the players minds this week is to try and force their way into the top 64 spots to qualify for the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2 weeks and then seek the top 50 in the rankings to get into Dubai for the season finale in 3 week’s time, all too play for this week!

Unfortunately as above, with this being the last regular event, there will be some anxious and nervous times this week for some of the guys on and around the 117th place on the Race to Dubai rankings. Below is what the rankings look like either side of the crucial mark;

112 – Aaron Cockerill
113 – Henrik Stenson
114 – Victor Dubuisson
115 – Espen Kofstad
116 – Jazz Janewattananond
117 – Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez
118 – Darius Van Driel
119 – Erik Van Rooyen
120 – Ricardo Gouveia
121 – Francesco Laporta
122 – Renato Paratore

As you can see a lot of familiar faces and a lot of Tour regulars from the last few years, especially above the 117th position… keep an eye on these guys to really give this week all they have.

Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course

  • Par 71, 7190 yards approx.
  • Designer – Arnold Palmer 2004
  • Course type – Resort style
  • Fairways/Rough – Bermuda grass
  • Greens – Bentgrass/Poa
  • 4 x Par 3s – ranging from 168-218 yards
  • 11 x Par 4s – ranging from 315-510 yards (8/11 below 450 yards)
  • 3 x Par 5s – 579, 588 and 593 yards
  • Exposed course, 8 holes with water in dangerous places
  • Mid-sized, undulating greens
  • Easy course to be had by the bigger hitters

A medium range in distance by Tour standards, an exposed layout with not too much tree trouble with generous fairways spell birdies for the players this week. A good reprieve from the last 2/3 weeks on Tour as the players have been through a few tests as of late that’s for sure! So many players that haven’t performed their best lately will deservedly look to ‘cut loose’ this week with driver needed a lot more times.

The Tour is enjoying its 15th visit to these parts of Portugal, stretching right back to its debut in 2007 here. Lets narrow it down a little bit and look into the last 3 winners of this tournament and how they won it that week;

Previous 3 winners and their stats

2021 winner – Thomas Pieters -19

  • 14th OTT
  • 1st T2G             
  • 13th GIR           
  • 4th APP            
  • 27th SCR           
  • 6th Putting

2020 winner – George Coetzee -16

  • 21st OTT           
  • 10th T2G          
  • 32nd GIR           
  • 9th APP            
  • 13th SCR           
  • 2nd Putting       

2019 winner – Steven Brown -17

  • 35th OTT          
  • 33rd T2G          
  • 29th GIR           
  • 35th APP          
  • 2nd SCR            
  • 1st Putting        

Average stats for the past 3 winners – Score -17

  • 23rd OTT          
  • 15th T2G          
  • 25th GIR            
  • 16th APP          
  • 14th SCR           
  • 3rd Putting

Stats to consider this week

  • SG: OTT/SG: T2G – Distance OTT
  • SG: APP
  • Putting
  • Par 4 scoring

Numerous occasions above I have stated how much this favours the players this week in terms of scoring. I will be look to those elite ball strikers to really optimise their scoring chances as birdies made will be high this week.

Converting them birdie chances has clearly been the order of the play for the winners of the last 3 Portuguese Masters and I am banking on it to be the same here this week.

And finally, Par 4 scoring seems to be the tunnel to success this week. With 8 out of the 11 Par 4s all being under 450 yards and a good 3 or 4 of them being reachable for the longer/straighter hitters, I will be having a peruse over how the guys have faired on the shorter Par 4s this year to date.

Selections 

5 each way picks again for you guys this week, a field with only 120 players in does mean the value does drop slightly but I will still be targeting the value where I can.

Antoine Rozner 22/1
Tapio Pulkannen 55/1
Grant Forrest 66/1
Jeff Winther 66/1
Francesco Laporta 110/1