THE OVERVIEW

Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal The European Tour swings over to Vilamoura, Portugal this week for the 12th installment of the Portugal Masters. This is the final week for Ryder Cup players to iron out any wrinkles and shake off any dust. That is perhaps why Sergio Garcia is in this field for the first time in his career. 

The course this week is an Arnold Palmer design that will provide ample scoring chances. Both Nicolas Colsaerts and Scott Jamieson have flirted with 59 at the Dom Pedro Victoria course and the winning total will most likely be south of 20 under. The course features nice, open fairways and large, undulating bent/poa greens. The course is rather exposed to winds, but the forecast for this week is all warm and sunny with gusts not expected to exceed 14 mph. There is water in play on seven of the holes, but it shouldn't be too much bother either.

Past winners here have ranked well for GIR, Scrambling, and SG:Putting. So, we will be favoring some of those numbers, as well as current form and course history, when making our picks this week.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -20   Lucas Bjerregaard   (Runner Up:    -16   Marc Warren)

2016  -23   Padraig Harrington   (Runner Up:    -22   Andy Sullivan)

2015  -23   Andy Sullivan   (Runner Up:    -14   Chris Wood)

2014  -18   Alexander Levy   (Runner Up:    -15   Nicolas Colsaerts)

 

BETTING ODDS   (Bovada 9/17/2018)

Thorbjorn Olesen   +1200

Chris Wood   +1400

Charl Schwartzel   +1600

Lucas Bjerregaard   +1600

Eddie Pepperell   +1800

Sergio Garcia   +1800

Andy Sullivan   +2000

Shane Lowry   +2000

Matt Wallace   +2500

Thomas Detry   +2500

Padraig Harrington   +2800

Ryan Fox   +3000

Soren Kjeldsen   +3300

Alexander Levy   +4000

Ashun Wu   +4000

Danny Willett   +4000

Haotong Li   +4000

Hideto Tanihara   +4000

Jordan Smith   +4000

Matthew Southgate   +4000

Nacho Elvira   +4000

Tom Lewis   +4000

Benjamin Hebert   +5000

George Coetzee   +5000

Jorge Campillo   +5000

Pablo Larrazabal   +5000

Ross Fisher   +5000

Mikko Korhonen   +5500

Robert Rock   +5500

Haydn Porteous   +6600

Nino Bertasio   +6600

Richard Sterne   +6600

Stephen Gallacher   +6600

 

HOT PLAYERS

Ashun Wu

Lucas Bjerregaard

Hideto Tanihara

Padraig Harrington

Thomas Detry

Phachara Khongwatmai

Tom Lewis

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

Lucas Bjerregaard

Andy Sullivan

Chris Wood

Eddie Pepperell

Marc Warren

Mikko Korhonen

 

LONGER SHOTS

Andrew Johnston   +8000

Joakim Lagergren   +8000

Lucas Herbert   +8000

Maximilian Kieffer   +8000

Nicolas Colsaerts   +8000

Paul Dunne   +8000

Phachara Khongwatmai   +8000

Richard McEvoy   +8000

Bradley Dredge   +10000

Callum Shinkwin   +10000

David Horsey   +10000

Gavin Green   +10000

Jason Scrivener   +10000

Richie Ramsay   +10000

Sam Horsfield   +10000

Scott Jamieson   +10000

Sebastian Soderberg   +10000

Aaron Rai   +12500

Austin Connelly   +12500

David Drysdale   +12500

David Lipsky   +12500

Jonathan Thomson   +12500

Julien Guerrier   +12500

Justin Walters   +12500

Marc Warren   +12500

Marcus Kinhult   +12500

Matthias Schwab   +12500

Romain Wattel   +12500

Thomas Aiken   +12500

Ashley Chesters   +15000

Christiaan Bezuidenhout   +15000

Matthew Baldwin   +15000

Matthieu Pavon   +15000

Paul Peterson   +15000

Paul Waring   +15000

Renato Paratore   +15000

Ricardo Gouveia   +15000

Richard Bland   +15000

Chase Koepka   +20000

Connor Syme   +20000

Jaco Van Zyl   +20000

Jacques Kruyswijk   +20000

 

FAITHFULS

Andy Sullivan

Padraig Harrington

Shane Lowry

Robert Rock

Sergio Garcia

 

GOLF PICKS

THE 'FORE' SOMES

'FORE' SOMES are chosen by selecting one player from a "low tier" betting pool (30:1 or better), two players from a "mid tier" (30:1 - 75:1), and a final player from a "high tier" (75:1 & up).  

KEITH'S 'FORE' SOME 

Thomas Detry  (25:1).  I got my short list down to Chris Wood at 14, Lucas Bjerregaard 16, Matt Wallace 25, and Thomas Detry 25. I am going with the 25-year-old Belgian, Thomas Detry.

He has been in excellent form of late racking up four top 15s in his last five events. He finished T13 at the Porsche European Open, T13 at the Nordea Masters, T7 at the Made in Denmark, missed the cut in Switzerland, but finished T3 last week. And last week he finished T3 after an opening round 74. He rebounded by shooting 67, 63, 66 to finish the tournament. Sick stuff right there. 

Detry ranks well for GIR and SG: Putting and is near the top of this field in Birdie Percentage and Par-4 Scoring. I like the current streak. I really like his performance last week. And I don’t see any reason not to take Thomas Detry at 25:1.

Hideto Tanihara  (40:1)  &  Pablo Larrazabal  (50:1).  This is a particularly tough range this week. I got my short list down to Jordan Smith 40, Hideto Tanihara 40, George Coetzee 50, Pablo Larrazabal 50, Mikko Korhonen 55, Robert Rock 55, and Stephen Gallacher  66. There’s a lot of different ways to go. Current hot hand. Course horses. Veteran play. I ultimately took two hot hands I feel will continue their solid play.

Hideto Tanihara has been outstanding the past two weeks. T6 at the Omega European Masters and T3 at the KLM Open. The 40-year-old Japanese Pro was ranked as low as 47th in the Official World Golf Rankings last year. Since then he has fallen a long way off, reaching 162nd just a few weeks ago. He has dropped back to 132nd and I expect him to make another stride down that list after this week.

Likewise, with Pablo Larrazabal. The 35-year-old Spanish pro, and four-time Euro Tour winner, has been a legit name on this tour for years. After three top 5s early this season, Larrazabal hit a bit of a funk, but he seems to have turned that around the past couple of weeks with a T16 at the Omega European Masters and a T11 last week at the KLM Open.

We really thought the 90:1 number last week was way off. 50:1 this week is much closer to accurate. Larrazabal is a proven tour pro who can get birdies in bunches. If he is feeling a return to form, which everything indicates he is, we’ll take a play on him for the second straight week.

Lucas Herbert  (90:1).  Could this finally be the big, breakout week for the young bomber from Australia??? We certainly think it could be.

There are a ton of names to like in this range, and there will be five or six that I ultimately play a top ten wager on, but for this slot, Lucas Herbert narrowly beat out Nicolas Colsaerts 80 and Jonathan Thomson 125.

We’ve played Herbert a bunch this year and that is because his innate talent is immediately recognizable. He bombs off the tee and has the ability to go super low  He just showed up on the scene late last year and as I’ve mentioned on this podcast at least three times now, still does not have a player profile on the European Tour website. 

Since finishing T7 at the Australian PGA Championship late last year, the 23-year-old Aussie has moved up 179 spots on the OWGR to 158th. He placed T7 in the Mackenzie Tour Q-School, medalled in the Oregon Regional to qualify for the US Open (shooting 66, 64), and has already notched three top fives in his first year on the Euro Tour. Not bad. Not bad at all. The kid can absolutely bomb and is not afraid to score. It’s only a matter of time before he totally busts out and on a wide, friendly course where he can show everything he’s got, I really like his chances.

 

Some of the other names to consider in this range:  Jonathan Thomson, Austin Connelly, Marc Warren, Christiaan Bezhuidenhout, Jacques Kruyswijk, and Bradley Neil.

 

 

 

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear the team’s thoughts on the event and tweet us @fantasygolfww or #fgww.

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