With the European Tour season drawing to a close, players will be looking at the final few events to make up those valuable Race to Dubai points. This week we head to the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, for the Portugal Masters, with the prospect of plenty of birdies based on previous years scoring. With a strong field on show, I have narrowed my selections down to just three, with the intention of giving you all my best value picks for the week. But first…
Venue: Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
Date: November 4-7, 2021
Course stats: Par 71; 7,191 yards
Course summary: The Arnold Palmer designed Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course is an exposed and expansive track, with wide undulating fairways and larger than average greens. This course is a favourite for pros who regularly shoot low scores, including when Oliver Fisher posted a European Tour record round of 59 here in 2018.
Purse: £1.5 million
Defending champion: George Coetzee (-16)
Portugal Masters TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm
Portugal Masters betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: Laurie Canter @ 22/1 with Bet365
In an event where previous course form appears to be a very strong indicator of success, I am going all-in on last year’s runner-up Canter. The Englishman has been in sublime form recently, finishing in the top-5 on three of his last four starts on the European Tour, so after finishing just two shots shy last year he looks a great bet.
His tour statistics this season only raise his appeal further, ranking 1st for SG: Off-the-tee and 7th for GIR on a course where there is plenty of room for positioning. Five top-10s this season, and playing some of his best golf right now, Canter is a must pick in my opinion.
The Each-Way Play: Joakim Lagergren @ 50/1 with Bet365
Sticking with the theme of strong course form, Lagergren certainly fits the bill at a big price. A Third place finish in this event last season, along with an impressive runner-up finish a few weeks ago in Scotland, make him very interesting contender – especially when you consider how important putting is to success here.
In each of the last five years the winner has ranked in the top-5 for putts-per-GIR, so it can only be positive that Lagergren currently ranks 1st for SG: Putting and 3rd for putts-per-GIR on the European Tour this season. With a price that screams each-way value, and a gut feeling that Lagergren is on the way back to his best, I like this selection a lot.
The Long Shot: Renato Paratore @ 66/1 with Bet365
You could be forgiven for not noticing a slight resurgence in the form of Paratore recently, mainly because he has done so quietly and in a steady fashion. His strong recent performances have come at trickier tracks than this, so now may be the perfect time to side with the Italian as he returns to a course where he has had some respectable finishes in recent years.
Paratore finished 21st here in 2019, and 27th in 2018, which on their own perhaps do not look particularly inspiring. However, when you add a run of recent form that reads 11-25-9 in his last three events, and consider that he ranks 3rd for SG: Putting this season, he certainly becomes an attractive option at a juicy each-way price.