It was a case of close but no cigar on the DP World Tour last week. Our picks came 9th and two more in T11th as German Yannik Paul won the Mallorca Open, with a score of -15. Now we move across the Iberian Peninsula and into Portugal for the Portugal Masters. Can we restart our hot streak? Let’s find out…
Portugal Masters 2022 Tips
- 1.5u Hurly Long each-way (1/5 6 places) – 40/1
- 1.5u Tom Lewis each-way (1/5 6 places) – 45/1
- 1u Marcus Helligkilde each-way (1/5 6 places) – 60/1
- 1u Lucas Bjerregaard each-way (1/5 6 places) – 80/1
The Portugal Masters dates back to 2007 and has been played every year since. It serves as the last regular season event on the DP World Tour, before the season ending DP World Tour Championship, on November 17th. In between, we have a week’s break next week and then the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. This is therefore the last chance for players to earn their playing rights for next season.
The total prize money on offer this week is $2m, with 2,750 DPWTR points up for grabs. The defending champion is Thomas Pieters, who misses this one due to the impending birth of his second child.
Genuine scenes in the Betfred golf column this week, as this is the first of these previews I’ve written, where I’ve actually played the course. I have vivid memories of playing this beautiful layout and almost slicing one into Cristiano Ronaldo’s villa, lining the 17th fairway.
Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course is, of course, set within the stunning coastal resort of Vilamoura, on Portugal’s Algarve. Victoria is a 7,191 yard, par-71 track, which was designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer in 2004. A mature, yet virtually flat layout, Victoria possesses a huge amount of water and bunkers and is known as one of the best and most challenging courses in Europe.
120 players tee it up again this week, with many players fearful of maintaining their tour cards. The top 117 players will retain their standing as main tour members next year and the likes of Lucas Bjerregaard, Renato Paratore and Francesco Laporte are all in danger of missing out.
The field is lead by Italian Open champion Robert MacIntyre (12/1), closely followed by Victor Perez and Jordan Smith (both 14/1). Last week’s winner Yannik Paul heads a group of players at 20/1 including Antonie Rozner and Nicolai Hojgaard.
Former winners include Steven Brown (300/1), Bjerregaard (80/1), Andy Sullivan (28/1) and two-time winner here, Tom Lewis at 45/1.
1.5u Hurly Long each-way (1/5 6 places) – 40/1
After last week’s near miss, I’m going back in on Germany’s Hurly Long. The 27-year-old has a really solid all round game, ranking 14th for scoring, 8th for birdies and 4th for par 5 scoring. Long also lives up to his name, ranking 37th for distance and 35th for SG: off the tee.
The Texas Tech alum has had eleven Top 25’s this season, with three top fives, including a runner up at the Magical Kenya Open. Long finished T9th in Mallorca after rounds of 67-69-66 and a disappointing last round 71. He’s shorter than last week’s price but this course should be perfect for his game.
1.5u Tom Lewis each-way (1/5 6 places) – 45/1
An obvious pick given his recent record here, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Lewis has had an up and down career, winning the Boys Amateur Championship and the Silver Medal at the 2011 Open Championship.
His two Portugal Masters wins were either side of some poor years on the European tour, even losing his tour card at one point. His 2nd win here in 2018 led to an American charge, culminating in his 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Championship win and a full PGA Tour card.
The 31-year-old now finds himself back on the DP World Tour, after a tough time of things in the States and has slowly started to produce better results. He has four top-25’s this year and played excellently last week, finishing T37th. Lewis led the field in SG: Around the Green, so his short game is in excellent nick alongside his power game. Don’t be shocked to see him hoist a 3rd Portugal Masters trophy by the end of the week.
1u Marcus Helligkilde each-way (1/5 6 places) – 60/1
Big hitting Dane Marcus Helligkilde is another who should have a good game for Victoria. The 26-year old ranks 14th in SG: Off the Tee and 18th in distance, this season.
Helligkilde won the Challenge Tour back in 2021 and has had a solid first fill year on tour, with five top 25’s, including back-to-back T8th and T13th at the Barbasol and Barracuda in America. His form in recent weeks hasn’t been great but he did show some form when finishing 27th in Madrid just two weeks ago.
1u Lucas Bjerregaard each-way (1/5 6 places) – 80/1
My last pick is another Dane, the 2017 champion Lucas Bjerregaard. The 31-year-old followed that victory up with his second tour win at the Alfred Dunhill Links the following year but has struggled badly this year and is in severe danger of losing his tour card.
He has made just eight of 27 cuts this year and finds himself 146th in the tour rankings, so needs a big performance this week. Bjerregaard faced exactly the same scenario last year, at this very event and dug a massive performance out to finish T2nd and kept his tour card. I think he can do the same again this week.