Sun Sentinel
European Golf Tour
PGA European - Portugal Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, October 11th through Sunday, October 14th
SITE: Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
COURSE ARCHITECT: Arnold Palmer (2004)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,157
Hole-by-Hole1 - Par 4 446 Yds
2 - Par 4 358 Yds
3 - Par 4 492 Yds
4 - Par 4 407 Yds
5 - Par 5 579 Yds
6 - Par 3 218 Yds
7 - Par 4 510 Yds
8 - Par 3 168 Yds
9 - Par 4 442 Yds
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35 3,620 Yds
10 - Par 4 406 Yds
11 - Par 4 385 Yds
12 - Par 5 547 Yds
13 - Par 3 200 Yds
14 - Par 4 424 Yds
15 - Par 4 315 Yds
16 - Par 3 208 Yds
17 - Par 5 589 Yds
18 - Par 4 463 Yds
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36 3,537 Yds
Annual:  6th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Tom Lewis
Runner-Up:  Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Tournament Record:  263 (Steve Webster, 2007)
54-Hole Record:  196 (Retief Goosen, 2009)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Francesco Molinari, 2009)
Course Record:  61 (Martin Kaymer, 2007; Jeppe Huldahl, 2010)
Total Purse:  $2,918,862 (2,250,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $483,783; 2nd Place - $322,522; 3rd Place - $181,709
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Tom Lewis267Christian Nilsson270
Rafael Cabrera-Bello269George Coetzee270
Gregory Havret270Thomas Bjorn271
David Lynn270Jamie Donaldson271
Felipe Aguilar270Martin Kaymer271
 
Past Portugal Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Tom Lewis (267) -- Rafael Cabrera-Bello
2010Richard Green (270) -- R.Karlsson, G.Fdez-Castano, F.Molinari, J.Luiten
2009Lee Westwood (265) -- Francesco Molinari
2008Alvaro Quiros (269) -- Paul Lawrie
2007Steve Webster (263) -- Robert Karlsson

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20072008200920102011
Tom Lewis------------Won
Raf. Cabrera-Bello------T-45T-412nd
David LynnT-40T-14T-41wdT-3
Thomas BjornT-46mcT-64T-17T-8
Martin KaymerT-7T-30------T-8
Steve WebsterWonT-3T-30T-52T-16
Alvaro Quiros11thWonT-1657thT-16
Padraig Harrington------3rd---T-16
Ross FisherT-7T-3mcT-27T-27
Joost Luiten---------T-2T-29
Lorenzo Gagli------------T-29
Francesco MolinariT-31T-382ndT-2T-38
Anthony WallT-21T-10T-12T-41T-38
Bradley DredgeT-12T-16T-26T-58T-38
Richard Green---T-42---WonT-70
G.Fdez-Castano---------T-2mc
Simon Dyson---T-7T-61T-17mc
Thorbjorn Olesen------------mc
Jose M. Olazabal------------mc
Victor Dubuisson---------------
Joel Sjoholm---------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Victor Dubuisson
Darkhorse - Joel Sjoholm
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Richie Ramsay) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Gregory Bourdy) - Missed the cut
 
NOTES:The European Tour travels to Portugal this week for the
Portugal Masters. This is the final tournament to be played in Europe for 2012. The next time the tour will play on European soil is April, 2013.

Six of the top 50 players in the world are in the field. Francesco Molinari is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 31. He is joined by his European Ryder Cup teammate Martin Kaymer (33), Italian Open winner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (36), PGA Championship runner-up David Lynn (42), 13-time European Tour winner Thomas Bjorn (45) and Dubai Desert Classic winner Rafael Cabrera-Bello (48). Molinari and Kaymer will be joined by their captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, who will be playing this week for the first time since leading the European team to its remarkable comeback over the United States at the Ryder Cup.

This event is being held at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, Portugal for the sixth straight year. The course was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer and opened for play in 2004. Victoria also hosted the 2005 World Cup, won by Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge of Wales.

This is the second tournament held in Portugal this season, with Ricardo Santos winning the Madeira Islands Open in May. Santos became the first Portuguese player to win a European Tour event in his home country. Santos is also in the field this week.

This is the fifth different official European Tour event to be held on Portuguese soil since 1973. They are: Estoril Open de Portugal (from 1973-2010 (not played in 1980-81), Madeira Islands Open (1993 onwards), Vinho Verde Atlantic Open (1990) and Estoril Open (1999).

Last year, it took Tom Lewis only three professional starts before he became a champion on the European Tour. Lewis, who as an amateur shared the first-round lead of the 2011 British Open Championship, fired a 7-under 65 in the final round to earn his first title. The 20-year-old finished at 21-under 267 and won by two strokes over Cabrera-Bello.

In 2010, Australian Richard Green carded a 7-under 65 in the final round to come from behind and win. Green finished the championship at 18-under 270 and earned a two-stroke victory. His seven-shot comeback matched the largest on the European Tour in 2010.

In 2009, Lee Westwood made an unbelievable birdie from behind trees at the 17th hole in the final round en route to a come-from-behind victory. Westwood fired a 6-under 66 on the final day and won the title at 23-under-par 265, which was good enough for a two-stroke victory over Francesco Molinari. Westwood collected his 19th European Tour victory and first since the 2007 British Masters. The first-place check moved Westwood to first in the Race to Dubai, which is where he would finish at the end of the year. The Englishman had not been on top of the money list since he won the money race in 2000.

The European Tour moves to Australia next week for the inaugural ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth.

10/09 18:15:20 ET

As of October 9, 2012, at 06:15 PM ET