Sorry for taking the last week off from writing this piece, but I had some family events to attend to. I ended up making one lineup, and it performed decently thanks to Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Bland. But we’re back on task this week for the Portugal Masters. We have a sub-par field this week, but it is headlined by Thomas Pieters, Alex Noren, Andy Sullivan, and Thongchai Jaidee.
This week’s venue is Oceanico Victoria Golf Club, where you can surely expect the scoring to be low. When Alexander Levy won a rain-shortened event here, he was -18…for just two rounds! There’s plenty of room for players to err of the tee, so I’ll definitely be taking a look at some of the bombers this week. The layout is just under 7,200 yards, with only three par-5s. I expect bombers to play extremely aggressively this week and tally up tons of birdies and eagles.
While I will take a look at course history, I won’t weigh it too heavily because players with average course history have won here previously.
- Greens in Regulation
- Driving Distance
- Birdie or Better %
- Recent Form
Let’s take a look at my favorite plays this week:
Thomas Pieters ($) – Pieters took a well-earned week off last week to recover from the high-pressure Ryder Cup environment. When I see a course that favors aggressive bombers who can putt, Pieters is far-and-away the top option. Pieters finished 6th here last season, which included opening rounds of 65 and 66. He’s the clear favorite to win.
Alexander Levy ($) – As mentioned, Levy won a rain-shortened version of this event in 2014, but we cannot overlook his scores of 61 and 63 that week. He’s battled injuries all season, but is now healthy and coming off a win a few weeks ago. Levy backed it up with a 4th place finish at last week’s British Masters, so I love his chances this week.
Thomas Aiken ($) – The South African isn’t a bomber, but he’s a greens in regulation specialist who has shown that he likes this track. He’s made all six cuts at Oceanico, with his worst finish being a 38th. Aiken has been struggling with putting, but has led the field in GIR% in each of his last two starts (last week’s British Masters and the web.com Tour’s Boise Open). He’s more of a cash game play for me.
Also consider: Andy Sullivan
The Value Mid-Tier:
Nicolas Colsaerts ($) – Bomber, check. Greens in regulation, check. Colsaerts, like Pieters, is exactly what I’m looking for in GPPs this week. He’s made his last four cuts at this event, including finishing 2nd two years ago. Even though he’s struggling to put together top-10 finishes, Colsaerts has only missed one cut in his past eleven events. I think he contends in a big way this week.
Stephen Gallacher ($) – I don’t typically roster older golfers like Gallacher, but he seems to be motivated for a career revival. He’s battled some injuries that required him to completely change his swing and ball flight (from a draw to a fade). He’s finished 38th and 12th the past two weeks, and has three consecutive top-10s at this course. If he’s going to pop, this could be the week.
Marcel Siem ($) – A similar story to Gallacher, Siem is a seasoned veteran (5-time Tour winner) who has battled injuries all season. But he’s now made three cuts in a row including an 11th at last week’s British Masters. He’s made seven of ten cuts at Oceanico including a 4th place finish. If his putter cooperates, Siem could be a sneaky top-10 pick.
Romain Wattel ($) – He may have burned me last week, but I’ll give Wattel another try this week at low ownership. He has some great course history (22nd, 4th, 26th) in his appearances here. He’s had rounds of 64 and 65 at this venue, so that should give him some confidence. Wattel has already locked up his spot in the Race to Dubai, so there isn’t much pressure on him this week.
Also consider: Joakim Lagergren
Scott Jamieson ($) – Jamieson had such a horrendous stretch earlier this season that I promised never to mention his name, but here we are. He has two recent top-10 finishes on Tour, and finished 28th at last week’s British Masters. He’s also made his last four cuts at Oceanico, with finishes of 53rd, 7th, 13th, and 12th. Jamieson could be an absolute steal this week.
Richard Green ($) – Green is another course horse that I’ll gamble on this week. He won here in 2010, has never missed a cut, and has gone 18th and 17th the past two times he’s played Oceanico. He’s missed his past two cuts, but before that, had made five of six with a bunch of top-20 finishes. Green is worth a couple GPP fliers this week.
Justin Walters ($) – Walters is another bomber who I think could be very sneaky this week. He’s played the event three times and has finished 37th, 21st, and 2nd. Although he hasn’t had high finishes recently, he’s made five of his past seven cuts on Tour and definitely has DraftKings points upside without a top finish.
Also consider: Tom Lewis
Good luck this week!