Big-hitting Colsaerts to take Portugal by storm
The European Tour moves to the warm and sunny Portugal for the Portugal Masters this week. The event is being held at the Oceanico Victoria course in Vilamoura.
The defending champion is Lee Westwood but he is unable to participate because of a recurrence of his thigh problem post Ryder Cup.
Past stats have proved that this is a course for the big-hitters. The likes of Alvaro Quiros (16/1) should revel in the conditions.
The best players should not find the course too difficult as it is based on an American style with wide fairways and large rolling greens.
Edoardo Molinari (20/1) looked really off the boil on Friday at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and other than the exceptional Kaymer, Europe's Ryder Cup stars all looked tired after their exertions.
I will be looking at some value with the outsiders for this week's competition.
I mentioned last week how I fancied Quiros (16/1) in Scotland but I do not fancy the Spaniard this week at that price, although he is a former winner of the event. With his length though, if his short game is intact he could dominate this course.
Nicolas Colsaerts (80/1) has a fantastically long drive and he recently had the best round of his brief European Tour career at the KLM Open. He shot a 62 in round one and finished on the Sunday in eighth position. He can be inconsistent at times but he has the potential to win on the tour in the near future.
He has proved himself on the Challenger Tour where he has two career wins.
He is a massive price at 80/1 and he could prove each-way value. Daniel Vancsik (150/1) enjoys his warm weather courses and has some course form, he finished tied for third at the Portugal Masters in 2007 and he is playing well of late. He last won the BMW Italian Open last year and he will enjoy the wide fairways at this course.
He has recently finished twenty-fifth at the Vivendi Cup and eleventh at the KLM Open. He can drive over three-hundred yards and he also just needs to find some consistency.
Gregory Bourdy (66/1) has won in Portugal in the past, he won a play-off at the Estoril Open in 2008 but he has not won on the European Tour since November 2009. He has won on the Tour three times, with two of those victories coming at this time of year.
He has finished in the top twenty-five players in three of his last four events and is finding some form. He finished tied seventh at the Portugal Masters in 2007 and was very consistent throughout the event. He has not got a massive drive but he makes up for it by being fantastically accurate off the tee.
Ross Fisher heads the betting at 12/1 but with the Race to Dubai starting to take shape, it would not be a surprise to see some of the lower ranked players really putting on a show this weekend.