Good to be Back.
After a week off thanks to Golf Sixes were back on with a Euro event on Draft Kings, to be honest for a while I thought it wasn't going to happen, especially with a late decision to open contests and then the prices posted with only 33 hours until tee off.
Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort.
First of all this is really a Challenge Tour event, Co ranked with the European Tour but massively missing the players. The course is not the most spectacular nor from what I gather the most challenging either. A par 73 resort course, designed to play like a links but inland and measuring just over 7,400 yards.
Being a resort course, commonly visited by drunken Britt's who look more handy with a crowbar than they do a golf club, this course really shouldn't pose too many problems for these extremely gifted players who are striving to make a name for themselves.
Personally I really enjoy playing these courses, not because they look great or even play well... simply because there easy and offer up loads of chances for birdies. Smash it down in the acre of space they call fairways.. more like runways.. take advantage of the 5 par 5's and a few short par 4's and walk off with loads of birdies.
Of course my theory above on inland links courses all depends on the winds and the weather, well so far they forecast thunderstorms on Thursday that might cause delays and even possibly cause PM players Friday to have to tee off on Saturday... Winds are nothing more than a freshening breeze so with the potential of some rain Thursday and no wind this course is ready to be attacked.
Key stats and Stratergy
I'm keeping it very simple this week and if I'm very honest only drafting a few line ups, my focus is on The Players, I love this event and cant wait to see spectacular golf from the worlds best on one of the great iconic courses.. no doubt this sentiment and strategy will be shared by many.
On a serious note, big fairways and pure quick putting surfaces... I'm gonna take a few big hitters this week but its not essential to score well it just increases the chance of ultra low rounds.. I will be looking for skills with putter in hand. Birdie or better performance and of course good form holds huge weight. Course fit is something that will influence my line ups as well. I'm hoping a few players I know will play well this week on a style of course there all very accomplished on and suited to playing.
Trevor Fisher $11,200 - Been in real solid form impressing on multiple tours, hits hit long and straight, course should fit his game and if the putters hot expect plenty of birdies and a very low round. By a long way holds the best form from the 3 highest priced players and will hopefully be lower owned than the favourite from Portugal Ricardo Gouveia
$9,000 - $10,000
Justin Walter $9,600 - With 2 top 15 finishes in his last 4 outings, this big hitting South African has the game to contend for the title this week, we are seeing improvement after improvement in his stats and with Portugal being a popular destination for him to do well it would be no surprise to see him pick up his highest place to date
Max Orrin $9,400 - Max is based at North Foreland GC, a clifftop links course not far from me. He will be very well suited to the style of course on offer this week and also in fine form, a very talented player with a very solid game... one to keep an eye on for a win.
$8,000 - $9,000
Pep Angles $8,900 - This young talented player from Spain plays with the confidence of a junior and in many ways swings with that same freedom, he has really impressed in a number of events this year, still developing consistency but on a good week which I expect this to be has the potential to score big in DK thanks to his birdie or better conversion.
Jeff Winther $8,500 - Going into my picks for birdie or better performance, form other than 1 missed cut and in the weakened field could see a solid top 10 and good scoring
$7,000 - $8,000
Tom Lewis $7,700 - Tom is very accustomed to playing this style of course and probably best known for his performance as an amateur in The Open, recording the lowest ever amateur score of 65 in a major. Tom has also had previous success in Portugal where he won the Portuguese Masters. Returning to form and looking like his potential will shine through.
Sebastian Soderberg $7,200 - So far this year Sebastian has performed well on the European Tour, he has only competed in 3 events, however made the cut on all occasions, finishing T48, T11 and T26 to date. Love this play in both cash and gpp, will surely make the cut and contend
Less Than £7,000 - Will be sticking my neck out this time and giving you a good list of value picks.
Oliver Fisher $6,900 - Very used to playing links style golf from his amateur days, best results this year have come on courses closer to that character as well.
Joel Stalter $6,800 - Finished T19 in his last outing and looked very confident, inside top 25 4 times this year and a best finish of T7 at the South Africa Open.
Ashley Chesters $6,800 - Ashley is a real class act and exceptional at links style golf, during his days as an amateur he achieved a +5 handicap playing most comps on tough links tracks.
Gary King $6,700 - Gary is very highly regarded by his fellow competitors on the Challenge Tour.. this is a players pick and one I'm going to back.
Matt Ford $6,600 - A very local pro to me and one I follow with high interest. Matt is itching to return to the European Tour after failing to keep his card last year, has been scoring very well and even finds the time to compete regionally (and wins every time) Matt loves these style of courses and has the perfect game for it, not big of the tee but solid everywhere else.
Nathan Kimsey $6,300 - Gone off the boil a little bit in recent weeks, however returning to a Challenge Tour field where he was extremely successful, this could be the perfect week to find form, another player very good on links courses.
Ben Eccles $6,200 - 2 of 2 cuts made on the European Tour and one top 10, decent form on his national tour, no reason why this form cant continue.
Right that's me done for this week and already preparing for a proper European Tour event next week and my favorite event at Wentworth the following week.
Best of luck to all of you and as always don't hesitate in getting those questions across to me on Twitter