Golfing eyes in Europe turn towards Portugal, with the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura hosting the Portugal Masters, starting Thursday.
Irish star Padraig Harrington is the defending champion, shooting a closing round of 65 to win the tournament with a birdie-laden score of 23 under par.
And from that it’s pretty clear that the winner of this event will need to go low.
This brings to mind South African George Coetzee. Capable of bursts of impressive scoring, Coetzee took a couple of months off during the summer and has just returned to the European Tour refreshed and slimmer. This was rewarded with a joint third place at the KLM Open last week, and we expect good things.
The other player on our ticket is fellow South African Justin Walters. It’s true he had a poor summer, missing eight cuts in a row between May and July, but he has shown recent signs of form, most notably a joint third position last week. And he returns to a course where he finished second four years ago. Blessed with a lovely putting touch, Walters could belie his hefty odds.
Coetzee 1 pt each way at 33/1, Stan James, at 1/4 the odds first five
Walters 0.5 pts each way at 100/1, Coral, at 1/5 the odds first seven
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