The European Tour comes to the 2019 Portugal Masters this week at Dom Pedro Victoria. We’ll give you a run-down of the tournaments’ history and a hole by hole guide to the course.
The Dom Pedro Victoria Course in Vilamoura is celebrating its 13th year hosting the Portugal Masters, having done so since 2007. The tournament has provided us with much drama as well as some low scoring that makes this event one of the most anticipated on the European Tour. Here are some of the highlights over the years:
Steve Webster (2007)
Alvaro Quiros (2008)
Lee Westwood (2009)
Richard Green (2010)
Tom Lewis (2011)
Shane Lowry (2012)
David Lynn (2013)
Alexander Levy (2014, 36 holes)
Andy Sullivan (2015)
Padraig Harrington (2016)
Lucas Bjerregaard (2017)
Tom Lewis (2018)
The Dom Pedro Victoria Course designed by Arnold Palmer, has hosted the Portugal Masters 10 times now, and it’s several water hazards mixed with undulating fairways and length have made this a fan-favourite course. There are many risk-reward holes that can result in scores like a 60 from Nicolas Colsaerts in 2014 and winning 72 hole totals of -23 from Andy Sullivan last year, which make this event such a thrilling watch.
Here we have a hole-by-hole guide to the Portugal Masters with video footage of Nicolas Colsaerts and Andy Sullivan.
|Hole||Par||Yards||Scoring Average (2015)||Key Features|
|1||4||446||4.15 (3)||A fairly long opening hole that has a bunker left and right of the fairway, so any offline shots are likely to find the trap or some punishing lies in the thick rough.|
|2||4||358||3.83 (14)||A straightforward hole that will only require a wedge in for the pros, but it is accuracy on the green that is key as there can be some tough pin positions on the undulating green.|
|3||4||481||4.1 (6)||Plays as a Par 5 for the amateurs but is far too short to be a par 5 for the pros. There’s not too much trouble… apart from the classic strategic bunkers, narrow fairway and thick rough which pro’s will discover all over the course. This will be seen as a par hole for the pros before a couple of chances at birdie over the next 2 holes.|
|4||4||407||3.86 (13)||A dogleg left awaits the players here and a fairway bunker ensures players must carry the ball to cut the corner. At only 407 yards I expect the pros to have no trouble in doing this, in which case setting up a birdie chance.|
|5||5||579||4.65 (18)||A tough hole for the amateurs with Out of Bounds right and an elevated green that has 3 bunkers protecting anything short. For the pros, however, this played as the easiest hole which rewarded 5 eagles and 154 birdies last year.|
|6||3||218||2.98 (9)||The first and longest par 3 on the course is definitely a test to get it close but with players current distance it should be a regulation par with only 3 bunkers protecting the hole.|
|7||4||510||4.33 (1)||A dog-leg left requiring a 220yard carry over a lake to a highly undulating fairway and bunkers grouped on the right-side. Last year this hole caused 29 double-bogeys+ across the week, the most of any hole. I expect similar high scoring this year.|
|8||3||168||2.91 (11)||The 8th is the shortest of the par 3s and has a fairly large green so Par isn’t too hard to find and Bogey isn’t too hard to avoid as last year this hole had the most Pars & the fewest bogeys all week. The amateurs will enjoy the design of the bunker short but I don’t expect to see too many pros in there.|
|9||4||442||4.14 (4)||To close the front nine, players face a long and narrow drive to a very undulating fairway. This hole had the 3rd fewest birdies last year so most players will be hoping to get this hole out the way with a par, before turning on a birdie run on the back nine.|
Watch how Andy Sullivan played the 10th here…
|10||4||406||3.9 (12)||Fairly narrow fairway that slopes downhill towards the green so might not see too many drivers on this hole as players want to leave an ideal wedge distance. Bushes left off the tee but a large bank on the right is likely to save any loose fades.|
|11||4||385||4.04 (7)||Water covering the left-side of the hole, but a fairly short hole so the pros should have no problem in strategically finding their way to the green whilst avoiding the lake. Any right-to-left wind, however, and it’s a completely different story.|
|12||5||610||4.76 (16)||An Island Hopping hole, which features one fairway from the tee surrounded by a lake and another fairway and green surrounded by a lake. A Stroke Index 2 for the amateurs, but was clearly no match for the pros distance with 10 eagles being made across the 4 days.|
|13||3||200||2.93 (10)||Another long Par 3 with a lake and bunker covering anything short and left. Last year’s players enjoyed this hole, averaging under par for the week and no double bogeys.|
|14||4||424||4 (8)||Choice of 2 fairways from the tee, with the left being the safe play and the right requiring a 220 yard carry over a lake. With the pro’s distance you can expect many to be hitting at the right fairway, depending on the direction of the wind.|
|15||4||315||3.83 (15)||Driveable Par 4, depending on the wind, that is sure to entice the pros this week with only bunkers providing the main threat.|
|16||3||208||3.13 (5)||A long par 3 to finish, that has a strategically placed front bunker which is likely to catch the players out with any swirls of wind or miss-clubs.|
|17||5||589||4.72 (17)||The Signature Hole. Several Lakes and waterfalls are down the entire-right side of this hole, which are sure to trouble the amateur off the tee and for the approach. But clearly played as no threat for the pros last year, being the 2nd easiest hole.|
|18||4||463||4.26 (2)||One of the great finishing holes that caused 23 double bogeys+ last year with a lake consuming the entire left-side of the hole. Sure to provide some drama to finish!|
For some more in depth analysis check out how Nicolas Colsaerts played holes 13-17 at the Dom Pedro Victoria
With so many long holes and water in play, the longest and most accurate driver is likely to win here. That’s why my money is on Thomas Pieters!
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