Portugal Masters Tips & Predictions: Three at a price in the Algarve
Golf tipster Russell Palmer is back with another three tips as the European Tour moves west to the Portugal Masters teeing off on Thursday...
- Antoine Rozner - 0.5pts each-way @ odds of 50/1 with 888Sport (6 places)
- Laurie Canter - 1pt each-way @ 66/1 with 888Sport (6 places)
- Sebastian Soderburgh - 0.5pts each-way @ 66/1 with Paddy Power (7 places)
It was a familiar tale on the European Tour for my selections last week, with Conor Syme very much in contention before falling away to finish just out of the places. I will continue to play the Scotsman when I think conditions suit as he continues to develop into a good player.
If Valderrama was the toughest test these golfers will see outside of qualifying for a US or Open Championship, this week's course promises a very different proposition. Whilst there'll be some relief, last year only three players finished over par who made the cut, whilst last week in Spain no players made the cut, it'll be those who play best with the putter who prevail.
Tommy Fleetwood is the class act in the field and that's been factored into his price at 11/2, which isn't something that interests me.
It does mean that there's some extra value further down the betting and the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura offers plenty of course form.
It's traditionally an easy test for these players, it's the only course to record a 59 on the European Tour when Oli Fisher in 2018 and seven of the winning scorers here since 2007 have been -20 or less.
The last seven winners here have been priced 150/1, 45/1, 50/1, 90/1, 55/1, 70/1 and 55/1, so I'm keen to snaffle some value further down the field and concentrate on those with some recent form and course form and good putters.
First up is Frenchman Antoine Rozner who arrives in Portugal off the back of a good week at Valderrama where he finished in a tie for third place.
That was a second top ten finish for the 34-year-old since the Tour's resumption earlier in the summer, having finished 10th at the Hero Open five starts ago.
Currently ranked 39th on the Race to Dubai, Rozner is climbing the rankings thanks to some consistent results, with just two missed cuts on the European Tour.
Playing on the Challenge Tour last season he picked up two wins and has some course form, he ranks in the top 25 for greens in regulation and stroke average and is trending in the right direction. At 66/1 with 888 paying six places I'm taking a chance on the Frenchman.
Regular readers will know how much I like Laurie Canter and I was desperate for him to play this week.
The Englishman has carded two top ten finishes in his last four starts and has missed one cut in his six starts since the Tour resumed.
Canter's stats really impress, he ranks 6th for birdies per round this season and 23rd for par four scoring which will be a good metric on this week's shootout track.
He ranks 3rd for shots gained off the tee and is no slouch with the big dog, pumping it out over 318 yards on average this season.
Add to this ranking 3rd for greens in regulation I think he'll put himself in position to go well this week and is knocking on the door for that first win on the European Tour. I'm all over the 66's available at 888 Sport.
This week's final selection is also a 66/1 poke, in the shape of Sweden's Sebastian Soderburgh.
The Swede has two top 10s to his name this season and also has some course form in the shape of a 7th place finish here three years ago.
He missed the cut last week which is no disaster given the mental effort required at Valderrama, comes here pretty fresh and ranking 6th for shots gained around the green he has the talent to make a fist of it at a big price this week, with Paddy Power offering seven places.
As ever, if you're following good luck with your bets and always gamble responsibly.
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