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Monday, 10 October 2011
Oceânico Victoria Golf Course - 13th Hole ()
Oceânico Victoria Golf Course - 13th Hole ()

europeantour.com takes a closer look at the field taking to the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course this week for the 2011 Portugal Masters.

In the field this week are:

38 Players currently ranked in Top 60 in The Race to Dubai 

The present holder of The Race to Dubai, Martin Kaymer is the top ranked player on show in Portugal this week, currently sitting at fifth in the 2011 standings, and there will be a grand total of 38 of the current top 60 taking to the Oceânico Victoria course on Thursday, from Kaymer down to Irishman Peter Lawrie who currently right on the bubble of Dubai World Championship qualification at 60th place.

23 different nationalities represented

ARG    ARGENTINA: 4
AUS    AUSTRALIA: 7       
AUT    AUSTRIA: 2
BEL    BELGIUM: 1
CHI    CHILE: 1
DEN    DENMARK: 5
ENG    ENGLAND: 30
FRA    FRANCE:  7
GER    GERMANY: 2
IRE    IRELAND: 6
ITA    ITALY: 2
NED    NETHERLANDS: 4
NIR    NORTHERN IRELAND: 1
NZL    NEW ZEALAND: 1
PAR    PARAGUAY: 1
POR    PORTUGAL: 6
SCO    SCOTLAND: 10
RSA    SOUTH AFRICA: 5
ESP    SPAIN: 12
SWE    SWEDEN: 10
THA    THAILAND: 1
USA    UNITED STATES: 2
WAL    WALES: 4

3 previous Portugal Masters winners

Three of the four previous winners of the Portugal Masters are back to try and reclaim their former titles this week in Vilamoura. Steve Webster won the inaugural contest in 2007, while Spaniard Alvaro Quiros took the spoils in 2008; defending champion, Australian Richard Green, is hoping fond memories of his stunning victory last year can spur him to the title once again.

3 multiple European Tour winners from 2011

Thomas Björn will be hoping to become a four time winner  this week in Portugal after already claiming victories at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy before his scintillating back-to-back late summer scalps at the Johnnie Walker Championship and the Omega European Masters.

Also travelling to Portugal having already tasted victory on two previous occasions in 2011 are Englishman Simon Dyson – winner at the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland and KLM Open – and Sweden’s Alexander Noren, who topped the final leaderboards at the Saab Wales Open and the Nordea Masters in July.

5 Major winners

The assembled field for this week’s Iberian-set event have won a combined nine Major Championships between them, three of which come courtesy of Irishman Padraig Harrington who was victorious at the 2007 and 2008 Open Championships and the 2008 US PGA Championship.

Also on show is one of golf’s great characters, the colourful American John Daly, who won twenty years ago at the 1991 US PGA Championship and at the 1995 Open Championship at the Home of Golf, St Andrews.

The 2012 Ryder Cup Captain José Maria Olazábal is also in Vilamoura this week and the affable Spaniard has two prized green jackets to his name, having won The Masters at Augusta in 1994 and 1999.
 
With one Major each, Scotsman Paul Lawrie – winner of The 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie – and Martin Kaymer – who won his maiden Major at Whistling Straits in the 2010 US PGA Championship – this year’s Portugal Masters field is certainly not short on Major pedigree.

18 players currently ranked in the World top 100

As well as being the top ranked player on show this week in terms of his Race to Dubai standings, Kaymer is also the highest-placed player in the Official World Golf Ranking playing in Portugal, currently sitting comfortably within the top ten at sixth place.

There are 18 members of the current top 100 in this week’s field, from high-flying Kaymer to World Number 99, South African Thomas Aiken. 

28 previous top-ten finishers at the Portugal Masters

In addition to the 23 players in the field this week who have previously finished in the top ten at the Portugal Masters on one occasion, there are five more who have placed in the top ten on two occasions, meaning there is some serious previous form going into the second instalment of the Iberian Swing.
 
Perhaps most notable of all is Italian Francesco Molinari who will be looking to go one better than the previous two years where he finished second in 2009 and tied second in 2010. Molinari seems to enjoy the Oceânico Victoria course and he will be hoping to finally become the Prince of Portugal come Sunday afternoon.

The other multiple top ten finishers in the field this week are Denmark’s Fredrik Andersson Hed, who finished tied for third in 2007 and tied for ninth in 2010 and Englishman Ross Fisher, who tied for third in the tournament’s opening salvo before improving the following year to finish tied for third in 2008.

Peter Hanson is back again after finishing tied for third in 2007 and tied fourth in 2009, meanwhile Steve Webster, who will always retain a deep-seated association following his emotional victory in the inaugural playing of the event in 2007, put up a stout and impressive defence of his title the following year to finish tied third.

 Player Year / Position

Fredrik Andersson Hed

2007 - t.3rd, 2010 - t.9th

Grégory Bourdy

2008 - t.7th

Gary Boyd

2010 - t.9th

David Dixon

2010 - t.6th

Simon Dyson

2008 - t.7th

Johan Edfors

2009 - t.6th

Gonzalo Fdez Castaño

2010 - t.2nd

Ross Fisher

2007 - t.7th, 2008 - t.3rd

Ignacio Garrido

2010 - t.9th

Richard Green

2010 - 1st

Søren Hansen

2008 - t.7th

Peter Hanson

2007 - t.3rd, 2009 - t.4th

Padraig Harrington

2009 - 3rd

Martin Kaymer

2007 - t.7th

James Kingston

2008 - 6th

Paul Lawrie

2008 - 2nd

Peter Lawrie

2010 - t.6th

Joost Luiten

2010 - t.2nd

Pablo Martin

2010 - t.6th

Francesco Molinari

2009 - 2nd, 2010 - t.2nd

Alexander Noren

2009 - t.6th

Steven O'Hara

2010 - t.9th

Alvaro Quiros

2008 - 1st

Marcel Siem

2009 - t.4th

Anthony Wall

2008 - t.10th

Steve Webster

2007 - 1st, 2008 - t.3rd

Danny Willett

2009 - t.6th

Oliver Wilson

2010 - t.9th



20 Ryder Cup players

Again exemplifying the strength of the field on view in Portugal this week is the presence of 20 Ryder Cup players, such as victorious 2010 Team Members Fisher, Hanson, Harrington Miguel Angel Jiménez, Kaymer and Francesco Molinari, to the man who led his troops to victory so memorably last September at The Celtic Manor Resort, Colin Montgomerie, and three of his much-praised Vice Captains with Thomas Björn and Paul McGinley joining Olazabal, the current custodian of the Ryder Cup Captaincy who will be in Portugal to blood his own game and to keep an eye out for potential candidates for his 2012 squad.

17 different winners in 2011

Since the beginning of the 2011 European Tour International Schedule last December, there have been a plethora of different Tour winners, from which 17 of them are in Portugal this week, including Spaniard Pablo Martin, winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, through to last week’s victor, Lee Slattery, who managed to take the spoils at the Bankia Madrid Masters despite a nerve-shredding finale.

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