Victorious 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn has confirmed he will make his first Portugal Masters appearance in four years when the tournament returns to Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course from October 24-27.
The Dane, who guided Europe to a stunning 17½ - 10½ victory over the United States at Le Golf National almost a year ago, has previously tasted victory in Portugal, winning the 2010 Estoril Open de Portugal.
His five-stroke victory over Australian Richard Green was the 48-year-old’s tenth of 15 European Tour victories, over four different continents.
“I have always enjoyed playing in Portugal,” said Bjørn, who had won three Ryder Cup trophies in three appearances as a player prior to leading Team Europe to a famous victory in Paris. “I have fond memories of the country as I reached the milestone of ten victories there nearly ten years ago.
“A number of my fellow players have a lot of great things to say about this tournament, so I’m looking forward to coming back in October.”
At last year’s tournament, Tom Lewis produced the biggest 54-hole comeback of the season to win the Portugal Masters for the second time, with rounds of 63-61-66 following an opening round of 72.
Lewis had previously won this event in 2011 in what was just his third start as a professional, before emerging victorious for a second time seven years later by finishing three shots clear of compatriot Eddie Pepperell and Australia’s Lucas Herbert.
Last year’s Portugal Masters will also be forever remembered for Oliver Fisher’s history-making round of 59. Since the European Tour’s formation in 1972 there had been 19 rounds of 60 carded, but the sub-60 barrier had not been broken in more than 690,000 rounds.
During Friday’s second round, Fisher recorded ten birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free 12 under par round to put his name in the history books.
In addition to the world-class golf on the course, there will be plenty of activities for families to enjoy in the Championship Village. There will be junior golf activity for children from local schools and golf clubs, a Callaway Challenge, and Colour Path Golf will be on site with a putting challenge and PGA professionals will provide lessons throughout the week.
Championship Director Peter Adams said: “With just a few short weeks to go until we return to Vilamoura, we are all very excited for this year’s Portugal Masters.
“Since the event joined the European Tour’s International Schedule in 2007, this tournament has proved very popular with players and spectators alike. Being played in the month of October, it gives our members one of the last opportunities to earn points on the Race to Dubai Rankings and secure their spots in the final three Rolex Series events of the season.
“We look forward to welcoming a strong field to Dom Pedro Victoria and we are anticipating another exciting edition of the Portugal Masters.”
The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) will also feature at Dom Pedro Victoria, helping to increase the profile of the sport for golfers with a disability. The first EDGA Scottish Open ran alongside the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in July, and a second tournament for golfers with disabilities will be staged at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The EDGA will also be launching a Portuguese translation of their book Mulligan, which tells 18 personal accounts of players with a disability who compete in the game.
Tickets for the Portugal Masters are available from €8 for juniors (ages 12-17), €17 for concessions and €20 for adults. Season tickets are available for €24 for juniors, €50 for concessions and €60 for adults. To purchase tickets, click here.