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A slice of the action...from Portugal

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Our man on the ground at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course takes you behind the scenes of the Portugal Masters…

A golfer’s paradise

If golf’s your thing, the Algarve in general – and the Oceânico Golf Resort in particular – is simply not to be missed. But don’t just take our word for it – ask the panel of the World Travel Awards, who voted Portugal as Europe’s Leading Golf Destination, and the Algarve as Europe’s Leading Beach Destination. Not a bad combination. With more than 70 courses to choose from in the Algarve, and a temperate climate all year round, golfers really are spoilt for choice. In Vilamoura alone, there are five Oceânico courses to choose from: the Arnold Palmer-designed Victoria, this week’s host venue; the Old Course; the Millennium, the Pinhal and the Laguna. Welcome to golfing paradise.

Ocean’s Four

The Portugal Masters will get off to a smashing start on Tuesday afternoon, when winning Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, defending champion Tom Lewis, his compatriot and fellow European Tour champion David Howell and local hero Ricardo Santos take part in an Ocean Shot stunt in the Atlantic Ocean. The quartet will hit shots from a catamaran onto another boat anchored at sea, containing a glass target which the players will attempt to smash with a direct hit. A third boat and even a helicopter will be on hand to film the stunt, which will be shown on europeantour.com from Friday…         

Olly returns to the day job

Having taken last week off to recover from his exertions at Medinah Country Club, José María Olazábal is back in action at this week’s Portugal Masters – this time with a club, rather than a microphone in his hand. Since masterminding Europe’s incredible victory, Olazábal has been very much a man in demand, carrying out a whirlwind tour of promotional activities and media duties in his native Spain and further afield. Having given an extensive interview to European Tour Productions on Tuesday afternoon, which will be included in the forthcoming commemorative DVD of The 2012 Ryder Cup, Olly will open up to the Portuguese press on Wednesday afternoon, when he conducts his preview press conference. Then on Thursday, he will play his first competitive round since the Miracle of Medinah in the company of Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari, two members of his triumphant team. Don’t think they’ll be stuck for conversation, somehow…

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