Harrington targets Portugal crown

9/21/2012 2:27:22 PM
Padraig Harrington  (Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington (Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington is the latest Major Champion to join the field for the Portugal Masters from October 11-14, and the Irishman is hoping that Oceânico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura can inspire him to a 15th European Tour title.

The three-time Major winner joins fellow former Open Champions Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie and former US PGA Champions Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel and Martin Kaymer at the sixth edition of the €2.25 million tournament.

Harrington will be looking for another strong performance at Oceânico Victoria Golf Club after finishing tied 16th in last year’s event and third behind Lee Westwood in 2009, when the six-time Ryder Cup star carded a superb second round of 62.

Having shot under par in each of his eight competitive rounds at Oceânico Victoria Golf Club, Harrington is relishing the chance to return to the venue next month.

“Portugal is always a great place to play golf and I’m really looking forward to going back to Vilamoura,” said Harrington.

“We always have a very strong field for the Portugal Masters, and it is a course where you can shoot a low score. The winning total tends to be around 20 under which puts you under pressure to make birdies, and there is also plenty of water around to punish you.

“I was in contention in 2009 when Lee won, and hopefully I will be again this year.”

Harrington is currently in 31st place in The Race to Dubai and victory in the Portugal Masters would move him into contention to challenge for a place in the end of season top ten, and a share of the US$3.75million Bonus Pool.

The 41 year old Dubliner has recorded four top ten finishes on The European Tour in 2012, including tied eighth place in the Masters Tournament and a share of fourth position in the US Open Championship.

His best performance on European soil so far this season has been a share of seventh place in front of his home support in the Irish Open, but he is looking to end the season with a first European Tour victory since the 2008 US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club. 

England’s Tom Lewis, last season’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, will defend his title in the €2.25 million tournament, which can play an important role in deciding the destination of The Race to Dubai crown at the end of the season.

Advance tickets are available now for the Portugal Masters, with substantial savings on the gate prices. Admission to the Pro-Am on October 10 is €10, with Any One Day Adult passes costing €15 (€20 on the gate) and concessions €12 in advance or €15 on the gate. Adult Season tickets are priced at €45 (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to €55 on the gate. To buy tickets, log on here