Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
No fewer than 14 Ryder Cup players are set to tee it up in next week’s star-studded Portugal Masters, which returns to the stunning Oceânico Victoria Golf Course for a seventh consecutive season.
Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari, who were part of Europe’s magnificent ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012, will be among the favourites for the title while the man who guided them to glory over the United States, José María Olazábal, is also in the field.
Olazábal’s successor, Paul McGinley, will be able to run the rule over potential members of his team for the 2014 contest at Gleneagles, including Ross Fisher, who was a member of the victorious 2010 team and finished runner-up in last year’s Portugal Masters.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez and Denmark’s Thomas Björn, who have both been players and vice-captains in glittering careers, will contest the €2million purse on Portugal’s Algarve, as will past players Thomas Levet, Phillip Price, Niclas Fasth, Ignacio Garrido and David Howell, who won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week.
In addition to the cast of former Ryder Cup competitors, the field boasts some of the most exciting talents in the world, such as young Italian Matteo Manassero, big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, who won the title in 2008, his compatriot Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.
Defending champion Shane Lowry, home favourite Ricardo Santos and the 2011 winner, Tom Lewis, are also set to tee it up in one of the most popular tournaments in Europe.
This year the Portugal Masters is the penultimate event before the Final Series, the thrilling new climax to The European Tour International Schedule, and will likely be crucial for many players looking to secure their position in The Race to Dubai.
Those currently outside the top 110 will be targeting a good performance in order to guarantee their playing rights for 2014, and others will have their sights set on breaking into – or staying in – the top 60 who qualify for the lucrative, season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
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 in advance (€15 on the gate), with Any One Day Adult passes costing €20 (€25 on the gate) and concessions €15 in advance or €20 on the gate. Adult Season tickets are priced at €50 (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to €60 on the gate. To buy tickets, click here