Here are the five things you need to know ahead of the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos
Open de Portugal makes its return to the European Tour
The final leg of the Iberian Swing takes place at the Open de Portugal this week, which makes its return to the European Tour International Schedule for the first time since 2017.
That year, Matt Wallace went wire-to-wire to earn his maiden Tour title at Morgado Golf & Country Club, posting a final round 69 to finish three shots clear of Julian Suri. It followed a season where Wallace won six times on the Alps Tour to secure a place on the European Challenge Tour, only to quickly earn his card with his impressive win.
In the two years since, the Open de Portugal has formed part of the Challenge Tour International Schedule, with Australia’s Dimitrios Papadatos winning the title in 2018 and Adrian Meronk becoming the first Polish golfer to lift a trophy in 2019.
Dual Ranking event
The Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos is the third event to be dual-ranked with the Challenge Tour since the season resumed at the Austrian Open in July.
With categories frozen this year, the best chance for players to earn a European Tour card is through winning an event of this nature – something achieved by both Marc Warren and Joël Stalter in the two Austrian events. Warren earned his playing rights by claiming his first win in six years at the Austrian Open, and Stalter earned his maiden title a week later at the Euram Bank Open to gain European Tour status.
A new venue
European Tour players will head to unfamiliar territory this week as they encounter a brand new venue: Royal Óbidos Golf & Spa Resort.
The course, a 7,283 yard par 72, is one of the last to have been designed by the late, great Seve Ballesteros. Work was completed in 2012, the year after Ballesteros passed away.
Man on form
George Coetzee followed up victory on the Sunshine Tour at the Titleist Championship at Pretoria Country Club with a win in last week’s Portugal Masters, firing a final round 66 to claim his second win in as many weeks.
It was Coetzee’s fifth Tour title – but first in continental Europe – and the South African will now look to continue his impressive run of form with another week in Portugal.
History of record breaking
On his way to victory in the 1987 Open de Portugal, Robert Lee created European Tour history by becoming the first and only player to have shot 27 twice. Having first achieved the feat at the 1985 Monte Carlo Open, Lee put together a magical front nine during his first round 61 at Estoril Golf Club. Five other players have managed to record a 27 over nine holes on Tour, but no one has ever done it twice.
Exactly 20 years later, Pablo Martin Benavides made history of his own by becoming the first amateur to win on Tour during the 2007 Open de Portugal. Since the Spanish player’s triumph, the number of amateur winners on Tour has increased to three, with Danny Lee triumphing at the Johnnie Walker Classic, and Shane Lowry at the 2009 Irish Open.