The Open de Portugal returns to the European Tour schedule this week, the dual-ranking event with the Challenge Tour taking place at Royal Óbidos for the first time.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Polish player Adrian Meronk reached 15-under-par at Morgado G&CC last year to take the Challenge Tour title over Spain’s Sebastián García Rodríguez by two shots. Meronk is not in the field this year.
COURSE: Lying 60 kms north of Lisbon, Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort will welcome the European and Challenge Tours for the first time this week, where players will be tested by the Seve Ballesteros design.
The famous Spaniard sadly passed away before he could see the completion of the course that is now ranked No.17 in Portugal. It offers ocean views with water in play on many holes and will measure 6,658 metres this week.
PRIZEMONEY: EUR 500,000.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
After a missed cut at the Portugal Masters, Wade Ormsby will be looking to right the ship this week as the European Tour remains in the country for a second straight week.
RIGHT: Poland’s Adrian Meronk claimed the Open de Portugal on the Challenge Tour in 2019. PHOTO: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Ormsby showed positive signs in his first two tournaments after returning from the COVID-19 enforced break recording T25 and T31 finishes before last week, and as an extremely solid ball striker an unfamiliar venue shouldn’t trouble the South Australian, who is one of the better credentialled players in the field.
American Julian Suri has plummeted down the world rankings to sit outside the top 350, having been ranked 60th in mid-2018.
Suri has missed more cuts than he has made in the shortened 2020 European Tour season, but having played major championships and recorded two top-30 finishes in 2018, expect the one-time European Tour winner to bounce back here and make a run for another win if he can make the weekend.
72-HOLE RECORD: Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie reached 24-under (264) on his way to the title in 1989, defeating Rodger Davis, Manuel Moreno and Mike Smith by a whopping 11 strokes.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Dimi Papadatos (2018), Wayne Riley (1996) and Mike Harwood (1988).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff and Wade Ormsby.