Lowdown: The European Tour remains on the Iberian peninsula this week for the Estoril Open de Portugal. Defending champion Gregory Bourdy will be joined by a host of top names at Oitavos Dunes in Cascais near Lisbon. Last year Bourdy won the title at Oitavos Dunes after a playoff against David Howell and Alastair Forsyth. The Frenchman secured victory on the third extra hole. This will be the 53rd running of the Portuguese Open and a number of past champions will be in the field. Bourdy will be joined by Paul Broadhurst, Phillip Price, Gary Orr and Michael Jonzon. Young amateur Dale Whitnell is on the start sheet following his victory in the Portuguese Amateur Championship. Designed by Arthur Hills, the course at Oitavos Dunes is a relative youngster. It only opened for play in 2001. It’s links-like in style and is marked by the large sand dunes surrounding most holes. It’s a club that’s conscious of maintaining an environmentally friendly approach to maintenance. This is evidenced by the fact it was the first course in Europe to receive a gold Seal Audubon International award. Venue: Oitavos Dunes, Cascais, Portugal Date: April 2-5 Course stats: par 71, 6,893 yards Purse: €1,250,000 Winner: €210,000 Defending champion: Gregory Bourdy (-18)
TV coverage: Thursday 2nd – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12pm Friday 3rd - Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12pm Saturday 4th - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 2pm Sunday 5th - Live on Sky Sports 3 from 2pm
player watch: Gonzalo Fernandez Castano – The Spaniard was fifth here last year and is beginning to show the sort of form that has won him four European Tour titles. Alastair Forsyth – The Scot lost in a playoff to Gregory Bourdy last year so the course clearly suits his game. He finished in fifth place at last week’s Open de Andalucia so is obviously playing well. Anders Hansen – He already has a victory to his name on tour this season, the Dane is a proven winner. If he’s on his game expect him to be there or thereabouts.
Key hole: 14th. A stunning par-3 of 167 yards, a huge dune flanks the right hand side of the green. Long is better than short of the testing putting surface. Don’t expect to see too many twos here as the leaders come down the stretch.
Skills required: Shot-making. The course is links-like in style and it demands creative approach play and short-game. It’s relatively short by modern standards and there are plenty of birdie chances. With a decent weather forecast this week, expect a winning score of close to -20.
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
One Of The Toughest Bunkers In World Golf... Has Been Made Harder!
The Coffin - which lies next to the Postage Stamp 8th hole at Royal Troon - has been given a terrifying makeover
By Jonny Leighfield Published
8 Perks Of Being A PGA Tour Player
Winning titles and earning a living might be the end goal for most players, but there are also a number of added benefits to life on the PGA Tour
By Jonny Leighfield Published