World-class Field Lined Up for the Inaugural Portugal Masters

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The world's greatest golfers will travel to Portugal's Algarve region to take part in the inaugural Portugal Masters on October 18 to 21 at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura.

A field of 126 players will compete for the three-million-euro prize fund with a first prize of 500,000 euros. The course, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, alternates well-positioned bunkers with lakes and waterfalls, providing a continuous challenge for players.

The local favorite in the tournament is José-Filipe Lima, who represented Portugal in the 2005 World Cup alongside Antonio Sobrinho. The 25-year-old won the 2004 Aa St. Omer Open, but at that time he was still representing France, having been born in Versailles. But with both his parents Portuguese, Lima opted to change nationality at the end of the 2004 season and has not looked back, improving his position in the European Tour Order of Merit in both 2005 and 2006.

"My mother and father are both Portugese and I love this country, that is why I made the change," said Lima, who will aim to become the second Portuguese winner in European Tour history after Daniel Silva who won the 1992 Jersey European Open. "It is important to play for yourself in golf, obviously, but it is also important to play for your family."

Other elite players in the Portugal Masters include two-time US Open Champion Retief Goosen of South Africa, Paul Lawrie of Scotland, winner of the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, and two-time Masters Champion José Maria Olazábal of Spain.

A host of other winners from the 2007 season will also be in action. These include the English duo of Justin Rose and Nick Dougherty, the English duo of Ross Fisher and Graeme Storm, Scotland's Marc Warren, Frenchmen Grégory Havret and Raphaël Jacquelin, the Spanish trio of José Manuel Lara, Pablo Martin and Alvaro Quiros, and 13-time European Tour winner Miguel Angel Jiménez.

In addition to the established stars, the Portugal Masters will also welcome some exciting new talents on The European Tour. These includes Argentine Andres Romero, who came within a whisker of claiming the Open Championship at Carnoustie before winning the following week in the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe at Gut Kaden in Germany.

The Portugal Masters will be the first tournament to be played at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Club, since the 2005 World Cup in Portugal. The Welsh duo of Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge, who triumphed on that occasion, will both return.

The Portugal Masters further enhances Portugal's commitment to The European Tour, with the country already having hosted two other tournaments on The 2007 European Tour International Schedule, the Madeira Islands Open BPI, won by Argentina's Daniel Vancsik, and the Estoril Open de Portugal, won by Spain's Pablo Martin.

For further information, please contact:
The European Tour Communications Division
Tel: +44 1344 840400
Fax: +44 1344 840444


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