Bjørn and Kaymer return to the Portugal Masters

Having come agonisingly close to claiming his 12th European Tour title in Italy last month, Martin Kaymer is determined to make amends at one of his favourite tournaments, the Portugal Masters.

Kaymer lost in a play‐off to Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg in Milan but the Portugal Masters provides the two-time Major Champion a chance for redemption when he headlines a top class field at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course from October 15‐18.

It will be Kaymer’s sixth visit to Vilamoura, although he is yet to claim victory in the €2 million event with a tie for seventh on his debut in 2007 when he opened with a round of 61 being his best performance to date.

The German revealed that the relaxed environment can bring out the best in him when explaining how much he is looking forward to this year’s event. “It’s a very good tournament. The golf course is brilliant and then when you’re done for the day it’s very nice to visit the marina at night. So it’s got everything you want from a tournament. You can go low at Oceânico, and it’s a lot of fun to play – especially the last few holes. The 15th is a driveable par four, the 16th is a tricky par three and the 17th is an exciting par five where you can easily make birdie or bogey. On the last you have to be very brave with your drive if you want to make birdie. So it’s a very exciting finish, both for the players and the fans.”

On his last appearance at the event in 2013, Kaymer tied for 13th behind David Lynn. Since then he has doubled his tally of Major titles by adding the 2014 US Open crown to the 2010 US PGA Championship although his last victory in continental Europe came at the KLM Open five years ago and the talented German is keen to return to the winners’ enclosure in The European Tour’s traditional heartland.

“My game has been decent recently; I just need to do a bit of fine tuning – especially my short game. That’s probably what cost me the chance of victory in Italy but it’s great to be back playing more regularly in Europe. You get to visit different countries and experience different cultures. I miss that when I’m over in America so it’s nice to be back home and hopefully I can get another win soon.”

Kaymer is joined at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course by Thomas Bjørn, his Danish fourballs partner from the 2014 Ryder Cup. Like Kaymer, Bjørn missed last year’s Portugal Masters after helping Europe retain the Samuel Ryder trophy at Gleneagles and looks forward to returning to the tournament he graced every year from 2007 to 2013. “Last year was the first time I’ve ever missed the Portugal Masters which goes to show how much I enjoy playing the tournament. It’s one a lot of the players look forward to every year because it’s a nice relaxing week – the hotel on site is great. We normally get pretty good weather at that time of year and the course usually offers a lot of birdie chances. My record maybe isn’t as good as I’d like, but I shot a 63 in the second round in 2013 so I know how to go low round there. I missed the tournament last year because I took some time off after The Ryder Cup but I’m looking forward to going back this year.”

Advance tickets to see Bjørn and Kaymer in action in the Portugal Masters are now available to buy through Adult tickets cost €20 if purchased in advance – a saving of €5 on the gate price – and customers can save €10 by buying a season ticket for €50 online, or by calling +44 1344 840538. Under‐16s go free when accompanied by an adult and parking is also free. Hospitality packages are available to buy online at‐victoria‐golfclub/portugal‐masters‐hospitality/852117


Photo: Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer