Ryder Cup rookies Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher (pictured by Getty Images) are set to tee up in the 2014 Portugal Masters from October 9-12, two weeks after they represent Paul McGinley’s European team against the United States at Gleneagles.
The Ryder Cup theme will be augmented by the participation of Europe’s captain, McGinley, and the man he hopes to emulate later this month, José Maria Olazábal, who will also be at Gleneagles as one of the Irishman’s vice-captains two years to the week since guiding his charges to a brilliant comeback victory at Medinah.
Scotsman Stephen Gallacher, who was one of McGinley’s wild card picks after he narrowly missed out on automatic qualifying, has produced some fine performances at the stunning Oceânico Victoria Golf Course on Portugal’s Algarve in recent years, finishing tied third 12 months ago – largely thanks to weekend rounds of 65-66 – and tied sixth in 2012.
Frenchman Dubuisson has long been set for his Ryder Cup bow, having sealed an automatic place by the spring courtesy of some superb form in the more lucrative events, and this year will be the 24 year old’s third appearance in the Portugal Masters. He tied for 17th place last year after an impressive 67 on the final day.
Adding to The Ryder Cup flavour is the presence of Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson and Francesco Molinaro, who were part of that 2012 team, will also be in the field for the €2million event in Vilamoura, which is one of the most popular tournaments on the European Tour International Schedule.
Molinari has a fabulous record at Oceânico Victoria, which has been the host venue every year since the inaugural edition in 2007, finishing runner-up in 2009, tied second in 2010 and never missing the cut in seven appearances.
Richard Green, the man who pipped Molinari to the title in 2010, will also return for the 2014 Portugal Masters, as will his fellow former winners Steve Webster (2007), Alvaro Quiros (2008), Shane Lowry (2012) and David Lynn (2013).
Once again the home challenge will be spearheaded by Ricardo Santos, who has strong connections with the tournament as he has always lived in Vilamoura and his wife works at Oceânico Victoria.