Open de Portugal at Morgado Resort
marks the return of the emblematic contest
Open de Portugal is one of the oldest and, therefore, one of the most emblematic tournaments of the European agenda. When the European Tour was created in 1972, Open de Portugal was already in existence since 1953, and was one the founding events of the European first division.
From this first edition and up to 2010, this event was only not held in 1957, 1965, 1970, 1980 and 1981, but was absent from 2011 to 2016, returning this year at Morgado Golf Course, a course of the NAU Hotels & Resorts in the municipality of Portimão.
Major names of worldwide golf have passed through the tournament, with its champions including stars of the class of Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie, Fredrik Jacobsen, Carl Pettersson, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Thomas Bjorn. Thomas Bjorn was the last of the winners at Penha Longa in 2010 and, therefore, holder of the title, in addition to being the current captain of the European team of the Ryder Cup.
This year the contest is held from 11 to 14 May, with 500 thousand euros of prize money, and will be the first event of the European Tour of 2017 on European soil, after the circuit has passed through South Africa, Australia, China, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Mexico, India, United States and Morocco. The same will happen with the Challenge Tour, a circuit that kicks off in Kenya, follows on to Turkey and will then spend the high point of its season in the Algarve. This is because the event is designed with a dual ranking format, similarly to what occurred during years with the Madeira Islands Open BPI.
In the case of the European second division, the Challenge Tour, the tournament has the status of major, one of the most important events of the year. To a certain extent it will actually be the most relevant, as it is the only tournament of the Challenge Tour in 2017 in which the champion is immediately promoted, in offering a one year exemption from the main circuit, the European Tour.
In terms of the national sports agenda, Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf will form a triumvirate of luxury events with the Millennium Estoril Open (in tennis) during the previous week and the WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal (car racing) in the subsequent week.