Of all the many frustrations during this very tough year, I think the Portugal Masters golf betting takes the biscuit. It wasn’t just that I’d made a strong case for the winners of both tournaments, only to overlook them. Equally as annoying was to back three each-way selections in Portugal who all tied one shot outside of the places. Such small things add up over a season. Still at least the results were encouraging in the sense that most of the selections fared pretty well, and surely we’re due a change of luck soon!
 
Two major conundrums must be addressed this week, which sees the third Mediterannean event in succession in the form of the Castello Masters. One concerns the very hot favourite and defending champion Sergio Garcia; the other whether to keep the faith with recent selections who have played well without quite doing enough to land a return. Were Alex Noren in this field, he would certainly have been a pick, but he’s not and that leaves CHARL SCHWARTZEL and DANNY WILLETT from last week’s narrow losers.
 
I’ll deal with that pair shortly, but first to Garcia, who starts at the measly odds of 11/2. Obviously, after the miserable season he’s endured, my first reaction upon seeing that price was to laugh. But then we also need to consider that Club de Campo is virtually his home course, where his dad is the course professional. Furthermore, he won this event in a canter last year, by three shots. If there are any greens in the world that don’t give Garcia nightmares, one would expect it to be these.
 
But that still leaves the problem of that extremely short price. Opposing Garcia at all costs has been the best strategy of 2009, and any comparisons with last year need to factor in that he was in markedly superior form then. Indeed, at the start of the season, many of us were tipping Sergio to challenge Tiger Woods for the World No.1 spot. How long ago that seems. So while he is feared greatly, and in honesty if he were 8/1 I’d have been a backer, 11/2 is just too short and each-way alternatives must be preferred.