With just eight events left in the Race to Dubai, this week's Portugal Masters is a pivotal opportunity for middle-ranking players ahead of much tougher competition during the final series. Paul Krishnamurty recommends following four players right in the thick of either the fight to reach the top-60 and the Dubai finale, or the top-110 just to retain their cards...
"This has been a bitterly disappointing season, with the former Ryder Cup hero a pale shadow of his 2012 self, but recent evidence is much more encouraging."
Race to Dubai ranking: 56
Portugal Masters odds: 130.0129/1
Just four places inside the cut line, Grillo is by no means certain to qualify for the Dubai World Championship, which would be a shame to miss after producing a career best in another elite Gulf event, the Dubai Desert Classic. There are at least a couple of excellent chances left to make sure.
The 22 year-old hasn't been playing badly in mid-division and continuing to impress in the long-game department. He's missed both previous cuts in the Portugal Masters but is improving and this wide open venue should suit his style. Even more promising is the forthcoming Perth International, where he led at halfway en route to fifth place as a very inexperienced rookie.
Race to Dubai ranking: 74
Portugal Masters odds: 100.099/1
This Aussie stalwart will obviously be at home in Perth and, as a former Portugal Masters champion, should have high hopes of at least making headway towards the top-60.
After a terrible spell that saw him miss last year's top-110, Green has got his act together this term and been showing bits and pieces all summer. The highlight was finishing runner-up in the Open de Espana, and two top-20 finishes from his last three starts show he's in fair form.
Race to Dubai ranking: 85
Portugal Masters odds: 36.035/1
There aren't many players who could trade at 36.035/1 for this week's event, despite languishing in 85th place on the money list, but the market knows Colsaerts is a class act. This has been a bitterly disappointing season, with the former Ryder Cup hero a pale shadow of his 2012 self, but recent evidence is much more encouraging.
Colsaerts has hit just below 80% of greens in regulation in his last four events, finishing 13th at Crans and fourth in Wales. He was 15th at this week's Oceanico Victoria venue last year and the Belgian bomber should be perfectly suited to this generous layout.
Race to Dubai ranking: 112
Portugal Masters odds: 140.0139/1
Further down the list, there's no more shocking name to be found outside the top-110 than former Open champion Lawrie. We can be absolutely certain that this admirable pro will be busting a gut to save his card and there is reason to be confident of improvement.
Lawrie's long game is in good nick, hitting 74% of greens in regulation over the past three months, 86% for last week's top-20 finish. The problem has been putting but a solid course record may increase confidence on the greens. Lawrie was runner-up here in 2008 and 11th three years ago. A Top-10 Finish is certainly within range.