The player garnering a good amount of the spotlight is American Paul Holtby who is playing on a sponsors exemption after winning the Big Break IV - The Golf Channel's golfing reality series. This will be the first of two European events the California native will play this season.
'Im playing some of the best golf of my career, better at 38 than at 22, he said. Lets just say Im an 18-year-old with 20 years of experience.
With many of the tour's top stars already on U.S. soil in preparation for next week's Masters, defending champion Paul Broadhurst, rising star Nick Dougherty and two-time champion of this event, Phillip Price, will be several of the names to watch for come Sunday afternoon.
This year's event will be hard pressed to match the excitement from a year ago when Broadhurst actually bogeyed the final hole to win his fifth career title.
Barry Lane and Paul Lawrie were leading the field when the came to the 17th but things unraveled for the both them on the final two holes. Lawrie took a triple bogey at 17 and then watched as Lane took a quintuple-bogey nine at 18 that dropped him all the way down to fifth place.
Broadhurst's victory came almost a decade after his last win, which came at the 1995 Peugeot Open de France.
Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam is also set to tee it up in Portugal and will no doubt turn some of his attention towards players with possible Ryder Cup aspirations.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.
After a week off for the Masters, the tour will again head back to the Far East for a pair of events - the Volvo China Open and the BMW Asian Open.