Nick Dougherty will be among those teeing it up in Portugal. Dougherty is an up-and-coming international star who hopes to play internationally.
My goal is to be able to play all over the world, he said.
Obviously, I think that's what makes Tiger (Woods) and Ernie (Els) the best players in the world, the fact that they play all over and win. You know, Tiger doesn't just play in the States and do well; he plays all over.
I think Ernie and Tiger do it the best way. Probably even more. He plays the premiere events in Europe, Australia, Middle East, and he also plays obviously the big tournaments (in the U.S.) He plans his time so well, and I think that's what makes him so good and that's why he's the second best player in the world is because of where he plays, how much he plays and he's playing in the big tournaments with the big players all the time.
The Estoril Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos will be played at a new venue this season ' the Oitavos Golfe, Quinta da Marinha, Portugal, which has hosted both the European Challenge Tour and the European Seniors Tour in the past two seasons.
Three of this season's tournament winners are in the field in addition to Dougherty - Stephen Dodd of Wales, Sweden's Niclas Fasth and South African Charl Schwartzel. All but Fasth have won for the first time on The European Tour.
Scotlands Sam Torrance will be in Portugal to try to add a third Portuguese Open title to his 21 European Tour titles, having won consecutive Portuguese Opens in 1982 and 1983.
The former Ryder Cup captain is one of six past champions in the field, the others being Mike McLean (1990), David Gilford (1993), Michael Jonzon (1997), Van Phillips (1999) and Gary Orr (2000).
Others included in the field are Scotlands Scott Drummond and Andrew Oldcorn and Spain's Ignacio Garrido.