Its Anybodys Ball Game in Portugal

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European TourThis week the European Tour's biggest names have made their way across the pond in preparation of the upcoming Players Championship and The Masters which in turn leaves the field wide open for the 11th edition of the Madeira Island Open at the Santo da Serra course in Portugal.
 
One of the more picturesque courses on the European Tour, it is located some 2,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by exotic flowers and numerous types of trees including mimosa, eucalyptus and pine. Its challenging greens are set against the spectacular backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Diego Borrego of Spain will return to the island location as the defending champion after his dramatic one stroke victory last year. In a final round that saw only two players in the field break 70 due to howling winds, Borrego was up to the task as he collected his second title on The European Tour's International schedule.
 
Des Smyth, the Irishman who won the event in 2001 to became the oldest winner in European Tour history at the age 48 years and 34 days old, also will be back for one more shot at a title before moving on to the senior circuit.
 
The course, which opened as an 18-hole layout in 1991, was originally a nine-hole course that dated back to 1937, before being redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Sr.
 
Statistical Preview of the Madeira Island Open