The Irishman, from Drogheda became the oldest player – at 48 years and 34 days – to win a main European Tour event here last March, breaking a record that had stood for nearly ten years.
His 12 under par total over the undulating and spectacular Santo da Serra course, equalled the 72-hole record set by Santiago Luna in 1995 and Niclas Fasth in 2000.
Also in the field is another veteran Mats Lanner, twice a winner on the Island, Volvo PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn, Seve Ballesteros and the big-hitting American Hank Kuehne.
However, one of the favourites will be Nick Dougherty, the 19-year-old Lancastrian who finished tied second in Qatar last week and is destined to win a tournament sometime very soon.
His mentor, Nick Faldo, will be keeping a close eye on his progress, while competing in the Players Championship in Florida and will have a word of encouragement for his protégé before the youngster tackles the tricky, terraced course, high in the mountains.