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BlogPuerto Rico Preview and Picks

Puerto Rico Open

March 23rd – 26th, 2017

Coco Beach Golf & C.C.

Rio Grande,, PR

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,506

Purse: $3 million

with $540,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Tony Finau (will not defend)

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes just 6 player from the top 100 in the latest Official World Rankings, #73 Wesley Bryan, #80 Thorbjorn Olesen, #82 Graeme McDowell, #90 Chris Kirk, #98 Danny Lee and #100 Andrew Johnston.

The field includes no top 25 players on the FedEx point standings for 2017, the highest rank play is #41 Chris Kirk.

The field includes five of the seven different champions: Alex Cejka (2015), Chesson Hadley (2014), Scott Brown (2013), George McNeill (2012) and Michael Bradley (2011 & ’09).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Puerto Rico field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Puerto Rico in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Puerto Rico.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

INVITATION TO JOIN OUR GOLFSTATS/DRAFTKINGS FANTASY GAME.

If your a member and play DraftKings games, we now have a weekly game.  

Here is the invitation to join our game:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 11.02.54 AM

                                                                                     Hit this link to join our DraftKings Fantasy Game

PS.  Sorry, I was under the impression that they were doing a Match Play game but I was looking at the Masters game, so this invite is not for Match Play but for Puerto Rico that starts on Thursday morning.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Puerto Rico Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Championship Honda Classic Genesis Open Panama Claro AT&T Pebble Club Colombia Phoenix Open Farmers CareerBuilder Challenge Sony Open
Wesley Bryan
(154.33 pts)
69
(0)
T7
(55)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Dominic Bozzelli
(96.67 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
5
(23.33)
DNP
Graeme McDowell
(82 pts)
T28
(22)
T14
(36)
DNP T14
(24)
67
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graham Delaet
(78.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T22
(28)
DNP 10
(26.67)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
T54
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.T. Poston
(75.33 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T27
(15.33)
T17
(22)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T34
(5.33)
T64
(0)
Luke List
(58 pts)
T17
(33)
T27
(23)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(3)
T13
(12.33)
Fabrizio Zanotti
(57 pts)
DNP DNP T12
(57)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Stallings
(56.67 pts)
DNP 68
(0)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
8
(16.67)
DNP
Scott Brown
(49.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T57
(0)
T2
(66.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
T41
(3)
T58
(0)
T64
(0)
Jonathan Byrd
(46.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP 61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandon Hagy
(46 pts)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
T80
(0)
J.J. Spaun
(42.33 pts)
T49
(1)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
T9
(15)
T50
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Danny Lee
(40.67 pts)
T17
(33)
T22
(28)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(3)
DNP
Tyrone Van Aswegen
(35 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP T27
(15.33)
71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T71
(0)
T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Seung-Yul Noh
(34 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T43
(4.67)
T11
(26)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T57
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
David Hearn
(32.67 pts)
T34
(16)
T18
(32)
DNP T43
(4.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Seamus Power
(30.33 pts)
DNP T27
(23)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T21
(9.67)
T49
(0.33)
Willy Wilcox
(30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Alex Cejka
(30 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T55
(0)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP 74
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.J. Henry
(30 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(22)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP T66
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Nick Taylor
(25.33 pts)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T54
(0)
T34
(5.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jonas Blixt
(24.67 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Robert Garrigus
(23.67 pts)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP T36
(4.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T17
(11)
DNP
Matt Jones
(22.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Ian Poulter
(22.67 pts)
T41
(9)
T41
(9)
DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Puerto Rico Open

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar WGC Mexico Championship Honda Classic Genesis Open Panama Claro AT&T Pebble Club Colombia Phoenix Open Farmers CareerBuilder Challenge Sony Open
Steven Bowditch
(-46.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
T51
(0)
Spencer Levin
(-43.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
John Senden
(-36.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Every
(-36.67 pts)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Retief Goosen
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Ricky Barnes
(-32 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kyle Reifers
(-29.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T39
(3.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Sam Saunders
(-29.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Steve Marino
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T63
(0)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Brett Stegmaier
(-26 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T39
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Things you need to know about the Puerto Rico Open

This will be the 10th Puerto Rico, the tournament got started in 2008.  This has always been a tournament about second tier players, giving opportunities to those that didn’t qualify for the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.  This is a perfect way for a bottom-tier player getting himself full status with a win.  Unfortunely the winner gets just about every adelaide that is given to a regular winner with the exception of one important invite, to the Masters.  Augusta won’t extend an invite to the winner in Puerto Rico this week.  Another snub, the new Ryder Cup list won’t include money earned this year.

Course information:

  • Coco Beach Golf & C.C – Puerto Rico
  • Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
  • 7,506 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • Don’t let the name fool you, two years ago this course was named Trump International.  But that was in name only, Trump just managed things and when the property went into bankruptcy, so did the Trump name.  Course has a 77.7 rating and slope rating of 135 fron the championship tees. The course is public and also sells local memberships.
  • In 2016 Coco Beach had a scoring average of 71.76 and was the 24th hardest course on tour. In 2015 this course was the 13th hardest course on the PGA Tour with a 72.570 average (high average due to high winds all four days).  In 2014 Trump International was the 41st hardest course on the PGA Tour with a 70.788 average and in 2013 the course played to a 70.229 average and was ranked 38th.
  • Course is part of a 36 hole complex that was built in 2004 by Tom Kite.  The championship course, which is the lakes and ocean nines are used for the championship. The 18 hole is flat with 13 of the 18 holes having water in play for the professionals.  There are 62 bunkers and the greens are 6,000 square feet, which is average size.  Course has a special grass on it, SeaDwarf Paspaium which is a lot like Bermuda but can tolerate salt and takes a low qualify of water to survive.  The course is very tough for the average player while it’s very manageable for the pros that will play it this week.  Since the course has opened, it’s gotten the reputation as the best course in Puerto Rico.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Puerto Rico Open:

Key stat for the winner:

So what key stats is important at Coco Beach?  Players that hit it long tend to do better, but the course is a bombers paradise.  Because of the high winds that hit the course, hitting greens is tough, last year it was the 31st hardest in greens hit, in 2015 it was the 20th hardest while in 2014 it was the 38th hardest.  In looking at all the stats other that driving distance nothing else stands out.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • There is no rhyme or reason to winning this event.  Since it’s a second tier event it’s a combination of a PGA Tour and a Web.Com tour stop.  So there are no real favorites because there are no true marquee players that you know of.  One thing of the past winners, done of them achieved great success on the PGA Tour so this is for many just a stepping stone to get full time access to the PGA Tour.
  • Since 2013 was the first year that they collected stats, hard to find what type of player wins.  So the key is to look at two things, first past results on this course and how they are playing going into the event.  One thing about the winners the last two years (Alex Cejka and Chesson Hadley) both hit lot’s of greens, last year Cejka was T-3rd in greens in regulation.
  • Weather will play a factor this week, it will be warm with temperatures in the low 80s, but rain is in the forecast for all four days.  Winds will be light for the area, with it blowing around 11mph all four days.
  • Will a newcomer win this week?  Probably.  It’s more about a player being in the right place at the right time.

 

Who to watch for at the Puerto Rico Open

Best Bets:

Peter Uihlein

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T6 CUT

Has done some great things on the European Tour this year, he did finish T-6th in this event in 2013.

Ian Poulter

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T3

On a quest to overcome injuries and return to his place in the top-50, his game has been sharp and he returns to a place that he finished T-3rd at last year.

Scott Brown

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T5 T10 64 Win T5

Has played terrible in Florida, but he seems to have a good vibe at Coco Beach, is 50 under par in 20 rounds in which he has shot 8 of them in the 60s and only been over par three times.

Best of the rest:

Wesley Bryan

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Never played in this event, but he is really hot right now finishing in the top-ten in three of his last four starts.

Graham DeLaet

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 T18 T9 T24

Has played very well in Puerto Rico, look for him to contend on the weekend.

Luke List

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T15 T50

Has been consistent on tour in 2017, is 16 under par in 8 rounds at Coco Beach.

Alex Cejka

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 Win T54 CUT T13 CUT

Always finds a way to play well in Puerto Rico.

Danny Lee

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 T48

Watch him, last time he played in Puerto Rico he was runner-up and has had some good finishes in 2017.

Solid contenders

Graham McDowell

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Never played in Puerto Rico, but look at the places he has won at Heritage, Mexico, Sea Island, Pebble, all course by an ocean just like Coco Beach.

Matt Jones

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T14 T5 T44

Has played well in Puerto Rico, been off and on in his play on Tour.

Chris Kirk

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Playing in Puerto Rico for the first time, has struggled this year but has shown signs of playing well, was T-7th at Mayakoba, a course just like Coco Beach.

Long shots that could come through:

Fabrizio Zanotti

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T27 CUT

A player to watch, not well know has played in Puerto Rico with little success but his game has come around on the European Tour.

Ryo Ishikawa

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T73 T19 T39 2

Almost won this event in 2012, has had and up and down year with a lot of good finishes, especially in Japan.

J.T. Poston

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Another young kid to watch, never played in Puerto Rico but has the game to contend and has played good of late.

J.J. Spaun

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Has the explosive type of game that could contend this week even though he has never played in this event.

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