Puerto Rico Open Preview
February 19, 2020
We are treated to multiple tournaments this week with the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open and the WGC Mexico Championship. You will be able to watch the Puerto Rico Open on Golf Channel and the WGC Mexico on NBC who takes over coverage until the Masters (thank god). Despite coverage issues last week, we were treated to a great final round with Adam Scott prevailing. With his win, Adam moved up to 9th in the world rankings. While the top golfers in the world head to Mexico we preview the Puerto Rico Open.
With the top golfers in the world teeing it up in Mexico City, we get to see some players try to breakthrough and propel their career. A great example of taking advantage of multiple events is Brendan Todd. He was able to parlay his victory at the Bermuda Championship into a trip to Mexico City. There will be 120 players taking on Coco Beach for the 12th year of the Puerto Rico Open. Following a T-2 finish, Scott Brown will be the early favorite with his great success over the years at the event. What is really odd about this alternate-field event is that winners of this event have not won another event on tour. Let’s see if the curse can be broken this year.
Coco Beach Golf & Country Club will play host this week’s Puerto Rico Open. Designed by Tom Kite, this 7,557 yard par 72 will give everyone a chance. Despite the length, we have seen all types of golfers win here. With wide fairways and very little trouble you can expect low scores. The one protection against the golf course will be if the winds are up.
Players to Watch
I will be keeping an eye on Viktor Hovland this week as he looks to pick up his first victory on tour. The betting favorite will look to win an alternate-field event similar to Collin Morikawa and lock up exemption on tour. Hovland has yet to finish inside the top-20 so far this year so I am interested to see if he can figure it out this week.
A player I am really curious to see this week is Scott Brown. He is coming off a T-2 finish at last week’s Genesis Open. What is interesting about this finish is that he missed the cut in his previous 4 starts prior to last week. He has a stellar track record at this event including a victory in 2013. Let’s see if he can continue the momentum.
A rookie on tour that has quietly put together a great start is Matthew NeSmith. He has started with 6 consecutive cuts made with 4 top 20 finishes. NeSmith is coming off a T-11 at Pebble Beach and looks to breakthrough for his first tour victory.
Winning scores have been in the double digits every year except for 2015 so expect to see a winning score around 18 to 19 under. The wind looks like it will be up for the opening round but will be rather calm throughout the week.
I really like Matthew NeSmith this week to pick up his first tour win. Unlike Hovland, NeSmith has the high finishes and looks to keep it going. He is a great ballstriker and will look to take advantage of the scoring opportunities that Coco Beach provides.
Draft Kings Lineup
Well it has been a tough last two weeks for my Draft Kings lineup so let’s see if we can right the ship and get back to making money. We don’t have as many opportunities for bets with this alternate-field event so we are going to risk a small amount in the $1K Short Game contest. Here are my picks:
- Matthew NeSmith- $9,100
- Beau Hossler- $8,900
- Zac Blair- $8,700
- K.H. Lee- $7,800
- Bill Haas- $7,400
- Wes Roach- $6,800