This week, the Pro’s of the PGA have their choice of tournaments as we are set up with the Puerto Rico Open and the WGC-Mexico Championship.
For those that are not qualified for the WGC event, most will tee it up here in Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Open.
This particular article will focus on the Puerto Rico Open, but be sure to check out the WGC-Mexico Championship article, which has been posted earlier today.
The tournament will get started on Thursday, February 20 and run through Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Puerto Rico Open
The Puerto Rico Open is routinely one of the weaker fields on tour mainly because many of the top-rated golfers choose to head to the WGC-Mexico Championships. This is the 12th year for the Puerto Rico Open but in all reality, it has only been played 11 times as two years ago it was canceled due to the hurricane. The tournament was initially played in 2008 and has been played each year since then at the Coco Beach Golf Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Routinely, this tournament has been played in March, opposite of the WGC-Dell Match Play, however last year, it was moved to February due to logistics. The prize fund for this tournament is set at $3,000,000 with the winner taking home a check for over a half million dollars ($540,000).
Puerto Rico Open History
Two years ago, as we said earlier, the tournament was canceled due to the hurricane and the conditions of the course. The tournament was actually played as an unofficial pro-am beneficial charity event and was won by George and Cheyenne Woods. Last year, the tournament was won by Martin Trainer.
In 2017, DA Points came out and took a 2 stroke lead on the final day to beat Bryson DeChambeau, Retief Goosen and Bill Lunde. Points shot a -20, which missed the course record by 1 stroke, set in 2014 by Chesson Hadley.
In 2016, Tony Finau made his Puerto Rico Open debut and won the tournament over Steve Marino in 3 playoff holes. That was the first win for Finau on tour. Wind was prevalent that year and gave trouble to many of the PGA pro’s throughout the tournament.
That has been a historical trend at Coco Beach so make sure you look for golfers that play well in windy conditions.
The previous winners of the Puerto Rico Open are:
- 2019-Martin Trainer
- 2017-D.A. Points
- 2016-Tony Finau
- 2015-Alex Cejka
- 2014-Chesson Hadley
- 2013-Scott Brown
- 2012-George McNeil
- 2011-Michael Bradley
- 2010-Derek Lamely
- 2009-Michael Bradley
- 2008-Greg Kraft
The Coco Beach Golf and Country Club is the site of this week’s Puerto Rico Open. Coco Beach Golf and Country Club was formerly known as Trump International. Coco Beach Golf and CC is one of the easier courses the pro’s will play on tour but it is LONG!
The course itself plays over 7,500 yards and has 4 par 5’s that reach between 530 yards and 640 yards. The course is a Par 72 but don’t let this distance and size of the course fool you. This is a very easy course and we should see scoring in the upper teens to low twenties.
As we said earlier, this course is played long at over 7500 yards but ball strikers aren’t necessarily the most important attribute to focus on. Looking over the course, you do NOT have to be a bomber to succeed at Coco Beach Golf and CC.
Due to some of the course factors, in addition to the rain in the forecast, I am putting more weight into Driving Accuracy, Scrambling and Proximity to the Hole. I am also putting weight into Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and Birdie or Better %.
- Par 5 Scoring Average
- Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green
- Birdie or Better %
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Driving Distance
- Driving Accuracy
Maverick McNealy +2000 – McNealy is at his lowest odds of the year, mainly because this is a very weak tournament, however that being said, I still think he presents very strong value due to the lack of competition in this week’s tournament. McNealy hasn’t played here in Puerto Rico but don’t let that scare you off as this is a very easy course to play on and he should have no issues.
Cameron Davis +2200 – Davis finished in 16th place here last year and comes in with decent form, finishing with a 38th, 36th, 29th and 9th place finish over his last 4 tournaments. With the lack of real competition here this week, he could jump out to a lead and not look back.
Matthew NeSmith +3300 – NeSmith enters this tournament with some hot form, coming off an 11th place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and hasn’t finished outside of the Top 32, in 2020.
Zac Blair +5500 – Blair comes in with great odds this week at 55/1. He comes in with great form, finishing in 18th place at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 21st two weeks prior at the Farmers Insurance Open.