The Puerto Rico Open provides players that aren’t ranked high enough to get in this week’s WGC Mexican Championships with an excellent opportunity to grab a win, as the field is made up of mainly out-of-form players.
The 2019 Puerto Rico Open is the eleventh renewal and, like the previous ones, it is being played at the Coco Beach Golf and Country Club in Rio Grande. The course is a par 72 measuring over 7,500 yards, with water featuring on 13 holes. The greens are only average sized, which can make them difficult to hit when the wind blows across this exposed layout, as it is expected to this week. For that reason, the greens are forecast to run at 11 on the stimpmeter, which is slower than average for the PGA Tour.
The wind really is definitely a major factor here, with the winning score being as low as –7 when it has blown in the past, whilst –20 has been needed to win this event in calm conditions.
The Market Leaders
This really should be a great opportunity for a budding young proven winner like Daniel Berger to get his career back on track this week but his lack of course form and current form isn’t encouraging. It’s much easier to make a case for Peter Uihlein, who was fifth in 2017 and sixth in 2013, but his current form also leaves a lot to be desired.
That means the first pick this week is Graeme McDowell who, despite missing the cut here in 2017, should have much more motivation to play well this year. He’d dearly love a spot at the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush in his native Northern Ireland and there’s no reason why he can’t book one with a victory here. He should be ideally suited by a test of accuracy in the wind, whilst his eighteenth place at Pebble Beach two-weeks ago means he comes here in good form.
The Course Specialist
If there’s one player that has consistently performed well here over the last few years it is Scott Brown. He won the 2013 renewal, beating no less than Jordan Spieth into second. He’s also posted two other top-five finishes and a top-10 from six visits. He’s been playing reasonably of late too, on courses that aren’t ideal. His last five finishes have included a ninth and two other top-40’s, which is pretty good in the context of the field this week.
Should Be Suited By The Drop-In-Class
Robert Streb’s recent form may not catch the eye but he’s played well several times when dropped to this sort of class in the past. Those performances include a win at last season’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on the Nationwide Tour, and he also recorded a top-10 in last year’s Barracuda Championships, an event which is also played in a week where many of the top players play in a bigger event. His course form is encouraging as well as he’s finished top-15 on his two previous starts in the event.
Puerto Rico Open 2019 Tips
Graeme McDowell (Each-Way)
Scott Brown (Each-Way)
Robert Streb (Each-Way)