As the world’s highest-ranked players head to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Puerto Rico Open represents a great opportunity for players to pick up a PGA Tour win at Grand Reserve Country Club. Take a look at my selections below, but first…
- Also this week: Arnold Palmer Invitational betting tips
Puerto Rico Open preview
Venue: Grand Reserve Country Club (Championship Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Date: March 2-5, 2023
Course stats: Par 72; 7,506 yards
Course summary: This Tom Kite design is a flat, wind-exposed track with water in play on 13 holes. Paspalum fairways weave toward average-sized greens, with solid approach play required to find the putting surface. Four par-5 holes will be a welcome sight for players if the wind plays ball, so don’t be surprised if we get a low-scoring affair.
Purse: $3.8 million
Defending champion: Ryan Brehm (-20)
2023 Puerto Rico Open betting tips
The Each-Way Play: Brice Garnett @ 40/1 with Bet365
There are two or three events a year where Brice Garnett’s name makes his way on my radar and those are typically the Corales (which he won in 2020), the Mayakoba where he has four top-11 finishes, and here, where he plays very well.
Garnett has 5th and 7th place finishes to his name in this tournament over the past two years and was 20th the year before that as well, which suggests he likes this layout. This is no surprise given the links to Corales and Mayakoba and it is very clear anything coastal on Paspalum grass suits him.
He is by no means in electric form, but he was 21st at the Sony and 55th at the Honda last week and warming up with those two results is fine enough preparation for him ahead of this one.
Take a chance on a course specialist at 40-1.
The Other Each-Way Play: Kyle Stanley @ 60/1 with Bet365
It is 2023 and I am betting on Kyle Stanley, which feels wrong, but at the same time appears so right in this field.
Last week in the Honda Classic, Stanley ranked 4th in Greens in Regulation and 2nd in Driving Accuracy, and if he can repeat that kind of performance this week and put together something like an acceptable week on the greens, he can definitely win this tournament.
Stanley has finished 16th and 3rd in his past two visits here and he doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this field, so I think he’s worth a bet at the odds.
The Long Shot: Rafael Campos @ 100/1 with Bet365
Like Garnett, Rafael Campos’ name is not one that you think about every week, but there are certain events you circle each year for him and his home event is one of those.
Campos has finished 3rd, 8th, and 10th on this golf course, with the 3rd coming just two starts ago here, so there’s every reason to think he can compete at home once again.
The Puerto Rican finished 12th two starts ago in the Bahamas, an event he has already won before, but he went into the final round just two strokes back of the eventual winner, Ben Silverman, and that is another great sign that he could come back here and contend at a decent number.
This field is so limited, I cannot look past a strong course performer who has played well in a field arguably better than this two starts ago when he is listed at 100-1!
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