Golf form expert Barry Plummer previews the action
The game’s biggest names might be teeing up at the Concession for the WGC-Workday Championship, but there is still plenty of interest in the Puerto Rico Open with the likes of Ian Poulter, Matt Wallace and Tom Lewis in the field. Is it a Ryder Cup year, by any chance? (Captain Padraig Harrington is also here…)
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Puerto Rico Open: The details
Venue: Coco Beach & Country Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Dates: February 25-28, 2021
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. Two par-5 holes that measure over 600 yards will test the players, especially as this event is often the site of maiden PGA Tour wins.
Purse: $3 million
Last year’s champion: Viktor Hovland (-20)
Puerto Rico Open: Staking plan
I’ve picked out a couple of players I believe are worth backing this week…
Emiliano Grillo – 2.5pt e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365
Grillo has an excellent record at this event, with a 2nd and 3rd place finish in his last two appearances here. His recent form has also been respectable, with a 22nd place finish in his last outing at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. His form on Paspalum courses is worth noting, having secured an 8th place finish at the Mayakoba earlier in the season when chasing Puerto Rico Open Champion Viktor Hovland. His positive performances in the Corales Punta Cana Championship further justify his selection here, demonstrating he knows how to navigate this type of track. Impressively, he ranks 9th for SG: Off-the-tee in the last three months and 5th this season for GIR percentage, so certainly has the capabilities and experience to take an event at this level.
Patrick Rodgers – 2pt e/w @ 33/1 with Bet365
A solid closing 69 at the Genesis last weekend saw Patrick Rodgers claim a T12 finish in an elite field. The Puerto Rico Open offers a great opportunity for Rodgers to back that up, while the best players in the world battle it out at The Concession. Two appearances in this event previously have yielded respectable finishes, with the highlight a 21st place in 2016. Rodgers has form on Paspalum, securing his best finish of the season so far when 11th at the Corales Punta Cana Championship. He also ranked 3rd for SG: Putting on tricky greens at the Genesis, which is an incredible achievement against some of the top putters on tour and one that will serve him well this week. In a weaker field, I can see Rodgers following up his impressive display to challenge here.
For more prices, visit Bet365.
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