2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Prediction and Picks
Ready to bet this weeks on the 2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Odds? Coco Beach Golf & Country Club has hosted every edition of the Puerto Rico Open. At 7,506 yards, the stock par 72 is one of the longest tests of the year. Large greens are necessary for the same purpose as what defends them: wind. Exposed on the coast on the northeast corner of the island, there’s no escaping it. Easterly breezes ranging 10-15 mph are the norm, as are daytime highs in the 80s and a persistent threat for rain.
2017 Puerto Rico Open
When: March 23-26, 2017
Where: Coco Beach Golf & Country Club, Puerto Rico, Rio Grande
Format: 72 holes – Stroke Play
Defending Champion: Tony Finau
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
The Tom Kite design is positioned back in the pack among all courses tee to green, which helps define it as a fair test. Doubling down on that, the confluence of elements in Puerto Rico benefits ball-strikers with an emphasis on the second shot into large targets.
Putting the Sea Dwarf paspalum greens pinning at just 11 feet on the Stimpmeter isn’t as challenging as it is finding the proper landing area in the wind, especially from rough grown to two-and-a-half inches.
Two-putting can be a reasonable goal. The course ranked 13th in putts per GIR last season and 10th in three-putt avoidance. (ShotLink has not been maintained throughout the tournament’s history.)
2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Favorites:
Graeme McDowell +1800
Embraced opportunity at Mayakoba 16 months ago, winning on the paspalum along the shore. Consistently strong since T24 in title defense: 7-for-7 with three top 15s.
Graham DeLaet +1800
His combination of power and precision has yielded top 25s in all four visits and actual scoring average of 69.44. Connected four top 25s recently. Sits 24th in ball-striking.
Graham DeLaet: The Canadian is gaining strokes putting and had his first missed cut last week after four straight top-22 finishes.
It may feel a little weird spending $10,600 on on Graham DeLaet, but that’s the nature of the Puerto Rico Open. And when it comes down to it, DeLaet has the form (four Top-22 finishes in a row before missing the cut at Bay Hill last week), he has the course history (four Top-25 finishes in four starts here, including a T11 last year), and he has the statistical profile (14th on Tour in strokes gained off the tee, 15th in strokes gained putting and 42nd in birdie-or-better percentage) that you’re looking for in someone to anchor your lineup.
Wesley Bryan will likely be a popular pick considering he’s the highest-ranked golfer in the field, and I like him here, as well, but DeLaet gets the nod as a potentially lower-owned option.
Wesley Bryan +1800
Wesley Bryan: Crashed on Sunday with a bad round at Bay Hill, but he’s playing good golf overall and is taking on a weak field.
Bryan came down to Earth last week at Bay Hill, finishing near the bottom of the weekend leaderboard with a lousy Sunday. However, this is a field he could beat.
2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Contenders:
Matt Jones +2500
Peter Uihlein +2500
Just 1-for-3 here but logged a T6 in 2013. Inspiring form since December has produced five top-15 finishes worldwide, including a solo fourth and T17 earlier this month.
Peter Uihlein: Uihlein typically plays on the European Tour, and he’s playing really well after coming back from an injury and surgery last year. Almost won here previously.
Ian Poulter +3000
Coco Beach is the site of his last top 10 anywhere. He tied for third after holding the 54-hole lead in his debut last year, so there’s some unfinished business on the island
Luke List +3000
Cut from Tony Finau mold as a bomber with a balanced bag. Sits 32nd in ball-striking and T1 in par-5 scoring. Shared 15th place at Coco Beach last year. Six top 25s in 2016-17.
After a red-hot stretch to start the season followed by three missed cuts in a row in late January and early February, List appears to be regaining his form, going T52 at the Honda Classic, T27 at the Valspar Championship and most recently, T17 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Moreover, he’s a strong fit for this course, as he can bomb it (second on Tour in driving distance), he’s good with his irons (38th in strokes gained approaching the green), and, perhaps most importantly, he’s first on Tour in Par 5 scoring average (there are four Par 5’s on the card, two of them easily reachable for a player with his distance, so he has a good chance to eat on those).
He’ll be popular, but this is a tremendous spot for him to grab his first PGA Tour win
J.T. Poston +3300
Scott Brown +3300
Thoroughbred for the course. Second in all-time earnings in the tournament. His 5-for-5 record includes a win (2013), two T5s and a T10. Co-runner-up at Riviera a month ago.
Scott Brown: Brown is similar to Weekley, in that his Puerto Rico record is good. Brown has missed two consecutive cuts after making eight in a row, including a T-2 at Riviera
At 33-to-1, this horse-for-course pick is making most cuts but only has one top-10 finish all year.
Chris Kirk +3500
Banking on a turnaround where his tee-to-green proficiency can stand apart even in his first look at Coco Beach. Tied for seventh on paspalum in Mayakoba debut in November.
Danny Lee +3500
First trip back since a solo second in 2014. He ended a recent slump with a T22 at Copperhead and T17 at Bay Hill. Might be again hearing clock ticking on Presidents Cup bid.
Fabrizio Zanotti +3500
Fourth appearance for the 33-year-old from Paraguay. Currently 78th in the OWGR thanks to a win in Malaysia in February and a T12 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
David Hearn +4000
Alex Cejka +4500
Brandon Hagy +4500
Another player who brings power off the tee, Hagy ranks fourth on Tour in driving distance, 30th in strokes gained off the tee and 56th in Par 5 scoring.
He also enters with quietly solid form–he has finished 33rd, 21st and 28th in his last three tournaments–and a 16th-place finish in his only other trip to Coco Beach in 2015. Hagy may not be a household name, but he should absolutely thrive inside a field like this one.
J.J. Spaun +4500
2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Sleepers (+5000 or higher):
Boo Weekley +5000
Boo Weekley: If you’re thinking about a horse-for-course pick, Weekley is one of your good bets. However, his PGA Tour record this season is spotty at best.
Dominic Bozzelli +5000
Nick Taylor +5000
Scott Stallings +5500
Seamus Power +5500
The Irishman can score well on the Par 5’s (16th in scoring average), he tends to avoid major blow-ups (39th in bogey avoidance), and he has already shown a comfort level on Seadwarf Paspalum greens, finishing 15th at last year’s Olympics, which featured the same surfaces.
In a weak field, at $5500, Power is as good as it gets
Chesson Hadley +6000
Will MacKenzie +6000
Cameron Percy +6600
Cameron Tringale +6600
Camilio Villegas +6600
Seung-Yul Noh +6600
Sung Kang +6600
Thorbjorn Olesen +6600
Tim Wilkinson +6600
Tyrone Van Aswegen +6600
John Peterson +7000
Jonas Blixt +7000
Bryson DeChambeau +7000
Ben Crane +7500
Robert Garrigus +7500
Willy Wilcox +7500
Andrew Johnston +8000
Harold Varner +8000 – T34 at Bay Hill is best result after sputtering since winning in Australia in December. Ranks 41st in ball-striking. Loves to air it out, so he should enjoy his PRO debut.
His form has been so-so over the last couple months, but he did turn in a 34th-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, a number that would have looked a lot better had he not blown up with a 77 on Sunday.
He’s a bit risky, but he’s 23rd in driving distance and 26th in strokes gained off the tee, so he has a good chance to put together some low rounds here.
Martin Flores +8000
Ryan Blaum +8000
Sam Saunders +8000
K.J. Choi +9000
Fabian Gomez +10000
Hunter Mahan +10000
2017 PGA Puerto Rico Open Picks:
David Hearn +4000. The Canadians get another W on the PGA tour in 2017.
Golf handicapper DAVE B weighs in each week with his top selections. Including top picks and sleepers!
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