Puerto Rico Open
Analysis and write-up provided by KendoVT. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to see each player’s tournament history.
While all the A-list golfers of the world head over to Austin, Texas for the WGC Match Play, the leftovers head to Coco Beach Golf Club and Resort for the Puerto Rico Open. This is probably one of the weakest field tournaments all year making it difficult to find six golfers you really like and have faith in to fit into your DraftKings lineups this week. Risky plays will be the norm but I will do my best to try and help guide you into picking the right golfers. Coco Beach Golf Club is a 7,500 yard par 72 course with four par 3s and four par 5s and has hosted this event the past eight years. The Championship course has a wide range of landscapes consisting of mountains, lakes, and oceanside holes. Off the tee golfers will see wide fairways with very light rough. Like most ocean side courses, bunkers and water hazards will be in play off the tee. The greens use seadwarf paspalum grass which is very similar to bermudagrass greens. They are average in size overall but there is a wide array of small and large greens. Bunkers, water, and run offs will be prevalent around the greens as well. The course generally plays easy but if the winds pick up, it will make the course a lot more difficult. Looking at the current weather report, winds should be in the 15 mph range with stronger gusts, so looking at golfers who perform well in the wind could help this week.
Looking at the course description above and trends for the course the last few years, a few key stats come to mind. With this being a weak field everyone’s stats will not look great. You don’t want to exclude someone this week just because they have awful stats. While stats are always important, I think in a field like this current form will be more important than usual. I will be looking at course history as well.
Key Stats For The Course
***In order of importance with the most important first. Not including Strokes Gained Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SG:T2G), which are key stats every week.
Overall Proximity to the Hole (Prox)
There really aren’t too many problems off the tee making approach shots more important than anything a golfer does on his drive. Birdies will need to be made to compete so hitting it close will be key. 22/29 golfers that finished Top 3 in the last eight tournaments here have finished inside the Top 125 in this stat for the specific season they finished Top 3.
Birdie or Better Percentage (BoB%)
As long as the winds don’t get crazy, this is usually a birdie fest. Last year the winds gusted to nearly 30 mph making this course a lot harder than its usually played. Though the winds will be up this year according to the current weather forecast it shouldn’t be the monsoon type winds we saw here last year. Many birdies will need to be made to get high on the leaderboard. Other than last year, the winner of this tournament usually made around twenty birdies during all four rounds. 20/29 golfers that finished in the Top 3 the last eight years has been inside the Top 125 in BoB% for that specific year.
Par 5 Scoring (P5)
There are four par 5s on this course and golfers will need to take advantage of them to score well. 22/29 golfers that finished Top 3 here the last eight years has been inside the Top 125 in this stat for the specific year they were Top 3.
Bogey Avoidance (BA)
Scoring should be high as long as the golfers don’t see winds over 20 mph and according to the current weather forecast the wind will only be around the 15 mph range the whole week. Avoiding bogeys will be important if golfers want to reach the top of the leaderboard.
High End Picks ($9000 and up)
Scott Brown ($10,900):
Brown has the best current form coming into this tournament. He made all four of his cuts during the Florida swing with two Top 10 finishes. He has also made all four of his cuts at Coco Beach with three Top 10s and a win here a few years ago. His stats are well above average and he seems like the safest play out of all the golfers in the field.
William McGirt ($10,500):
McGirt struggled on the weekend last week but has made four of his last five cuts with three Top 25 finishes. He has made both of his cuts at Coco Beach and has the best stats by far out of anyone in the tournament. He’s 20th in SG:T2G, 23rd in BoB%, 37th in BA, 58th in P5, 57th in SG:P, and 39th in Prox.
Patrick Rodgers ($10,200):
Rodgers had a little bit of a lull during most of the Florida Swing but rebounded nicely last week at Bay Hill with a Top 20 finish. He’s 22nd in SG:T2G, 41st in BoB%, 9th in P5, and drives the ball very well. The talent is there with him and a win should be coming sometime this year. Maybe this week.
Retief Goosen ($9,700):
Retief has had a pretty consistent season so far making 5/6 cuts and finishing as high as 11th a couple weeks ago at the Valspar Championship. He hasn’t played this course before but has enough total experience that I don’t think this will faze him.
Alex Cejka ($9,500):
Cejka probably has the best value out of all the players in this top tier. He comes in as my #1 golfer overall this week and #2 when only taking key stats into account. He won this tournament last year and has decent current form, making 7/11 cuts this year with two Top 10s.
Tony Finau ($9,200):
Finau is a talented golfer but has had a disappointing year so far. He played well last week though. He only finished 43rd but he got 82 DK points because of how many birdies he made. He was only 13 DK points behind Zach Johnson and ZJ finished 5th. This tells you how important birdies are and Finau can make a bunch of them on this easy course this week.
Jonathan Byrd ($9,000):
Byrd has had good success at Coco Beach making all three of his cuts here and finishing no worse than 16th. His stats are well above average. He hasn’t played too much this year but has made 3/4 cuts so far in the 2016 season.
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Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.