With the ‘big guns’ in action in Florida for the WGC-Cadillac Championship there are obviously less star names on show at the Puerto Rico Open. However, such is the strength in depth in the game right now that there are strong fields appearing every week across the globe.
It’s early days in the FedExCup race but there are 250 points up for grabs and with the stars names absent, the Puerto Rico Open is a great opportunity for someone to step up to the plate.
Brendon de Jonge starts as the favourite at 16/1, proof that the field is wide open, and there are a host of other names that have been struggling for form of late but should help to make this an entertaining affair alongside the ‘main event’, the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Michael Bradley is back to defend his title that he won in 2009 and ’11. The latter of those Puerto Rico Open victories came in a play-off against Troy Matteson, although Bradley looked to have blown his chance when missing a short putt on 18 in regulation play.
It’s back to the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande for the 2012 Puerto Rico Open.
Venue: Trump International Golf Club, Puerto Rico
Date: March 8-11
Course stats: par 72, 7,569 yards
Purse: $3,500,000, Winner: $630,000
Defending Champion: Michael Bradley (-16)
Jeff Overton – Seems to have gone a bit quiet since coming to our attention at the 2010 Ryder Cup. Showed signs that he could be over his slump with a few decent rounds at last week’s Honda classic.
Henrik Stenson – Has played a lot of golf in the States and may not have enjoyed the last couple of seasons, but surely it’s only a matter of time before the likeable Swede turns his game around. Like Overton, there were more positive signs at the Honda Classic.
Key hole: 18th. Although a decent enough chance to finish with a birdie, at 630 yards par is no bad thing. Over-aggressive shots can be costly as recovering from going long is hard to say the least.
Skills required: There’s water everywhere. Sixteen-under-par may have got the job done last year, suggesting an easy track but it’s hard enough at over 7,500 yards and avoiding the hazards is a must.