With the best players in the world contesting the WGC-Mexico Championship this week, the Puerto Rico Open provides a great opportunity for the PGA Tour’s lesser lights to shine.
Puerto Rico Open Preview
After a year off owing to hurricane Maria, defending champion D.A. Points, together with the likes of Graeme McDowell, Daniel Berger and Trevor Immelman tee it up in the Puerto Rico Open this week.
The Puerto Rico Open was first held in 2008, in the same week as the WGC-CA Championship. In 2016 it moved to be held opposite the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and this year it sits alongside the WGC-Mexico Championship. Past winners of the tournament include Greg Kraft, Chesson Hadley, Alex Cejka and Tony Finau. Two years ago, D.A. Points birdied his first five holes and four of his last six in a roller-coaster final round to stay ahead of two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen.
South African Goosen is one of nine Major champions who will play this week, the others being Trevor Immelman, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, John Daly, Angel Cabrera, David Duval, Todd Hamilton and Mike Weir.
Other notable players in the field include Peter Uihlein, Andres Romero, Rickie Barnes and Aaron Baddeley.
Coco Beach Golf Club boasts two courses – The Championship and the International. The Championship Course is set within the trees and it features a number of water hazards. The tournament is contested over a composite of these two courses, showcasing the best holes from each.
The weather forecast looks set fair with clear skies and only a moderate breeze.
Venue: Coco Beach Golf & CC, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Date: Feb 21-24
Course stats: par 72, 7,506 yards
Defending Champion: D.A. Points (-20)
Peter Uihlein – He was tied fifth last time this event was held. He may not have shown the best form so far in 2019, but this event could provide the springboard for the season he needs.
Corey Conners – He was tied third in the Sony Open in Hawaii and will be hoping to refind that sort of form this week.
Retief Goosen – The South African was runner-up at this venue last time the event was held back in 2017.
Key hole: 13th. It may be only 410 yards but it’s one of the most testing holes on the course – ranking among the toughest. A lake runs the entire length of the hole on the right side and more water encircles the green. This is one where precision is required on both drive and approach.