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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Puerto Rico Open - Preview

Tournaments like this week's Puerto Rico Open can often be the difference in a full-season league championship for a savvy gamer, so we will do our best to make sure we take advantage of the opposite-field event while the casual golf fans in your league focus all of their attention on Tiger and Phil in Doral. 

In truth, this tournament is the opposite of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in almost every way. Doral is all about going with the strength of the field, whereas Trump International GC has rewarded a string of winner's that are mostly TOUR afterthoughts. Puzzling is that it isn't exactly a birdie fest, but rather a 7500+ yard course that should require some skill to navigate. 

Here is a list of winners and runner-ups since the inception of this tournament in 2008:
  • 2008 - Winner - Greg Kraft (14-under) ; Runner-up - Jerry Kelly and Bo Van Pelt (13-under)
  • 2009 - Winner - Michael Bradley (14-under); Runner-up - Jason Day and Brett Quigley (13-under)
  • 2010 - Winner - Derek Lamely (19-under); Runner-up - Kris Blanks (17-under)
  • 2011 - Winner - Michael Bradley (16-under); Runner-up - Troy Matteson (16-under)
  • 2012 - Winner - George McNeill (16-under); Runner-up - Ryo Ishikawa (14-under)
I guess there's some logic to tipping Michael Bradley, given he's won the tournament in every odd-numbered year, but I can't do that in good faith. Troy Matteson and George McNeill strike me as similar players. Both pretty long and both show up in a handful of events every year, but never with much consistency. 

The outlook isn't totally bleak. There are a handful of players with a nice course history here who warrant strong consideration given their current form. Matt Jones jumps to mind, as does Kevin Stadler. After some time to research, we will be back tomorrow with a power ranking to try and make sense of a tournament that's always been tough to peg. 

Until then, happy research!

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