Starts: 25th February 2021
Course: Grand Reserve GC, Puerto Rico
2020 Champion: Viktor Hovland
Overall Profit/Loss: +4pts
Pre-Event bets: +10pts
1.25pts EW Justin Suh (1/5 1-6) - 40/1 @ Betfred
1ptEW Scott Brown (1/5 1-7) - 55/1 @ 888 Sport
0.5ptsEW Paul Barjon (1/5 1-7) - 66/1 @ Betfair
0.5ptsEW Rafael Campos (1/5 1-7) - 175/1 @ Bet365
0.25ptsEW Fabian Gomez (1/5 1-7) - 200/1 @ Bet365
1pt Anriban Lahiri Top Asian - 13/2 @ Paddy Power
In-Play bets: -6pts
25 February 2021 (-2pts)
1pt EW Mark Anderson(1/5 1-6) - 50/1 @ Boylesports
26 February 2021 (-2pts)
1pt EW Brice Garnett (1/4 1-4) - 50/1 @ Skybet
27 February 2021 (-2pts)
1.25pts Andrew Putnam WIN Only - 9/1 @ Boylesports
0.75pts Nelson Ledesma WIN Only - 22/1 @ Boylesports
Course Designer: Tom Kite
Couse used since: 2008
Type of Course: Coastal
Rough: Minimal (2 inches)
Greens: Paspalum, 11 on the Stimp
Water Hazards: Nine holes
Par 5's: 2nd, 5th, 15th and 18th
Premium on: Greens in Regulation
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Sunshine the first two days but showers forecast for the weekend.
Thursday: max 17mph winds forecast
Friday: max 16mph winds forecast
Saturday: max 18mph winds forecast
Sunday: max 18mph winds forecast
2015 and 2016 were -7 and -12, but the last three have been between -15 and -20.
Price of Winner
Viktor Hovland was the first at starting odds of less than 50/1. Outsiders do well here.
Look at other coastal events like the Mayakoba Classic, Bermuda Championship and the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
Four of the last six winners were course debutants. However, since 2010 every winner who wasn't a debutant had previously posted a top 13 finish prior to winning.
Six of the last seven winners had made the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The last three winners hadn't played the week before.
Since this became a PGA Tour event in 2008, we have had 10 winners from the USA and two from Europe.
There are no Strokes Gained statistics at the Puerto Rico Open so we revert to traditional stats.
The last four winners have ranked 23-62-1-22.
The last four winners have ranked 16-11-81-6. Distance a definite advantage.
Greens in Regulation
The last four winners have ranked 8-4-1-14. Hitting Greens is the key to success.
Putts Per GIR
The last four winners have ranked 3-3-11-54. An ability to putt Paspalum greens is beneficial.
The 1st and 14th have ranked inside the top three hardest holes in each of the last two years.
The 2nd, 5th and 18th play as the easiest.
The 17th and 18th offer birdie opportunities, ranking stroke index 15 and 16 last year.
Fast or Slow Start
The last four winners have all been within 5 shots after round 1 one. Three of the last four have been within four.
1pt Each Way Scott Brown 70/1 @ 888sport (1/5 1-7)
Scott's price is contracting and we'd like to get him onside before he reduces any further. He's a past winner of this event and has spoken in the past about how his ball striking levels seem to rise when playing here. Windy conditions this week should suit him and he's coming in on reasonable form too, having a posted a 30th place finish at Pebble Beach two weeks ago. We had him at closer to 55/1 so if you need to take 60/1 that is still acceptable.
1.25pts Each Way Justin Suh 40/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-6)
Justin emerged on the scene at the same time as Matt Wolff, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa. Unfortunately injury and a loss of form has set him back but he's now starting to show just how good a player he is. His PGA Tour starts are infrequent but his last four have been highly encouraging, with two top 15 finishes and a top 40. He missed the cut here last year but we can overlook that on the basis he was in poor form then. We also like the fact he did well when playing the PGA Tour Latin America in 2019.
0.5pts Each Way Paul Barjon 125/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-7)
Paul racked up three 2nd place finishes and one third place finish on the Korn Ferry Tour last year. He warmed up for this week with a 43rd place finish last week in his only start of 2021 so far. He's making his tournament debut this week but that is more than reflected in the price. Paul is priced at 125/1 yet his world ranking is 234. This world ranking is similar to Greyson Sigg and Lee Hodges, two players who are priced at 50/1, who both had very similar years to Paul on the Korn Ferry Tour. The price disparity is too great and we think there's a bit of value there with Paul. The other notable with Paul is that he lost in a playoff in Mexico on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, the same event as Martin Trainer won in 2018 before winning here in 2019.
0.5pts Each Way Rafael Campos 175/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-7)
Rafael is a local who has played in all but one of these events (he missed last year due to injury). Two top 10 finishes in this event in his last three starts hint at better to come and we shouldn't ignore the fact that he is now playing injury free for the first time in four years. When interviewed after a 7th place at last week's Korn Ferry Tour event, Rafael said, “I feel so, so close to having it click all of a sudden, and having a great stretch of golf.” Nobody has more course experience this week and the bookmakers are dismissing him far too readily.
0.25pts Each Way Fabian Gomez 200/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-7)
Fabian is a little bit of a punt but we think he's worth a small investment. His recent form is terrible, he has missed his last seven cuts. However, he has shown flashes that his game is coming together the past two weeks. He missed the cut on the number at Pebble Beach but demonstrated some really strong approach play. It was a similar story last week on the Korn Ferry Tour as he posted a first round 68 before a second round 74 resulted in a missed cut. It's obviously a risky play but a return to a course where he's posted four top 25 finishes (inc two top 10s) in seven starts may give him the confidence to post four solid rounds.
1pt Anirban Lahiri Top Asian 13/2 @ Paddy Power
Anirban played in this event for the first time last year, finishing 44th. Despite that finish, he has good form in correlating events as last year he finished 11th at Bermuda and 6th at Puntacana. A former regular in the world's top 100, he is desperate to qualify for the Olympics this year and to do so he must be within the top two Indian golfers in the world rankings. He is currently sixth and we expect him to use this as motivation to put in a good week here.
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