While the big names battle it out in Florida, the real betting fun on the PGA TOUR this week comes courtesy of the Puerto Rico Open.
We’ve got a mix of players from the PGA, Korn Ferry and Euro Tours headlining this event.
Coco Beach plays at around 7,500 yards for a par 72. It’s long, but players don’t need to bomb it off the tee to compete here. We’ve had Tony Finau and Viktor Hovland break through here against the likes of Steve Marino and Josh Teater, but shorter hitters like Scott Brown and Chesson Hadley have victories, as well.
The course is wide open outside of a few lakes and the rough is pretty short, so if players just stay dry, they won’t find too much trouble here. If the wind picks up, it can play more difficult. We’ve seen winning score range from 7-under to 20-under depending on the breeze.
Prior to Hovland’s win last year, this had been an event where young, up-and-coming players get a taste of contention before falling just short to a veteran. Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Daniel Berger and Jason Day all have a runner-up finish here.
The top of this board looks more like a slow week on the European Tour. Thomas Pieters and Matt Wallace opened at co-favorites at +1400 (favorites’ odds courtesy of bet365). Neither have played the event and their results early in the year have been pretty mediocre. But both are strong drivers and can set up well here against a field of this caliber.
Ian Poulter and Emiliano Grillo are next in line at +1600. Poulter has been struggling on the greens in recent weeks, but does have a third here in 2016. Grillo is also pretty comfortable on the course, finishing second and third in his last two starts.
Branden Grace (+1800) and Byeong Hun An (+2000) are looking to get their games back on track after a downturn in their careers over the past year or two. Like the co-favorites, neither of these two have played the event before, so we don’t really know how they’ll fit.
I’ll pass altogether on this group although Grillo is a real threat. It just hasn’t been a place where the top guys have come and won outside of Hovland last year.
This is a spot where it seems that basically anyone in the field can win, so I’m really just looking for any glimpse of recent form or a good result or two here and a good price.
I’ll start my card off with Kramer Hickok at +6600 on BetMGM. Hickok got off to a good start this year with a 19th and 21st in his two starts, but he hit a bump in the road the past couple weeks. But he’s been driving the ball well this year and was eighth in Bermuda this fall on another island course.
We’ll back Bronson Burgoon here at +6000 on Bet365. Burgoon is a strong driver who has made his last three cuts. The game has been erratic, but he’s had pieces working in each event this year and it looks like it’s more about just getting everything going on the same week.
I’ll also have my usual Davis Riley play here at +5500 on DraftKings. He was in contention late on Sunday on the Korn Ferry Tour last week, before a bad back nine sunk his promotion chances. But the game is coming around and he’s worth a look in these alternate events.
Here’s where I’ll usually just grab a few guys and hope one works their way into contention.
I’ll start here with Roberto Castro at 125/1 on DK. He’s a guy I usually back here. He’s got a great track record, though it probably makes for a better matchup or fantasy play than an outright selection. He’s made the cut in all five appearances here, finishing in the top 30 on each occasion.
I always seem to get drawn to Rafael Campos on the islands and this week is no different. He’s available at 200/1 on DK and played a solid event on the Korn Ferry Tour last week in which he took seventh. He’s also got two top-10s in his native Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Open Card
- Davis Riley +5500 (.6 units)
- Bronson Burgoon +6000 (.55 units)
- Kramer Hickok +6600 (.5 units)
- Roberto Castro +12500 (.24 units)
- Rafael Campos +20000 (.16 units)
Total Stake: 2.05 units