Golf Rankings for Puerto Rico Open
It will be an entertaining week in the Yahoo! game as we have only three golfers in Group A - Tony Finau, Brendon de Jonge and Rory Sabbatini. I'll rank two of them in the top 30 this week, but feel free to mix and match as you see fit. We also won't need to worry about using a start for a guy we might want to save for later in the year. There isn't a single golfer in this tournament that I will come close to using all 10 starts on in 2016.
In Group B we have the chalk players and I will follow the chalk in Group B. I won't do anything cute. Group C has the bulk of the golfers in this event and you can only choose two. There is still enough chalk here where I will stick with it again.
The top 66 golfers in Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) tee it up at the Dell Match Play so the of the Tour heads to one of the many United States territories – Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach is held at the Coco Beach Golf & Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Coco Beach is a 7,506 yard par-72 course designed by Tom Kite and nestled just outside the El Yunque Hills Rainforest.
Coco Beach has paspalum greens which we see in other Oceanside tournaments like the CIMB Classic, OHL Classic at Mayakoba as well as the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. According to Rory McIlroy, these greens allow the pros to fire at the greens which can only help those longer approaches stick. The greens are slower and truer which should help the poorer putters in the field.
The Coco Beach course is the same course that this tournament has been held on since its inception in 2008. The course changed names this year from Trump International Puerto Rico as the course filed for bankruptcy in late 2015. If you want to learn all about it, feel free to read more here. It's also another smaller field with just 128 golfers in the field and four qualifiers coming on Monday. Again, the cut rules remain the same so we will see a larger percentage of the field make the cut than usual.
Brown is four for four in cuts made with a win in 2013 and two other top 10s. The former Puerto Rico Open champ also has four straight cuts made on the PGA Tour. Current and course form meet for my favorite to win this week.
Kelly has made five of seven cuts at the Puerto Rico Open though much of his success came in the first two years of the tournament (T2 and T9). The veteran has not played up to his usual level, but this course should rekindle old glory.
Byrd has played here three times and finished in the top 20 each of those three trips including the last two years. The American comes in with two top five finishes in his four 2016 tourneys across the Web.com and PGA Tours. Byrd's profile from 2015 works well enough.
Rodgers will be popular this week, but I will still be on him. He finally got back on the horse last week with a T20 after missing three weekends in a row. His statistical profile will help him succeed as he makes his debut at Coco Beach.
When using 2016 stats, McGirt grades out as the best option this week. He’s made both cuts here in his two trips including a top finish of T14 in 2012. He opened last week with a round of 69 and then disappointed the rest of the way to finish 73rd. His four top 25 finishes in seven 2016 events shows he can challenge when he sees the weekend.
There is an argument to be made the Freddie Jacs is the best player in the field. The sweet-swinging Swede made his only stop here back in 2011 and finished T14. His profile works even if he isn’t the best scorer in the world.
So, the crème de la crème this week is Graham DeLaet. I’m not sure that we will see this ever again. The bearded Canadian played here three times (not since 2013) with three top 25 finishes. He never wins (and I do not believe that streak ends here), but he is the class of the field.
Cejka’s profile fits the course so he has a chance to repeat as champion. He’s made only three of five cuts at the event, but saw the weekend in his last two Tour events. The German (by way of the Czech Republic) has had some success at other similar events (CIMB, OHL Classic and RSM Classic).
Hadley won here in his debut in 2014 and backed that up with a T16 last year. Yet, his profile does not fit the course. His form is off with only one top 25 finish (at the Honda) in his last 25 events. That's correct - in his last 25 events!
Weekley has three top 10s in his last three starts at the Puerto Rico Open over the last four years. Like our next choice, Weekley is out of form. In fact, he is waaaaaaaaaaay out of form having made just one cut in seven PGA Tour starts this year. However, the native Floridian finished in the top 20 at the OHL Classic and RSM Classic which are both played on similar style courses.
McNeill has been out of form all year making just two of six cuts on the season. However, he’s made four of four cuts at Coco Beach including a win in 2012 and two other top 20 finishes. His profile from last year fits well, but he’s been awful this year. Roster him if you believe in the course history. If current form is your deal, then he doesn’t belong anywhere near your team.
Tony Finau - World Ranking: #67
We have our first Group A player! Finau makes his debut here and finally made a cut last week at the API (T43). If 2015 Tony Finau shows up, he could run away with the title. But, we haven’t seen that Finau yet this year. I believe he does well here and it's not like we have a lot of choices in Group A.