Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open

2020 US PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open

Golfer measures Putt

With the WGC monopolizing the attention of the golfing world this week, Puerto Rico is the venue for an opposite event that presents amazing opportunities to lower-tier professionals.

2020 US PGA Tour | Puerto Rico Open (Opposite Event)
Coco Beach Golf and Country Club (Composite Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Thursday 20 February 2019 - Sunday 23 February 2019

In recent years this event has become synonymous with Tony Finau’s underachievement: he picked up his only PGA Tour win here in 2016. Greg Kraft won the inaugural edition of this event in 2008, though this will only be the 12th renewal of this event: 2018 was cancelled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. These events present opportunities to fringe PGA Tour players, whether they be young Korn Ferry graduates or salty tour veterans just short of a gallop.

Coco Beach Golf and Country Club is actually a composite course, assembled from four nine-hole Tom Kite creations. Opened in 2004, this exposed course is very susceptible to blustery wind conditions. There are said to be fairly robust winds in the early part of the week, making those tee times all the more crucial. Much likes El Camaleon or Corales Golf Club, Coco Beach is comprised of a rather unique Paspalum grass. So look for corollary form from the Mayakoba Classic and Corales event. Water is in play on 13 holes while the greens will run at around 11 on the stimp. The statistical analysis seems to suggest that what is done from the tee is largely irrelevant. Finding greens in regulation could prove to be the vital stat this week.

With Ian Poulter withdrawing so late, there are very few marquee names in attendance this week. Viktor Hovland leads the markets and it’s only a matter of time till the talented Norwegian breaks through on tour. Alex Noren was once a fearsome Ryder Cup pro but has drifted aimlessly on the PGA Tour in recent years. Scott Brown should enter this event with no shortage of confidence after a compelling performance at Riviera. 

Past Winners
2019: Martin Trainer (-19)
2018: no event
2017: DA Points (-20)
2016: Tony Finau (-12)*playoff
2015: Alex Cejka (-7)*playoff

Outright Betting (To Win)
Viktor Hovland (12/1)
Alex Noren (16/1)
Patrick Rodgers (18/1)
Maverick McNealey (20/1)
Cameron Davies (22/1)

Value Bets

Scott Brown
To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)
Scott Brown is proof positive of the schizophrenic nature of golf. He had missed all four cuts of his 2020 campaign leading into Riviera. Then he went into the deepest field of the year thus far and finished runner-up! And he returns this week to an event that he has absolutely thrived in of late. He won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Puerto Rico Open. Outside of that he has two other top 10 finishes and two further top 5 finishes: he finished in a tie for 10th last year.

Ben Martin
To Win (50/1), To Place (11/1)
Ben Martin is just the sort of steady pro who can exploit a lower-level event such as this. Not normally renowned for his West Coast play, he will thrive on this change of scenery: he has won in Las Vegas before. So he prefers to travel east. You also have to look at some of his best results: he finished 3rd at the Heritage and 5th at the Arnold Palmer. Martin has a pedigree in this event too, finishing 3rd in 2014. He was also 7th halfway in 2011 prior to a capitulation. He has been decent recently, with a top 25 finish at Pebble Beach. The last two winners have both performed admirably at Pebble Beach entering this event: perhaps has something to do with handling the crosswinds.

The Man to Beat

Patrick Rodgers
To Win (18/1), To Place (39/10)
Patrick Rodgers looks like a solid bet in this greatly decimated field. How on earth Alex Noren sits ahead of him in the betting markets is a mystery to me. The first sign of Rodgers’ emergence came with a tie for 9th at a star-studded Farmers Insurance Open. That was his best result on the tour since 2018. He followed that up with a tie for 16th at the Waste Management Open. He then had a highly respectable tie for 30th at last week’s Genesis Open at Riviera. His recent from makes him extremely appealing at 18/1 to win this week. 

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