Puerto Rico Open – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Coco Beach Golf & Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
–Previously known as “Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico”
7,506 yards – Par 72 – Seadwarf Paspalum Greens

Strength of Field Rating: < 50 OWGR ... Weak Field Course Architect: Tom Kite and Bruce Besse, Jr. (2004)

Stimpmeter: 10.5 to 11 feet … Slow Greens
Fairways Hit (Field Average): 65% … Easy Fairways to Hit
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): 69% … Easy Greens to Hit
Course Difficulty (Relative to Par): -0.76 … Easy Course

Average Temperature: 85 degreees… Warmer Weather
Average Wind Speed: 18 mph … Very Windy on Average

Tournament Angles

Par 72 Courses
Long Courses
Paspalum Performance
Less-than-Driver Courses
Weak Fields
Windy Rounds
Slow Greens
Coastal Courses
Performance in the Winter

Previous Winners

2018: Canceled (Hurricane)
2017: D.A. Points -20 over Bryson DeChambeau, Retief Goosen, Bill Lunde -18
2016: Tony Finau -12 over Steve Marino in a playoff
2015: Alex Cejka -7 over Tim Petrovic, Sam Saunders, Jon Curran, Emiliano Grillo in a playoff
2014: Chesson Hadley -21 over Danny Lee -19
2013: Scott Brown -20 over Jordan Spieth, Fabian Gomez -19
2012: George McNeill -16 over Ryo Ishikawa -14
2011: Michael Bradley -16 over Troy Matteson in a playoff
2010: Derek Lamely -19 over Kris Blanks -17

54-Hole Leaders

2018: Canceled (Hurricane)
2017: Chris Stroud -15
2016: Ian Poulter -11
2015: Scott Brown, Chris Smith -6
2014: Chesson Hadley -16
2013: Scott Brown, Fabian Gomez -18
2012: George McNeill -13
2011: Troy Matteson -16
2010: Kevin Streelman -17

36-Hole Leaders

2018: Canceled (Hurricane)
2017: Bryson DeChambeau, Bill Lunde, D.A. Points -11
2016: Rafael Campos -9
2015: Alex Cejka -7
2014: James Driscoll -12
2013: Andres Romero -14
2012: Matt Jones -11
2011: Troy Matteson, James Driscoll, Chris Tidland -10
2010: James Nitties, Chad Collins -10

First-Round Leaders

2018: Canceled (Hurricane)
2017: Trey Mullinax -9
2016: Rafael Campos -8
2015: Mark Hubbard -4
2014: Brian Stuard -6
2013: Cameron Percy, Andres Romero -7
2012: Matt Jones, George McNeill -6
2011: James Driscoll -9
2010: Kyle Blanks, Skip Kendall -7

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Played extremely well at the Genesis out at Riviera, that’s poa annua, it’s paspalum here in Puerto Rico. What’s the adjustment you have to make?
Well, the greens here are obviously a hair slower than there and a hair softer, but we’re constantly telling ourselves to hit them on these greens. They’re a little bit slower historically because of whatever it might be, wind gets up a little bit around here, but the adjustment is the same. Just have to adjust the read. Riviera, kind of very undulating like these greens but different pace so you see a lot more break at Riviera versus here. -2017

Q. As we worked through the rain here, 70 today, you lost in a playoff here two years ago. What do you like about this track?
It’s a great layout, it’s a good golf course. Today was the calmest I’ve ever played it in the third year I’ve played here now. Obviously you see with the low scores today the course was pretty gettable. But I think we’ll get some wind, the traditional wind that we get here throughout the week and start getting a little bit tougher out there. But I think it’s just a great layout for the predominant wind you get here off the ocean, you get a lot of crosswinds and I tend to play well in the wind so I think that’s kind of why it fits my game. -2017

Q. Is there anything that you were confident coming into the week with that you felt really kind of connected with your game, that was working well for you?
Yeah, I’ve been hitting it really well lately. I’ve been driving it well. You know, he story for me, it’s kind of when I play well is when I start to putt well. Out here, you know, coming from Bay Hill where the greens were like super fast and slopy, out here they’re a little bit slower so you can be more aggressive and, you know, just play firm with your putts nd be aggressive. If it goes a foot past, you’re not worrying about three-putting. So it’s just ben nice to kind of be aggressive with the putter this week. -2017

Q. The course has taken on over five inches of rain so far this week. Is there any sign of that, is it draining pretty well, is it impacting you much?
I wouldn’t say it’s impacting it much. It’s making the course play long. It’s already a long golf course on the scorecard, but with it being that wet, it plays long. But you can still have plenty of scoring opportunities. Yeah, I mean for five inches of rain, it’s definitely soaking wet out there, definitely had some mud balls, stuff like that. That’s just part of it. It’s a little wet, but I think it will hold up hopefully. -2017

Q. And finally, I think you played here last year, you had a top-20 or top-21 finish here last year. Is this an event — ideally you’d like to be in Austin, but I guess these events do serve a purpose?
Yeah, this is a great event, great golf course. Really one of the best golf courses we play. The only reason we scored so well this week is there’s been no wind. It can play really tricky, this course. So today and the whole week really was all about putting. You have to make a lot of putts and that’s what I did. -2017

Q. Tomorrow, ideal scoring conditions, the wind’s been down, the course is softened, here are a lot of guys near the lead. What do you need to do to separate yourself?
Well, you’ve got to make birdies. I’ve been here a number of times, probably five or six times, and I’ve never seen it this calm. It’s usually kind of fast and furious out there, so it is a lot different. We’ll probably have the ball in our hand again tomorrow because of the forecast, so that makes a big difference with having perfect lies and all that. But it’s going to be a shootout tomorrow. -2017

Q. Hunter Mahan, first time playing in this event, opened with 70. Your impressions of this golf course?
Yeah, it’s an excellent golf course. You know, you’ve got room off the tee but the greens are all very unique to themselves and you’ve got to really know where you’re going to attack from and how the ball’s going to land. With the rain we’ve had, the greens are a little slow, so getting used to that this week has been my biggest challenge. -2017

Q. Here with Trey Mullinax, brilliant course record, a course record-tying 63. I’m actually not sure where to start. You got married last Saturday, but I’m going to start with the golf today. Impressive round of golf. Your feelings about today?
Yeah, I hit the ball really well. Obviously to shoot the score I shot today you have to putt well, so I putted really well. But it was nice to hit the ball like I feel I’ve been playing. I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball well, just haven’t been scoring, but today I hit the ball nice and it was a good result. -2017

Q. Obviously coming back to a place where you had some good success last year. What does that do for you when you come back to a place such as Puerto Rico knowing you’ve had the success you’ve had?
Well, it’s always nice to play a course you played well in the past. Obviously last year was, it was a good week. It was a shame not to birdie 18 and get in the mix with a playoff. It’s a good course. It sets up well for me in the wind. If we get decent wind over the four days, I’ll be pretty happy with that. The course is playing nicely and it’s a little softer than it was last year so the ball’s not quite got as much run on it, which makes it a little easier on a couple of holes and it will make it difficult on a couple of the longer holes. So I think it kind of balances that out. But I’m looking forward to the week. -2017

Q. So what do you like about this golf course and how do you think your game fits with it?
I think I play pretty well in the wind and it’ll always blow hard out here, so got to hit the ball low and keep control of your ball. -2017

Q. And last thing, you’re back here living now?
I’m back here living now. I live like 40 minutes away from here. I practice at TPC Dorado Beach. Great golf course over there. But yes, I’ve been here, but lately, lately I haven’t. I did move to Puerto Rico, but yeah, I’ve been more traveling to try to get back to — I mean, when I was in therapy I went to Miami for two months to get therapy and one month here in Puerto Rico. So yeah, it’s been on and off the last year or so here in Puerto Rico. -2017

Q. What do you like about the course?
You know, I’ve always played pretty well here. I think the course has a lot of character. I think it has some long holes, and it’s got some short holes, and if you hit it good and make some putts, you can shoot some decent scores, but if you hit bad shots, you get penalized. And it’s a nice walk. It’s flat. The surroundings are really good. So I don’t know. I’ve always come here and felt pretty good and played halfway decent. -2015

Q. Back in familiar position. Must like the course?
Yeah. It’s certainly a lot harder this year than it was last year because the wind and blowing mock eight out there. -2015

Q. One thing that you think fits your game the best about this course, going back to last year and this year?
I think just the way the holes set up. It fits how far I hit the ball. Like the fairway bunkers are positioned in places where I can hit driver, hit 3-wood or hybrid or whatever and I’m not really stressing about what club to hit. Like I mean I know exactly what club I’m pulling, you know, walking to the tee. It’s not a hard decision and so that’s what I like so much about it is just the easy decisions I feel like this course provides, me at least. -2015

Q. Just talk about the conditions out there the last couple of days with all the wind and what you’re doing well.
Well, I really enjoy playing this golf course. I think it’s just one of those courses you gotta drive the ball well, I like playing here.

Q. Even with the wind?
Yeah. I think with the wind, you just gotta hit your shots solid. You can’t fake it around the golf course. And I haven’t been hitting it that well the last couple of days, but I’ve hit it well enough to kind of keep it in play and not have any errors, and I’ve made a couple of short-game mistakes three or four times the last couple of days but overall I’ve played solid. -2015

Q. This seems like one of those courses where you get a guy that likes a course, seems to always bubble up like Michael Bradley, past champion is doing well, Chesson, yourself. What do you think that is?
I’m not sure, just familiar with kind of the conditions of the course. It sets my eye pretty well, and I think it’s got a great mix of holes. It’s not our typical TOUR course now where it’s so long. It keeps a lot of us in the game a little bit here, and I think that’s why you see that. -2015

Q. What do you like about the course here?
Really everything. I mean I always putt well on bermuda-type greens, grainy greens. But yeah, it’s really pretty. There’s a good mix of long, tough holes where you got four, five, 6-irons in and then a good mix of holes where you can be aggressive and bomb driver down there. So it’s just a good golf course. -2015

Q. Talk a little bit about the course. You said it’s playing pretty well?
Yes. I mean, I think it’s a tricky course. You definitely need to drive it well. There’s lots of water hazards around. There’s not much rough, at least not that I’ve seen so far. It might be growing relatively quickly because of the heat. The greens are nice and tricky. Some of them are really, really small. Others are bigger, but most of them you can find a pattern of pretty wrinkled, lots of slopes, and then definitely some tough run-outs with some tight up-and-downs to tricky pins. Yeah, you definitely have to keep an eye for them. -2014

Q. Wind is always a factor on this course. It seems like in the afternoon it was definitely a factor. Did you kind of struggle with that a little bit?
Yeah, at the beginning, definitely. We teed off close to 1:00 so the wind was up already. Yeah, there was a couple holes where you have into the wind and you’re not really sure, sometimes like it’s just swirling a little bit, so you don’t really know which way in that moment the wind is going. Yeah, wind is definitely a factor. I know afternoon waves have it a little bit more. It’s just a matter of being able to take advantage tomorrow morning, get off to a good start, and go from there, really. -2014

Q. There’s always a wind factor here. How did that treat you today?
It keeps you cool. It’s a pleasant wind, because the golf course is designed for this wind. You just kind of have to play your shots and take a few extra clubs and get through it. I grew up at a place where it’s pretty windy, so I like it. -2014

Q. You mentioned the wind; the wind is always a factor on this course. How did you kind of deal with that?
Well, I’m kind of used to this wind now because Dallas is having a really cold, windy winter, and I should say spring, but I’m kind of used to playing in the wind right now. -2014

Q. Tell us a little bit about the course.
You can hit some bad tee shots, and if you hit it in the right area to miss it, you can still get away with it with the bad tee shots, but second shot is very critical out here. You want to hit it in the right area to make your putts, or you want to miss it on the right side to make up-and-downs, otherwise there’s impossible up-and-down areas out there. You do not want to go there. -2014

Q. You mentioned the course a little bit. But just tell me thoughts on the course this year. How are you feeling?
Course is great. You know, it’s in good shape. It’s soft, obviously with the showers we keep having.
You just gotta keep it in play. You know, there’s a lot of hazards there if you’re wide off the tee. If you drive the ball well, you’re going to have chances, and obviously you have to make the putts. -2014

Q. Tell me a little bit about the course. How is it playing?
I like the course. I was down here a couple of years ago and had a pretty good tournament. I don’t remember exactly what I shot, but I know I had some low score here or there, one or two of the days. So I have some good memories here. The wind usually blows, so you gotta strike it solid. And then the greens are good. -2014

Q. What is it about this course? Does it suit your eye, obviously?
Yeah. I love the greens. There’s something about these greens that the ball rolls true. Even at the end of the day when people have been walking on them all day, they’re really resilient to footprints, and I feel like you get a good roll on them all day long.
So I love the greens. And from tee to green it gives you a little bit of room. If you play smart and manage your game, you can kind of get away with it. You don’t have to hit perfect golf shots all day long. As long as you manage your game well, you can kind of keep yourself in there. -2014

Q. You’ve played well here the last couple times. Is there something about the setup that is clicking with you? Can you pinpoint anything?
I think I hit on this a little bit last year. It reminds me of home. I play on a lot of this same grass at home. Plus I like a little bit of heat and humidity and stuff. Doesn’t bother me. So that’s really about it.
And I guess for whatever reason, the golf course suits my eye. -2013

Q. Is there something about the course you like?
I don’t know. It fits my eye really well. I finished fifth here last year. I played good. I think Bermuda is one thing, I grew up in the Southeast, Augusta, Georgia, so I guess Bermudagrass is kind of home to me. -2013

Q. Has that been the story of the week? You just feel you’re just comfortable around here and like you were saying, you enjoy Florida?type courses? This fits your eye?
Yeah, the golf course fits my eye. I get out there and I look at it, and I just feel comfortable, yeah. The grass, I know how to play out of Bermuda rough. I know how to play out of Paspalum. It’s a different kind of grass, and a lot of guys aren’t comfortable on it, but I am, growing up on it. -2012

Q. What’s your general thoughts of your first time here?
I’m thoroughly impressed. I love playing this course. I think it’s fun to play. It’s a good course for the wind. You know, there’s a lot of interesting, kind of challenging shots.
It’s not like there’s anything just over-the-top scary or difficult, but you have to hit good quality shots and shape the ball the right way, and it’s exactly what — it’s exactly the kind of course that oughta be right here in Puerto Rico. It’s got length. It’s got some short holes, but when the wind blows, you’ve gotta hit some creative shots. So it’s a really fun course to play. -2011

All quotes are from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

College Golf in Puerto Rico

2016 Puerto Rico Classic
2015 Puerto Rico Classic
2014 Puerto Rico Classic
2013 Puerto Rico Classic
2012 Puerto Rico Classic
2011 Puerto Rico Classic

Junior Golf at Coco Beach:

2013 Puerto Rico Junior Open (Results)
2012 Puerto Rico Junior Open (Results)
2011 Puerto Rico Junior Open (Results)

Tournament Notes:

2015: High winds wrecked havoc on the field as the generally easy track played to a field average of 0.57 strokes over par. Wind has been known to play a big factor here in Puerto Rico, but generally doesn’t tip the difficulty scales this much.