Puerto Rico Open Fantasy Preview

Thanks to a tweak in the scheduling the Puerto Rico Open gets a few more words than usual this week.

In past years, I’ve glossed over this event, only providing a top 10 for One-and-Done gamers, but this year is different. With the top 66 (68) golfers in the World going head-to-head at the WGC-Dell Match Play, the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach grabs some attention as DraftKings does not offer contests for Match Play events.

Let’s get up to speed. The course is Coco Beach Golf and Country Club, previously known at Trump International. I think I played this course in Mario Kart! Same course, new name. It’s a par 72 track that stretches out past 7,500 yards. It’s not exactly a bomber’s paradise though. It’s pretty similar to last week’s API where the par 3s are long, the par 5s are really long and the par 4s offer a good mix of short and long holes.

In calm conditions, this is a course these pros will rip apart. In 2013, there were 53 eagles here, the 2nd-most of any event that season. On the flip side, there were only 21 last year. The only difference was the wind. It will almost always play a factor here in Puerto Rico, but last year was especially troublesome. Keep an eye on the weather forecast.

This should be another week where we take a look at long-iron approach. Of course, with a weak field like this one, we can’t ignore pure talent level.

Take a look at the Puerto Rico Open Fantasy Golfanac for more course specifics and also golfer quotes.

Players to Watch

Graham DeLaet
Graham DeLaet… He’s the class of the field, in my opinion. He’s registered top 10s in 25 of his 137 starts on TOUR. He’s done everything but win, and that means a certain population of gamers will completely avoid him because they label him a choke-artist. I’m not buying that label. He sports top 25s in all three attempts in Puerto Rico, which makes him even juicier. He also nearly won his last start, so the trends are all converging. Fire him up in all formats as he’s the man to beat.

Jerry Kelly… While GDL could be the man to beat, Jerry Kelly is probably the man that will beat 80 percent of the field, but has very little chance of taking home the hardware. That doesn’t take away from his fantasy value. Five top 25s in seven starts here. Which explains a lot about the type of golfer that can/will succeed here.

Tony Finau… He’s the exact opposite of Kelly, but his talent level is a tier above most of the field here. Most of the course horses here at Coco Beach G&CC are golfers that finish inside the top 50 annualy in Distance from Edge of Fairway. ACCURATE hitters. At the same time, Finau has all the tools to score on the longer holes this week. That makes him very fantasy revelant. I was skeptical at first, but I’ve taken the plunge after seeing his great (but limited) performance on Seashore Paspalum greens. He finished seventh at the 2015 Mayakoba and ninth at the 2016 CIMB.

Luke Donald… The Englishman fits the course profile a bit better, but he’s taken a big step down from the days when he was the World No. 1 golfer. Luckily he doesn’t hit it far enough to get in too much trouble, and his scrambling abilities always keep him in the mix. Should have no troubles finding a paycheck here in his debut.

Gregory Bourdy… He’s well-seasoned on the Euro Tour, but he’s making his Puerto Rico Open debut. Since the start of last season he’s gaining 0.97 strokes over the field in Euro events. That is very comparable to Coetzee’s 1.07, but Bourdy is $3,000 cheaper this week. Value.

Dean Burmester… The opposite of value here. Burmester has owned the South African circuit, but he’s priced accordingly. For someone with his lack of PGA TOUR experience, we would really want him to be sub-$7K. That puts a GPP-only stamp on him, but he does possess high upside and will have low ownership.

Fabrizio Zanotti… Doesn’t have the talent level as other Euro Tour’ers like Bourdy or Coetzee but he is a little closer to home. The Paraguayan missed the cut in his 2011 debut but finished T27 last year. I could see him adding another top 30 this year. An interesting GPP option.

Hao Tong Li… Another interesting GPP option. He gets a little more hype than he deserves, but he does have upside. In 88 rounds on the Web.com Tour, he’s gained 3.95 strokes over the field. That is TOTAL strokes gained. He’s basically an average Web.com golfer, but this is also a Web.com-like field. That means a cut made is more than 50-50 in his favor, and he could climb a little higher if he brings his best stuff.

Seung-Yul Noh… He doesn’t mind long, easy tracks. Evidenced by his success at the Zurich. He’s also posted top 40s in both visits here. To add a little fuel to the sleeper fire, he won the 2010 Malaysian Open, played on another course with Seashore Paspalum green surfaces.

Chris Stroud… Speaking of Paspalum, this guy owns on seashore paspalum. Over his last 28 rounds on the surface, he’s lost more than 2 strokes to the field in only one round. He’s known for great scrambling, so he must like the stickiness it provides, allowing him to be aggressive on his up-and-down attempts.

Brendon de Jonge… Another guy with great success here, but way out of form. He’s finished top 15 in four of five tries here. We should see a nice rebound from BdJ this week.

Adam Svensson… IF you want to go a little off the board, Svensson may be your guy. He’s got a similar Web.com profile as someone like Bronson Burgoon and we’ve seen how well that’s translated for the Goon. Sven should be very low owned.

Ian Poulter… He really wants to be at the WGC-Dell Match Play, so that puts me off his scent. As the first alternate at the WGC, he’s taking a later plane to Puerto Rico which means little or no prep time. For someone that is so out of form like he is, that’s not what I want to hear. Of course, he’s a notch above a majority of the field, in terms of talent. But there is too much WD and/or not-givin-a-hoot risk for my liking.

Puerto Rico Open Cheatsheet… Head over to Daily Fantasy Solutions and grab this week’s DraftKings cheatsheet for FREE! Yup, the cheatsheet will be made available for free this week, so come check that out this week! It will go live mid-to-late Tuesday.

My Top 25 for the 2016 Puerto Rico Open
1. Graham DeLaet
2. Jerry Kelly
3. Tony Finau
4. Scott Brown
5. Freddie Jacobson
6. William McGirt
7. Brendon de Jonge
8. Luke Donald
9. David Toms
10. Patrick Rodgers
11. George Coetzee
12. George McNeill
13. Hiroshi Iwata
14. Bronson Burgoon
15. Gregory Bourdy
16. Dean Burmester
17. Chris Stroud
18. Retief Goosen
19. Bronson Burgoon
20. Bryce Molder
21. Will MacKenzie
22. Alex Cejka
23. Fabrizio Zanotti
24. Adam Svensson
25. Dawie van der Walt

This article has 2 comments

  1. Pingback: Puerto Rico Open – Golf Links | FantasyRundown.com

  2. great call on finau.. barely anyone was suggesting him this week. but bad call on poulter… everyone was on him this week

    Reply

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