Puerto Rico Open Betting Guide: Longshots Can Succeed in Weak Field

Puerto Rico Open Betting Guide: Longshots Can Succeed in Weak Field article feature image
Credit:

Dennis Schneidler, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Peter Uihlein

  • Daniel Berger (+1600) is the favorite to win the 2019 Puerto Rico Open, which features a weak field.
  • Given that the best players on tour will be playing in a different event, Josh Perry suggests paying attention to a few longshots.

While the best players may all be in Mexico this week, there’s still a lot on the line for the lower-level tour pros in Puerto Rico.

Winning this tournament won’t get a player in the Masters, but it does secure a tour card for two years and comes with berths in the Players and the PGA Championship.

There has been some good value in this weaker field with two of the five previous champs listed at over 100/1 before the tournament.

The Course

Coco Beach is a long 7,569 yard par 72 that doesn’t figure to trouble the players. Without much rough and minimal water in play, the players have the option to bomb away here. The only thing that can make this place difficult is the wind.

When the wind is down, we’ve seen the winner get to 20-under par, but if things get more blustery, single digits have been good enough to claim the title.

The 2018 version of this event was cancelled after a hurricane.

The Field

With the stars in Mexico, this is basically a strong Web.com field. Daniel Berger is the biggest name here and is the favorite at +1600. He’s been out of form for about a year now and is probably looking for a good result to gain some confidence as the year progress.

Overall though, the entire field has registered just three top 10s combined on the PGA Tour in 2019.

Berger is joined by a couple major champs near the top of the odds in Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell. McDowell and Peter Uihlein are the only other golfers under +2000 at +1800. Meanwhile, Schwartzel opened at +3000.

Daniel Berger
Daniel Berger is the favorite to win the Puerto Rico Open. Credit: Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports.

The Favorites

In weak fields, I’m even more inclined to steer clear of this range. Couple that with the fact that the winner here usually doesn’t dip below +3000 and it’s easy to fade this entire group.

Berger has never played here and is in bad form. McDowell only has one appearance and that was a missed cut. Uihlein has a couple of top sixes to go with a couple missed cuts. So, there’s not much to count on here.

Scott Brown at +2500 has been by far the most consistent player on this course. He’s finished in the top 20 in five of his six appearances and won back in 2013. Brown would be the one I’d worry about most here.

The Mid-Tier

I’ll start in this range with Rafael Campos at +5000. Campos has a couple top 10s here and won just a few weeks back on the Web.com Tour.

We’ll also back Dominic Bozzelli at +5000. As mentioned, the field only has a combined three top 10s, but Bozzelli does have one them, recording a fifth-place finish at the Desert Classic. Overall, he’s played fairly solid, making six of eight cuts this season.

Next, we’ll go with Robert Streb at +6600. The form hasn’t been great this year, but that could be said for 95% of the field. He does have a pair of top 15 finishes on this course though in his last two starts.

Longshots

I’ll be peppering a lot of guys in this range and seeing if we can get a couple guys into a placing in the top five or taking this down.

The one guy who popped off the board the most for me here is Kyoung-Hoon Lee at 140-1. Lee has struggled in his rookie year but he is coming off a top 25 at Riviera, where he led the field at Riviera in strokes gained: approach. He also had four top threes on the Web.com Tour last year and won four times in Asia. In a field like this, I think he’s undervalued.

I’m also going to take a shot with Billy Hurley III at 225-1. He hasn’t played yet in 2019, so he may be rusty and even on his best day, he’s completely dependent on the putter.

But this course has a tendency of producing veteran champs who have struggled on tour. So I’ll back him with that narrative in mind.

The Card

  • Dominic Bozzelli +5000 (.66 units)
  • Rafael Campos +5000 (.66 units)
  • Robert Streb +6600 (.5 units)
  • Kyoung-Hoon Lee +14000 (.24 units)
  • Billy Hurley III +22500 (.15 units)

Total Stake: 2.21 units

Season: -0.9825 units