Daily Fantasy Golf: Puerto Rico Open Course Overview
This week, the PGA Tour has a double-dip of action.
Of course, with multiple events, the fields aren't at full strength, but digging into the course can help us uncover which players to target while we build our FanDuel lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Overview
Coco Beach Golf Club is a par 72 spanning 7,506 yards, making it one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour.
The field comprises 125 golfers, which helps narrow down the selection process for daily fantasy purposes, but it also reduces the number of star golfers we can rely on to produce. (This week, "star" golfers aren't exactly on the docket for the Puerto Rico Open.)
As usual, the top 70 through two rounds will make the cut to advance.
Water hazards are in play on the majority of holes, and wind will make its presence known, given the course's coastal location. We'll talk about that more later.
Recent Tournament History
Last year, Tony Finau won the event in a three-hole playoff with a score of -12. Finau will not be trying to defend his title this year.
He defeated Steve Marino (FanDuel price: $5,400) in the playoff. Rodolfo Cazaubon and Ian Poulter ($8,600) tied for third at -11, and Scott Brown ($8,100), Andres Romero ($5,500), and Nick Taylor ($6,200) tied for fifth at -10.
In 2015, Alex Cejka ($6,200) emerged victorious in a five-player playoff, including Jon Curran, Emiliano Grillo, Tim Petrovic, and Sam Saunders ($5,700). Wind proved problematic that year, as the golfers making it to the playoffs sat at -7.
In 2014, a -7 would have tied for 43rd, and Chesson Hadley ($5,900) won at -21. In 2013, that score would have tied for 64th, and Brown won at -20. George McNeill ($6,700) won in 2012 at -16, and -7 would have earned a T20. You get the picture.
Scores can go low here, but wind can also derail things, so focusing on weather as the tournament starts will be crucial.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee-to-green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for here at Coco Beach.
|Key Stats for the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green|
|Birdie or Better Percentage|
|Good Drive Percentage|
|Official World Golf Ranking|
This is a pretty broad look at things, but really, it might be the best approach given the crop of golfers in the field, few of which stand out statistically or even qualify for statistical leaderboards.
Strokes gained: tee-to-green and strokes gained: approach-the-green are important this week because players of different styles can play well here. Finau, 2016's champ, ranked third among 185 qualified golfers in driving distance on the tour in 2016. He ranked 175th in driving accuracy.
By contrast, Cejka, 2015's winner in a wind-riddle affair, ranked 68th in accuracy that season and 141st in driving distance.
Guys who can drive the ball and who can place the ball off the tee can compete here, and that's why it might be best to focus on good drive percentage rather than simply distance or accuracy.
Birdies are crucial to scoring fantasy points on FanDuel, so they're always going to be important. That's especially the case when winning scores can flirt with 20 under par.
Because of the field's composition, we see a lot of golfers who don't qualify for the PGATour.com leaderboards statistically. Giving some weight to the Official World Golf Rankings can help you narrow down your player selection pool while building lineups. It's not ideal, but in a poor field like this, it helps identify the capable from the guys you don't want to roster.
Course History Studs
Despite Finau's absence, five players in the field have won this event since its inception in 2008: Cejka (2015), Hadley (2014), Brown (2013), McNeill (2012), and Michael Bradley (2011 and 2009). Bradley's FanDuel price is $5,400.
Brown is 33/1 to win this week, per Bovada, the best odds of any of the five. Cejka (45/1), Hadley (60/1), and McNeill (125/1) are a bit all over the board, and Bradley doesn't have odds posted.
Brown has the best course history here of any player in the field, including a T5 in 2012 and 2016, a win in 2013, and a T10 in 2015. The only year in that stretch where he finished outside the top-10 was a 64th-place finish in 2014.
Cejka missed the cut here in 2008 and 2010 but has been strong otherwise. Again, he won in 2015 but was T11 last year.
Hadley earned a T16 in 2015, and Bradley has just one missed cut here in eight tries.
Graham DeLaet ($9,400) has four top-25 finishes in his four tries at Coco Beach. DeLaet is 18/1 to win, tied for the best odds in the field with Graeme McDowell ($9,700) and Wesley Bryan ($8,900).
Boo Weekley ($5,700) also has four top-25 finishes in six tries with no missed cuts. Brendon de Jonge ($5,600) and John Merrick ($4,500) can say the same.