The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits the Championship Course at Grand Reserve Golf Club for the 2023 Puerto Rico Open. The Tom Kite design will play as a Par 72, 7,506 yard layout this week. 9 of the 14 previous winners of the Puerto Rico Open earned their first career PGA Tour win by winning this event, setting the precedent for this event being the breakthrough stage for many of the game’s future stars, including Tony Finau and Viktor Hovland. Last year’s edition was won by Ryan Brehm, who beat Max McGreevy by six strokes to pick up his maiden PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
Playing on a Sponsor’s Exemption this week, Robi Calvesbert is making his 3rd career PGA Tour start, all of which have now come in this event. One of several Puerto Ricans representing their country this week against the best of the PGA Tour, Calvesbert has had no success on tour so far, missing the cut in both of his previous starts here. The field isn’t exactly stacked for this year’s edition, but we predict that Calvesbert will still struggle and miss the cut.
A career journeyman on the PGA Tour, 48-year-old Cameron Percy still has some gas left in tank, as he has 2 top 25 finishes in 6 starts this season and is fresh off of a T-12 finish at The Honda Classic. Percy has played very well in this event of late too, finishing T-7 here each of the last two years, as well as in the top 30 in 6 of his 9 starts here. Percy is a solid ball striker and if he can capitalize on his recent successes, another top 25 finish is definitely doable this week.
The 366th ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Brice Garnett comes into this week as a bit of a long shot. With just 1 top 25 finish in 9 starts this season, the results just haven’t been there for Garnett. However, Garnett has played quite well at Grand Reserve of late, with back-to-back top 10 finishes here and 4 straight top 30 finishes here. He may not be the flashiest player on tour, but we predict that he can recapture some past success here and bring home his first top 10 finish of the season.
Ben Martin started the season off slow, with a best finish of T-49 in his first 6 starts, but has turned it on of late, with 3 top 25’s in his last 6 starts, capped off by a T-5 finish last week at The Honda Classic. Martin has had some success in the Puerto Rico Open before, with 2 top 15 finishes in 5 previous starts, including a 3rd place finish here in 2014. Martin’s game relies heavily on his irons, as he ranks 24th in Strokes Gained: Approach the Geeen. If Martin can keep up his recent form, there is no reason he can’t end a nearly 9 year winless streak and win the Puerto Rico Open this week.