2016 Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

With the big guns down in Austin, Texas for the WGC Match Play, the leftover crowd is teeing it up on an island in the middle of the Caribbean, at the Puerto Rico Open at Coco Beach to be exact.  So, why am I writing about Coco Puff beach and not the big dog tourney of the week you ask?  Well, that’s pretty obvious. Stroke play > match play.  Quick side topic- the new WGC Match Play format suck.  Go back to the classic 64 man bracket por favor.  The pressure of being a one-and-out is far more interesting than “being fair and making sure that tv rating stay high by having everyone play at least 3 matches.”  Sigh….

Anyway, the course formerly known as Trump International Puerto Rico is a stout test, measuring over 7,500 yards from the tips and a par 72.  It’s a Tom Kite design that sits in the foothills of a rainforest, making for some spectacular views throughout the routing; however, don’t get too caught up with the monkeys and the scenery, as keeping it straight off the tee is pivotal this week with hazards galore lining the fairways.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA

Patrick Rodgers
Patrick Rodgers
– Shhhhhhhhh.  After burning fantasy golfers galore these past few weeks, Rodgers bounced back very nicely with a t-20th last week at Bay Hill.  He’s a first-timer at this Puerto Rico course, but with his length and positive momentum I expect him to continue his top 20 run just like he did in the fall when he posted 4 straight top 20s.  He’s going to break through into the winner’s circle sooner or later, and this very well could be the week.

SEMI-FLIER

Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley
– Scuffling of late, but a el le gusta esta campo del golf en Puerto Rico.  Get it?  (hint- he loves this track).  Would be scary to hear Boo say that en espanol with his Southern twang.  Anyway, Boo finished t-3rd here in ’12, t-8th in ’13 and was t-6th last year.  Note that in two of those times he also entered the week coming off a MC (in this case he comes in on the heels of three straight MCs this week).  Nothing like familiar, friendly surroundings to be his slump buster once again.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST

Alex Cejka
Alex Cejka
– Many fantasy golfers will breeze through their lineup setting this week and will auto-plug the defending champ Cejka into their lineups.  Don’t make that same mistake.  This is a guy whose average money list finish at season’s end on the PGA Tour the past 9 years is 124th, as in like always scrapin’ by to just stay afloat.  Sorry folks, last year’s victory was an aberration.  Stay away and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK-BOLD-PLAY-OF-THE-WEEK

David Toms
David Toms
– The 49-year-old hopes to make it more than just 9 holes here, as a bad back forced him to pull out just halfway through the first round last year.  Don’t let that steer you away though, as in his debut here in 2014 he notched a solid t-4th finish.  One of the most underrated ball-strikers in the past two decades on Tour, Toms is a fairways and greens kind of guy, which will serve him well here despite his lack of length off the tee.  Expect a sneaky top 10 finish from the LSU grad this week.  David Toms is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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