Cabrera, Vegas highlight Puerto Rico Open field

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March 02, 2012
Nelson Silverio, Special to PGATOUR.COM

The Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com will once again feature a diverse and quality field with players from around Latin America and the globe gathering at the Trump International Golf Club for the fifth edition of the tournament.

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This year's event will feature 12 players from Latin America including two-time Major champion Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas, Brazil's Alexandre Rocha and local players Rafael Campos and Max Alverio. Puerto Rico's neighboring island will also have representation in the event as the Dominican Republic's own Juan Campusano will be making his PGA TOUR debut at the 2012 Puerto Rico Open.

Headlining the Internationals in the field is 20-year-old Ryo Ishikawa. The Japanese player will be competing in his first Puerto Rico Open. Ishikawa, a member of the 2009 and 2011 International President Cup teams, played in 10 PGA TOUR events in 2011, with his best finish (T4) coming at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. His best finish in 2012 came at the Farmers Insurance Open where he finished T12.

A strong American presence will be felt in Puerto Rico as well with J.B. Holmes making his first start at the Puerto Rico Open. Holmes finished T8 in his last start at the Northern Trust Open. On Sept. 1, Holmes, 29, underwent brain surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to relieve symptoms of Chiari malformations, which caused vertigo-like dizziness. A piece of his skull, about the size of the core of a golf ball, was removed to relieve pressure on his cerebellum, and a titanium mesh plate was affixed to its base.

Two-time Puerto Rico Open champion Michael Bradley returns to defend his title. While Bradley has not played well heading into his title defense, it should be noted that Bradley came into the 2011 Puerto Rico Open having missed four straight cuts before earning his second win in the event in three years.

In 2011, Michael Bradley defeated Troy Matteson in a playoff to win his second Puerto Rico Open title in three years. He returns to defend his crown as the only multiple winner of the Puerto Rico Open, both in dramatic playoff fashion. Bradley began the final round four shots back of Matteson and shot a Sunday 68 to force a playoff which he won on the first playoff hole with a par-5 on the 18th hole.

Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein will be making his 2012 PGA TOUR debut at the Puerto Rico Open. Uihlein has competed six times on the PGA TOUR before, all as an amateur. This will marks his professional debut on the PGA TOUR.

Charity

As the PGA TOUR nears the $2 billion mark in charitable giving, the Puerto Rico Open announced that following last year's tournament, the Puerto Rico Open surpassed the $3 million mark in charitable contributions, an important and impressive milestone for such a young event. Fondos Unidos, the primary charitable beneficiary of the Puerto Rico Open, works with more than 140 different charities to improve and enrich lives in Puerto Rico.

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