By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM fantasy columnist
Donald Trump has a knack for marketing a corner, perhaps as well as he corners a market. As 65 of the world's elite descend on the soon-to-be renovated TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral, 132 golfers will compete at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com. This is the sixth consecutive season that the island tournament has played opposite the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico serves as host once again this year, completing Trump's monopoly of PGA TOUR events, for this week at least. The Tom Kite creation can stretch to a beefy 7,506 yards but veteran grinders and short-game artists alike tend to populate the final leaderboard more than the bombers. Paspalum greens average 6,000 square feet and roll at 11 on the Stimpmeter, a measurement that implies that aggressive putting is encouraged.
For the first time in its five-year run, Trump International averaged over par last year, but just barely at 72.027. Its scoring averages on par 4s (4.08) and par 5s (4.77) were term highs.
If there's one essential key to success, it's to pick up strokes on the par 4s. Four of the five champions have either led or co-led their fields on these 10 holes. Michael Bradley's clip of 3.90 in his first triumph in 2009 is the highest average among the winners. He still finished an impressive T3 in the stat that week.
Typically unpredictable weather conditions are forecast. Rain will fall in and around Rio Grande, but an extended event is unlikely. Daily temperatures will rise into the 80s and the wind will blow as it always does along the coast.
|Power Rankings: Puerto Rico Open|