Expert picks: Puerto Rico Open

March 11, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
How it works: Our 10 experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same.
Of the players who didn't make the cut for our top 10 picks, which have the best chance as sleepers? Here's how our experts see it. Click here
Expert picks: Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular
Pick order Player selected
BRANDT SNEDEKER. One of the most promising young stars on TOUR, he's struggled this season and missed four cuts in five starts. But he has shot at least one low round at each event, and it's time he puts four together this week.
JERRY KELLY. A T2 last year in Puerto Rico tied for his best finish in '08, and he was T6 at Mayakoba two weeks ago. Hmm, get the impression that Kelly, a two-time TOUR winner, likes it when the squads are split on TOUR?
If McAllister had the top pick ... Kelly
JOHN MERRICK. He tied for 13th in the inaugural Puerto Rico Open last year, and he's off to a strong start in '09 with a couple of top 30s and a runner-up finish on the books. The 26-year-old has a birthday coming up, too, and what could be a better present?
If Mobley had the top pick ... Kelly
JEFF OVERTON. His tie for ninth at last week's Honda Classic could be a sign of good things to come for the 25-year-old. Look for him to get it done this week in Puerto Rico.
If McMurry had the top pick ... Merrick
JEFF KLAUK. Way ahead of the rookie curve, he's made all 7 of his cuts this year and was in it to win it at The Honda Classic last week (top 5). Eight of last 14 events opposite WGC's have gone to first-time winners.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Merrick
RICH BEEM. He finished sixth at the last opposite-field event a couple weeks back in Cancun. He also finished tied for 13th at the full-field Northern Trust Open a few weeks back. That's two top-15s in his past two starts. Good enough for me.
If Spoor had the top pick ... Merrick
BRETT QUIGLEY. Yes, he dropped eight spots to a tie for 13th on Sunday. But I have a hunch that, taken as a whole, Quigley's performance before his "home" crowd had to be a confidence boost that could carry over this week.
If Ross had the top pick ... Kelly
ERIC AXLEY. This is the ultimate home-run pick. I just hope he doesn't strike out. I believe in Axley even though he's gotten off to a slow start.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Kelly
GREG OWEN. This Englishman lost a heartbreaker a few years back at Bay Hill, but certainly has the talent to win on TOUR. After a tie for 13th at The Honda Classic, he's riding high on confidence.
If Auclair had the top pick ... Merrick
RYAN MOORE. The former U.S. Amateur and Public Links champion has missed three of his last four cuts, but he finished T6 at the FBR Open before that. Moore has too much natural talent not to win soon.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Kelly

The PGA TOUR makes its second Caribbean stop this week at the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

Standings after Week 9
Pos. Expert Wins Top 5s Top 10s Top 25s FedExCup points
1 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor, PGATOUR.COM
2 1 1 3 1,438.28
2 Brian Wacker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
1 1 3 - 928.17
3 T.J. Auclair
Interactive Producer, PGATOUR.COM
1 1 - 2 874
4 Win McMurry
Host, PGA TOUR Today
- 3 1 3 766.42
5 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator, PGATOUR.COM
- 1 - 2 532.97
6 John Swantek
Fantasy Insider, PGA TOUR Productions
- 1 - 5 479.85
7 Ceri Mobley
Associate Producer, PGATOUR.COM
- 1 1 5 459.03
8 Mark Spoor
Coordinating Producer, PGATOUR.COM
- 1 1 1 341.66
9 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents, PGATOUR.COM
- - - 4 274.85
10 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
- - 2 - 175.12

LAST WEEK: Lauren Deason, Mike McAllister and Ceri Mobley all had players finish in the top 15 last week and accumulated the most FedExCup points. Each week, we'll update the standings based on the FedExCup points accumulated by the players selected by our experts. Here's how it stands after Week 9: