Power Rankings: Puerto Rico Open

March 07, 2011
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

For the second time in three weeks, those ineligible for the World Golf Championships event with dust it up in their own donnybrook in a land where English is a secondary language.

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Last November, Puerto Rico Tourism Company signed on for a two-year agreement for what will be the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com through at least 2012. Birdies are always crowd-pleasers, and those in attendance will see plenty of them.

Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico has surrendered 4,272 birdies (and 83 eagles) in its three years as host. Other than a pesky wind out of the north and/or east, the challenge is to keep pace. Defending champion Derek Lamely needed a course-record 63 in his third round, vaulting him from a share of 35th place after 36 holes to T5 after 54. Because of inclement weather, golfers did not re-pair for the final round -- the 36-hole cut wasn't made until Sunday -- therefore, Lamely won the tournament (on Monday) starting his final round from the first group off the 10th tee.

Seasonal weather conditions are on tap throughout. A mild threat of rain cannot be ruled out at anytime. Winds will be moderate, and the high temperatures will land on both sides of 80 degrees.

Power Rankings: Puerto Rico Open
Rank Player   Comment
His uncanny affinity for great play on islands is well-documented. Finished T2 here in 2008 and T9 in 2009. Tops among non-winners in career earnings at this event. Coming off superb solo third at The Honda Classic.
Four top 30s in six starts this year. Ranks 27th in putting, 39th in birdie average and 32nd in the all-around. Shared third place here last year, finishing T13 in greens, sixth in putting and fifth in birdies.
Two top 15s in as many starts here, including a T7 last year, when he closed bogey-free 16-under on his final 44 holes. Ranked T3 in putting. Currently fourth on TOUR in putting, 31st in birdie average and 25th in the all-around.
First-timer coming off solo second at the weather-plagued Bogota Open on the Nationwide Tour. That chased a T18 in Panama. Playing on a Minor Medical, would secure fully-exempt status with no worse than a two-way T2.
Has cashed in all three appearances here, including a T4 in 2008 and T17 last year, when he led the field in birdies (and had one eagle). He forgot about his closing 83 at the Mayakoba before we did.
Shared fifth at the Mayakoba two weeks ago, where he's had tremendous success. In only showing here, he placed T4 in 2008. Synergy with the opposite events, challenging winds and paspalum greens.
Has started his rookie year 6-for-6. Co-led the Mayakoba after 18 holes, and then sat alone atop the leaderboard at PGA National at the midpoint. Posted top 25s at both. Ranks 49th in greens hit and 41st in birdie average.
Sat just one-shot off the 18-hole lead at The Honda Classic before fading to finish T43. Placed T4 in his only appearance here in 2009. Currently 18th on the PGA TOUR in putting, 18th in sand saves and 16th in scrambling.
Arrives just as he did a year ago, with a similarly forgettable start to his season (zero top 25s of two paydays in six starts), but he finished alone in second place here in 2010. Led the field in greens and had just two bogeys.
First-timer joins his oldest son, Federico, in the field for the first time in his career. The proud papa is currently 25th on TOUR in putting, but his aggressive style is benefited. Family bragging rights on the line as well.

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