Quick look at the Puerto Rico Open
February 20, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
Puerto Rico Open preview
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – After a one-year hiatus, the Puerto Rico Open is back on the PGA TOUR.
After Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage to the island in 2017, tournament organizers decided to host a Pro-Am in 2018 that ended up raising more than $500,000 for relief efforts.
The Pro-Am featured past PGA TOUR winners and stars of the LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour, but this year the tournament is back, and so is the island.
It’s recovered well from one of the worst natural disasters on record and the Puerto Rican people are eager to welcome the world’s best once again.
D.A. Points captured the last Puerto Rico Open in 2017. At 20 under par, he won by two shots over Bryson DeChambeau, Retief Goosen and Bill Lunde.
From DTN meteorologist Stewart Williams: "High pressure over the Western Atlantic will increase the easterly trade winds across the region making for windy conditions Thursday and Friday. This will also produce some passing showers at times, especially on Friday. Drier conditions should return this weekend decreasing the chance for showers. Another band of moisture will return on Monday bringing showers once again."
SOUND CHECKIt's huge for tourism. It's huge for the economy. It's huge for everybody just here on the island to be able to promote the island as well as we can, and it's great to be back and have the Puerto Rico Open once again.
BY THE NUMBERS
39 – The position of Corey Conners in the FedExCup standings, the highest-ranked golfer in the field.
4 – The number of Puerto Ricans playing this week, led by Campos.
600 – Yards in the par-5 16th hole, the longest on the course.
-16 – The average winning score of the Puerto Rico Open through 10 years of competition.
D.A. Defending: Although it’s been two years, D.A. Points still has a positive attitude defending this week in Puerto Rico. His win at the 2017 Puerto Rico Open was his third PGA TOUR triumph. Points finished 104th in the FedExCup standings that year but dropped to 176th in 2018. He’s made one cut this season (T71 at The RSM Classic) but said being back in Puerto Rico makes him feel rejuvenated.
“It’s amazing, the feelings that you have right away,” said Points. “It definitely helps my attitude. I have to be careful to not be like a lot of defending champions and have too high expectations … But I know how to play this course.”
Major Presence: While many are at the WGC-Mexico Championship this week, the Puerto Rico Open has its own share of major champions teeing it up as well. Seven past major winners are playing in Puerto Rico including Graeme McDowell, Angel Cabrera, Retief Goosen, Todd Hamilton, David Duval, Charl Schwartzel, and Trevor Immelman.
Windy Conditions: The adage, ‘when it’s breezy, swing easy’ is going to be put to the test this week as weather forecasters are calling for winds blowing upwards of 25 mph through the first two rounds.
Rafa Campos said patience would be the key to success this week, admitting it’s set to be windier than normal through Thursday and Friday.
“Balls will move a bit more than normal. It’s going to be tougher to make some putts and all that, but staying patient and keeping the ball low is going to be key,” he said. “The course is fairly open so there’s not a lot of trouble off the tee, but it’s a matter of keeping the ball low, keeping it in front of you and keeping it in play.”