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PGA Tour: Preview Puerto Rico Open fantasy, betting picks

Preview – Puerto Rico Open – Coco Beach Golf and Country Club – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico —

The PGA Tour’s opposite-field event this week features 132 players at the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club.

Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell is one of the headliners in the field along with European Team Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter and a host of players with PGA Tour victories including Ben Crane, Chris Kirk, Boo Weekley, Jonas Blixt and Robert Garrigus.

This week is an opportunity for some players to break through for their maiden PGA Tour titles including Canada’s Graham DeLaet, Peter Uihlein and Bryson Dechambeau.

FANTASY: Consider players in great form heading into Puerto Rico. Dominic Bozzelli is a great example of a trending player and hungry for his first win. Take DeLaet, as well. He is overdue for a victory. Brown plays well this particular week and posted a runner-up effort earlier this spring at Riviera Country Club. A veteran always finds his way into the mix, this week look for Alex Cejka to make some noise.

BETTORS: Wesley Bryan is the top betting pick at skybet.com at 16-to-1 odds. DeLaet and G-Mac are 20-1 picks, but look for Brown (28-1) to contend. Brown won this tournament in 2013 (at a different venue) and has a pair of Top 5s and a T-10 in five starts at the PR Open. For a longer shot, take Cameron Tringale, who has been quiet all season. He opened at 66-1 odds.

Other Golf News:

  • The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is underway with Group Play. Players compete in Group Play through Friday before moving into Round of 16 Saturday and trimming down to one champion by Sunday in Austin, Texas. Jason Day is the defending champion.
  • The LPGA Tour tees off Thursday with the Kia Classic. Ariya Jutanugarn is the betting favorite at 7 1/2-1 odds, while Inbee Park and Lydia Ko are second best at 10-1. Park won the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore earlier this season. Jutanugarn and Ko are both looking for their first wins of 2017.
  • Golf’s first major of the year takes place next week with the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration at Mission Hill Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Fowler wins Honda Classic by 4 shots

Rickie Fowler (12-under) made it interesting Sunday at the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic for a stretch, but the Orange Icon captured the title in a four-shot victory at PGA National.

Fowler, who now has four career PGA Tour wins, should re-enter the Official World Golf Ranking Top 10 come Monday morning. His 66-66-65 start set the stage for the triumph.

Gary Woodland and Morgan Hoffmann logged T-2 efforts at 8-under. For Hoffmann, it was a career-best finish. Woodland was within a shot of Fowler on the

Rickie Fowler current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

final nine holes, but failed to keep pace.

Six players ended T-4 including former U.S. Open champion and World No. 1 Martin Kaymer alongside Wesley Bryan, Chad Collins, Tyrrell Hatton, Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas. Vegas posted a final-round best 64.

Fowler opened week as an 18-to-1 betting pick.

Other Golf News:

  • Amy Yang (22-under) captured the Honda LPGA Thailand for her second career LPGA Tour victory. She moved up to No. 8 in the latest Rolex Rankings. So Yeon Ryu was runner up, while Sei Young Kim finished third. Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn logged Top 10s.
  • Weather shortened the European Tour’s Joburg Open to 54-holes. South Africa’s Darren Fichardt collected his fifth career title winning by a shot. It marked the 23-year professional’s first victory since 2013 and earns him a spot in the Open Championship.
  • The World Golf Championship – Mexico Championship takes center stage next week. Formerly at Doral, the event has moved to Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Dustin Johnson makes his World No. 1 debut.
  • Jason Day, world No. 2, withdrew from the WGC-Mexico Championship with the flu.

Betting, Fantasy Preview: PGA Tour’s The Honda Classic

Preview – PGA Tour — The Honda Classic – PGA National – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida –

The PGA Tour heads to the Sunshine State for the Florida Swing beginning with The Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

Twelve of the world’s Top 25 players headline this week including Top 10 players Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott. Several international players – including Masters champ Danny Willett — are in the field this week as players gear up for the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship in March and the Masters in April.

The famed “Bear Trap” takes center stage at PGA National this week – site of the Honda Classic since 2007. Jack’s Bear Trap – holes

Adam Scott current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) 

15, 16 and 17 – are expected to decide the champion. The Champions Course (Par 70, 7,110 yards) ranks among the most difficulty on tour each year with plenty of water hazards.

PGA National has crowned a solid list of international-born champions including Scott, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Rory Sabbatini, Camilo Villegas and Y.E. Yang. Americans Michael Thompson and Russell Henley won in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

2016 Results:

  • Scott (9-under) edged Garcia by a shot to capture the title. It was the start of two-straight PGA Tour wins for the Aussie. Thomas was T-3 at 5-under alongside Blayne Barber, while Vijay Singh, Billy Horschel and Rickie Fowler were among those logging Top 10 finishes.

FANTASY: Take international players, which have a great history at PGA National.  Scott is certainly a great pick for this venue coming in as defending champion. But, he also played well last week (T-11) at Riviera to finish off the West Coast Swing. He is fresh, rested. Take Russell Knox, who has Top 3s in two of his last three Honda appearances. Thomas is a must-start after three wins already this season.

BETTORS: Scott, at 12-to-1 odds, is the betting favorite at Ladbrokes.com. But for better value, take a shot with Knox (28-1) and Daniel Berger (33-1). Berger lost here in a playoff in 2015 to Harrington. His maturity might pay off this week. Take Louis Oosthuizen (28-1), who contended in Australia last week on the European Tour. Travel concerns me, but he is a streaky player when he gets it going.

Other Golf News:

  • Dustin Johnson’s win at Genesis Open moved him to No. 1 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings. It marks his first stint at the top spot. He is idle this week.
  • The LPGA Tour hosts the Honda LPGA Thailand this week. Shanshan Feng of China is the betting favorite at 6-1 odds. Last week’s winner Ha Na Jang comes in at 12-1 alongside Lexi Thompson.
  • The European Tour hosts the Joburg Open this week.
  • Fred Couples (16-under) beat out Miguel Angel Jimenez by three shots to capture the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic. It marked his first win of 2017.

Ko struggles to make cut at Aussie Women’s Open

Rolex Ranking World No. 1 Lydia Ko struggled to earn a spot on the weekend at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

Ko, who changed swing coaches and equipment in the off season, is even through two rounds in Australia and sits nine shots off the lead held by Sarah-Jane Smith.

A host of proven players are a shot back at 8-under including Caroline Hedwall, Lizette Salas and Pornanong Phatlum. Ko, who is T-64 through two rounds, was the big betting favorite at 6 1/2-to-1 odds at Skybet.com coming into the week — second LPGA Tour event of the 2017 season.

Among the last few groups, Phatlum (33-1) would be the in-match betting favorite at the moment, according to the opening odds. Salas is next listed at 66-1.

Other Golf News:

  • The PGA Tour is trying to stay ahead of rains in California, which will hamper the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club. Sam Saunders was the overnight leader after a 7-under-64 in round one. Jordan Spieth opened with 69, while top-ranked Jason Day shot 70.
  • Brett Rumford (13-under) leads the European Tour’s ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth event through 36 holes. Rumford fired rounds of 66-65 to claim the top spot as a 40-1 betting selection. He has a two-shot lead heading into the weekend. Pre-tournament favorite Louis Oosthuizen is T-10 at 7-under.
  • Phil Mickelson, Kevin Na, Pat Perez, Branden Grace and Byeong Hun-An are part of a large group to open 4-under-67 at the Genesis Open. Defending champion Bubba Watson shot 74.

 

Garcia cracks Top 10 with victory, Matsuyama holds at No. 5

Hideki Matsuyama current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama’s playoff victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open kept him at No. 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Matsuyama moved atop the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings with this second win of the season. He claimed back-to-back titles at TPC Scottsdale on the fourth playoff hole against former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. Matsuyama was a 10-to-1 betting pick to defend, while Webb opened at 66-1.

Louis Oosthuizen, Rickie Fowler, JJ Spaun, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Martin Laird, Daniel Berger and Graham DeLaet logged Top 10s.

The Top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings remained largely unchanged expect for Sergio Garcia, whose win at the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic moved him to No. 9 in the latest rankings. At 19-under, he edged Henrik Stenson for the triumph and moved up six places. Garcia had opened the week as a 16-to-1 betting pick.

Other Golf News:

  • The PGA Tour heads to Pebble Beach this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. At 7 1/2-to-1 odds, World No. 4 Dustin Johnson is the betting favorite. Vaughn Taylor (17-under) is the defending champion beating Phil Mickelson by a shot.
  • The PGA Tour Champions hosts the Allianz Championship this week. Bernard Langer, who already has a victory to his credit in 2017, is second on the all-time list with 30 tour victories. He sits 15 wins behind Hale Irwin.
  • Simpson’s runner-up effort moved him from 89th to 56th in the world rankings.
  • Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) signed Rolex Rankings World No. 1 Lydia Ko. Ko also has a new swing coach working now with Gary Gilchrist. Ko and the LPGA Tour return to action next week at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.