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Branden Grace -19
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Branden Grace 7/2
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Byeong Hun An
Volvo China Open
Volvo China Open
The PGA Tour splits in two this week with most of the world’s top players competing at the WGC Workday Championship, with the rest of the players either taking a break or teeing it up here at the Puerto Rico Open, which also sees a lot of European Tour players competing this week.
Rio Grande is a 36-hole golf complex which started life back in 2004 as the Coco Beach Golf & Country Club with the initial 18-holes opening and the second layout following two years later. The course was designed by Bruce Besse and Tom Kite and was the first Kite design outside the US. The 36 holes have four distinct 9-hole circuits that were originally named Mountain, Palm, Lakes and Ocean, with The Lakes and Ocean nines making up the Championship course.
There is a greater variety of terrain on the championship course it does have wide fairways and large greens with it being a resort course, but there are also lots of water hazards, palm trees so you do need to be in the right position to attack the flags and put your ball in the right section of the green or you could end up with some very long putts.
The disappointment of this course is that while you do have some impressive mountain backdrops, there aren’t to many ocean front holes, which only appear on the back nine. The developers certainly missed a trick here to make it a more memorable course, especially if they are thinking of competing with the Dominican Republic and their ocean front courses.
For another trusted Rio Grande review click here
My tips to Win:
The first time Ian Poulter 18/1 – with SportingBet – teed it up in this event he finished in third-place firing a second round 66 along the way. Ian will be doing everything he can to make this year’s European Ryder Cup team on merit rather than relying on a captain’s pick and a Top 20 finish in his last outing in the Saudi International shooting all four rounds in the 60s shows his golf game is in good shape and he will be looking for a win to try and seal his selection early.
It has been a bit of a roller coaster wraparound season for Byeong Hun An 22/1 – with BetFred – who has missed five cuts from his ten starts so far, but a eight-place finish at The American Express showed glimpses of real player when he opened up with a round of 65. This will be Byeong-Hun first time teeing it up here in Puerto Rico but he certainly has the game to do well here in this field.
There have been some flashes of what Tom Lewis 30/1 – with SportingBet – is capable of but the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was the first time he has been consistent which see him finish in the Top 15 after opening up with a 66. Tom missed the cut here last year, but I think it’s a more settled player that will be competing here this week and I expect him to be challenging come Sunday.
Another inconsistent player that seems to do well in Spanish speaking countries is Lucas Glover 35/1 – with WilliamHill – who had a Top 5 finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. This week’s field isn’t the strongest and is wide open for anyone who can put three decent rounds together and maybe one level par round similar to what Lucas produced in Mexico will see him picking up the trophy come Sunday.
A final round 62 here last year to make the Top 10 should see Jhonattan Vegas 40/1 – with UniBet – arrive with some positive memories of his last visit here. The first time Jhonattan played here he made the Top 25 unfortunately in his next three starts here he never bettered that until his fourth appearance last year. Vegas best result so far this year came at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and maybe being back in a Spanish speaking country will make him feel at home and get him back on track.
Longer odds tips:
Try Mito Pereira 200/1 – with SportingBet – and Rafael Campos 200/1 – with SportingBet
As always good luck
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