Betting Preview for the Puerto Rico Open

Emiliano Grillo - Puerto Rico Open
Emiliano Grillo, of Argentina, watches his drive down the second fairway during final round of the RSM Classic golf tournament, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in St. Simons Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

The Puerto Rico Open is an official PGA TOUR alternate event played opposite the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at the Concession. The tournament awards FedEx Cup points, with 300 going to the winner. 

It’s being played at the par-72 Coco Beach Golf Course, one of two at the Grand Reserve Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

The event has been held since 2008 and has a purse of $3 million. The winner receives a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR but does not get an automatic invitation to the Masters. 

With the top 64 players in the world playing at the WGC, the field is a mix of players trying to get their first win on TOUR, along with some that are attempting to regain past playing form and others that are playing to stay sharp for entry onto the PGA TOUR Champions.

When the tournament is played in relatively calm conditions, the winning score is usually around 20-under-par. However, that wasn’t the case in 2015 when Alex Cejka won a five-way playoff with the winning score of 281, just 7-under-par.

Until Viktor Hovland in 2020, no winner had ever gone on to claim victory in another PGA TOUR event. He went on to win the Mayakoba Golf Classic last fall and hasn’t missed a cut in eight starts in the 2021 season. With his talent, it will likely be a long time until he’s back in Puerto Rico to defend his title.

Grillo is one of the busiest players on TOUR, with 13 events already under his belt in the 2021 season.

Top Bets at the PR Open

The top five players in the betting odds at the Puerto Rico Open are international players, led by Belgian Thomas Pieters, who spends most of his time on the European Tour, where he has recorded four wins. He is at +1400 odds, just ahead of Argentine Emiliano Grillo at +1600, whose lone TOUR win came in the 2016 Open.

Grillo is one of the busiest players on TOUR, with 13 events already under his belt in the 2021 season. He only has three missed cuts, but two of those have come in his last three tournaments, including last week’s Genesis Invitational. His best showing was a tie for eighth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic won by Hovland.

Next at +1800 is 45-year-old Englishman Ian Poulter, a three-time winner on TOUR, with his last victory coming at the 2018 Houston Open. He also won 10 times on the European Tour between 2000 and 2011. Poulter is making his first TOUR start since a tie for 50th at the RSM Classic in November.

Tied with Poulter at +1800 is Matt Wallace, another Englishman who splits time between the PGA and European Tours, where he has four wins. Wallace is also making his 2021 calendar year TOUR debut after a tie for 37th at the RSM Classic. The 30-year-old is still seeking his first PGA TOUR win.

Rounding out the top five in the betting odds at +2000 is Branden Grace from South Africa. He has struggled the last couple of years and has one PGA TOUR win at the Heritage in 2016. 

Despite nine wins on the European Tour, he’s had difficulty duplicating that success on this side of the Atlantic.

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