Puerto Rico offers chances for Aussies
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com | Preview | 05 Mar 2014
While the stars of the PGA Tour are in Miami this week those not at that level and have failed to qualify for the WGC Cadillac at Trump International Doral Resort and Spa are in Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Open.
The event is played for US$3,500,000 compared to the US$9,000,000 on offer in Florida but for many of those playing at the Trump International in Rio Grande this week a victory would be just as sweet.
Donald Trump gets his name in the headlights for both tournaments this week, having taken over the Doral Resort and Spa and undertaken its restoration and having built the layout in Rio Grande.
The field includes the past two winners of the event Scott Brown and George McNeil. Brown’s recent form has been very disappointing but for McNeil has played well in each of his last two starts against considerably stronger fields and so a good week can be expected from him.
Brian Stuard has played well in several earlier season events and did finish 4th in this event last year suggesting he has what it takes to contend.
David Hearn appears to have found something with his game having finished 6th at last week’s Honda and importantly for his chances did finish 8th in this event last week.
Australian Matt Jones has yet to win on the PGA Tour but this week offers a great opportunity. Jones has only played the two times in this event for two solid finishes. Jones missed the cut at the Honda but earlier this season he was very solid if unspectacular.
Chris Stroud has not played a lot of late but when he has he has done well. Stroud played this event well enough last year.
The Australians are headed by Jones but there are several others who might well consider themselves chances in this weaker field.
Robert Allenby, Steven Bowditch, Scott Gardiner, Rod Pampling and Brady Watt are also in the field with West Australian Watt playing his first PGA Tour event.