Puerto Rico Open PGA Expert Picks
PUERTO RICO OPEN PGA EXPERT PICKS - Welcome to a quick and dirty preview of the Puerto Rico Open.
While all the big dogs are battling at Bay Hill this weekend, the rest of the Tour heads to Puerto Rico to duke it out at windswept Grand Reserve Golf Club.
We covered it briefly on the podcast, and we’ve already previewed the venue and field. But now I’m ready to spend a little more time talking about a couple guys who merit your betting attention.
Akshay Bhatia (+2500)
Bhatia strung together some strong finishes on the KFT in January, before missing a couple of cuts. This event is going to resemble a Korn Ferry Tour event more than a typical Tour event, so we can assume he isn’t going to be outmatched on talent.
In his start last week at the Honda, the iron game looked really sharp. Driving accuracy issues shouldn’t hurt him as much here, and Grand Reserve is probably friendlier towards his often balky putter.
Nobody in this field has stats worth gushing over, that’s why they are here and not at Bay Hill. Bhatia was a highly touted amateur when he turned pro as a teenager, but he hasn’t quite found his rhythm as a professional.
This tournament has served as a stepping stone for high-talent guys like Finau and Hovland who have both booked wins at this event. I think Bhatia could do likewise.
His best finishes have come in the Bahamas or Bermuda. Puerto Rican breeze should provide similar conditions for him.
Brandon Harkins (+4500)
Here’s one more name for you to think about this week. Harkins is battling to get his Tour card back and is in this week on a sponsor exemption.
That’s not the full story though. The reality is that he’s quietly been having a pretty solid season on the Korn Ferry Tour. His last start was a T-3 in Colombia on that Tour, so his game is looking pretty sharp.
Strokes Gained data is challenging to get when guys are on the KFT, but the results are trending up. He hasn’t missed a cut since last summer on that tour and the results are only getting better.
He should relish a chance at being able to gain his PGA Tour eligibility back with a win this week.
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