Date: March 07, 2013
Author: Bruce Young /

Chance to bounce back at Puerto Rico Open

With many of the PGA Tour and the world s leading players in Miami this week the opportunity exists for those who have not qualified to play the WGC event to advance their careers with a good week at the Puerto Rico Open. Luke Guthrie, a two time winner on the Nationwide Tour in 2012, finished third last week at the Honda and this week provides a great opportunity for his inevitable victory on the PGA Tour to manifest itself. Patrick Cantlay won the Colombia Championship last week on the Tour and a few weeks earlier recorded a top ten at the AT&T Pebble Beach event. Still officially a rookie, Cantlay is also chasing a breakthrough victory on the PGA Tour, a win that must come before long if it is not this week. The 21 year old former Walker Cup player should prove a real threat to Guthrie. K.J. Choi is a player who in another time and another place would be playing the WGC event in Miami but now ranked 69th in the world he misses the qualifying criteria for the event. Choi has played only sparingly this season but has done well enough for him to be a chance against this lesser field. Michael Bradley has been a two time winner of this event but he does not appear to be in good enough form to have a chance this year. Henrik Stenson finished third in the event last year and despite a missed cut at last week s Honda Classic he has been in solid form in recent months. He won the South African Open last year and in 2011 he recovered from a bad start to this event to finish midfield. Y.E Yang is a much better player than his current 113rd world ranking suggests. He has hardly set the world on fire in recent times but although he has not played this event previously he might stand a chance. Bae Sang Moon finished 8th at the Northern Trust Open and seems to be getting closer to a big week on the PGA Tour. The former successful Japan Tour player finished runner-up at last year s Transitions event on the PGA Tour and against this weaker field has a genuine chance. Australians in the field include Matt Jones, Robert Allenby, Rod Pampling, Nathan Green, Cameron Percy, Steve Bowditch, Scott Gardiner, Nick O Hern and Alistair Presnell.