Saturday, March 13

Gusty Breezes and Missed Putts at Puerto Rico Open

(Photos courtesy of Rob Hayashida of Golf Views)

ARMCHAIR GOLF is in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, for the Puerto Rico Open.

RORY SABBATINI TYPIFIED PLAYERS I watched on a windy Saturday at the Puerto Rico Open. Putts didn’t drop for the South African and the frustration showed. In fact, of the several groups I watched, I didn’t see any player hole a putt of more than a few feet on the grainy, undulating greens. And on a few occasions, I saw players miss short par putts.

It’s only the third year for this PGA Tour stop, and I imagine the players are still learning the subtleties of the Tom Kite-designed course, including the apparently tricky putting surfaces.

Sabbatini, who opened with a forgettable 77, was paired with Mark Calcavecchia (68) and 2008 Puerto Rico Open champion Greg Kraft (72). Course designer and Champions Tour player Tom Kite shot a respectable 73 on the lengthy layout. John Daly posted a 69. With preferred lies in play, I expect the tournament record of 14-under par to fall.

Cejka’s Break

What are players doing on their breaks between the first and second rounds? Hanging out at the resort mostly, except for Alex Cejka, who completed his opening round of 67 early on Saturday.

“I’m going to fly home and see my kids and come back tonight,” he said.

–The Armchair Golfer

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