Puerto Rico Open 2014: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 6, 2014

Puerto Rico Open 2014: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

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    Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press

    With the world's top golfers battling it out in Doral, Fla., at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open lacks star power. 

    Don't let the lack of stars fool you into tuning out, however. This is still an important tournament. 

    Held at the Trump International Golf Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, this event has a $3.5 million purse, which provides a great opportunity for lesser-known golfers to grab a nice paycheck and solidify their standing on the money list.     

    I wonder if they keep the winnings in a pot at the end of this rainbow tweeted by Fearless Golf.

    There are also 300 FedEx Cup points up for grabs. 

    Scott Brown is the defending champion. He notched his first PGA win at this event last year. That made him the third first-time winner to take this tournament in the past six years. 

    Brown's win was not the big story last year, though. That belonged to Jordan Spieth.

    At just 19, Spieth finished in second place, just one stroke off the lead. That result made the golfing world take notice, and Spieth continued to impress all last season. He was so impressive, that he is playing in the WGC event this week. 

    Brown will be back to defend his win, however, and he will be battling for the title against the likes of, among many others, Brooks Koepka, John Daly, David Duval, Trevor Immelman, David Toms, Scott Brown, Y.E. Yang, Fabian Gomez, Alex Cejka and Lee Janzen. 

    We'll be tracking the action round by round in the slides that follow. 

Round 4 Recap

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    Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press

    It was a career-defining moment for Chesson Hadley after Round 4 of the 2014 Puerto Rico Open, as he captured his first PGA Tour title in just his 13th PGA Tour start by holding off Danny Lee.

    The round was marred by winds that often exceeded 25 mph, but Hadley was rarely impacted by the conditions on his way to the two-stroke victory:

    Pos.Golfer Total R1R2R3R4
     1Chesson Hadley-21-4-7-5 -5
     2Danny Lee-19 -5 -4 -6 -4
     3Ben Martin -17 -4 -5 -2 -6
    T4David Toms-16 -E-8 -5 -3
     T4Jason Gore-16 -5 -3 -6 -2
    T4Carl Pettersson-16 -1 -6 -6-3
    T4Richard H. Lee-16 -3 -4 -4 -5
    T4Wes Roach-16 -3 -6 -2 -5
    T9Jerry Kelly-15 -3-5 -5-2
    T9Ricky Barnes-15 -4 -4 -3-4

    Hadley told reporters, according to the Associated Press via ABC News, that the night before the round was mostly miserable with so much on the line on Sunday:

    I wasn't vomiting or anything, but there were a couple of times where I felt nauseous out on the course. I went to bed. I watched maybe three minutes of the Duke-Carolina game. I fell right asleep and I woke up ready to go about 5:30, 6, and I never really went back to sleep, just kind of tossed and turned.

    With the win, Hadley earned $630,000, spots in The Players Championship, PGA Championship and Tournament of Champions and a massive bump in the rankings.

    Hadley was able to retain his top spot from the day prior, while Danny Lee prevented Ben Martin, a late riser who had the best round of any man on the day at six-under, from overtaking his spot. Close behind were five names who tied for fourth after various performances, with the most noteworthy being Jason Gore, who had entered the day tied for third.

Round 3 Recap

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    Michael Cohen/Getty Images

    Chesson Hadley has been near to the top of the leaderboard for the entire tournament. A five-under 67 on Saturday helped him climb ahead of the rest of the pack.

    He’s by no means clear, however, with six other golfers within three strokes of him. Here’s what the leaderboard looks like at the end of Round 3:

    Pos.GolferTotalRd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3
    1Chesson Hadley-16686567
    2Danny Lee-15676866
    T3Jason Gore-14676966
    T3Jonathan Byrd-14696667
    T5Carl Pettersson-13716666
    T5Jerry Kelly-13696767
    T5David Toms-13726467
    T8George McNeill-12696768
    T8Rafael Cabrera Bello-12696768

    Hadley jumped out to an early lead thanks to four birdies on the front-nine and he didn’t relinquish the lead.

    Two other players that have been good in each round, Danny Lee and Jason Gore, were rewarded for their consistency as they currently occupy the two spots directly behind the leader.

    The previous day’s leader, James Driscoll, couldn’t regain his magic from Friday—when he tied the course record with a 63. He finished with a 75 and tumbled down the standings to finish the day tied for 20th, sitting seven strokes behind his successor atop the board.

    The story so far has been Hadley, who is in prime position to garner his first tour victory—something we shouldn’t be shocked by given his impressive performance during his rookie season (two top-10 finishes this year).

    Hadley carries the lead into the final round for the first time of his career. All eyes will be on him, as everybody watches to see whether the 26-year-old will thrive or buckle under the pressure.

Round 2 Recap

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    Michael Cohen/Getty Images

    James Driscoll shredded the Trump International Golf Course in Friday's Round 2. The 36-year-old vaulted into the lead of this tournament by shooting a nine-under-par 63 to move to 12-under for the tournament. 

    His lead is just one stroke over Chesson Hadley. Have a look at the leaderboard at the conclusion of Round 2. 

    Pos.GolferTo ParRd. 1Rd. 2
    1James Driscoll -126963
    2Chesson Hadley-116865
    3Eric Axley -106866
    T4Ben Martin-96867
    T4Wes Roach-96966
    T4Jonathan Byrd-96966
    T4Danny Lee-96768
    T8Greg Owen-86967
    T8David Toms-87264
    T8Jerry Kelly-86967
    T8Jason Gore-86769
    T8Ricky Barnes-86868
    T8George McNeill -86967
    T8Bud Cauley -86967
    T8Rafael Cabrera Bello -86967

    Driscoll's outstanding round was good enough to not only catapult him into the lead, it also tied the course record. 

    This is actually the second time Driscoll has tied the course record here. He did so in 2011. Derek Lamely set the record just one year prior to that. 

    The 63 was especially impressive on this day as wind gusts were hitting 20 miles per hour. Despite the blustery conditions, Driscoll didn't pick up a bogey on the day, and he had an eagle to go with his seven birdies. 

    Driscoll has won over $5 million on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 2001, but he is still searching for his first victory. 

    Chesson Hadley will be trying to gun him down to notch his first tour victory as well. Of course, considering this is his rookie season, the fact he has yet to pick up a win is not shocking. Hadley already has two top-10 finishes in his rookie outing, and he is well on his way to a third. 

    Round 1 leader Brian Stuard got off to a strong start. He was three-under after the first five holes. He picked up just one birdie and suffered three bogeys for the remainder of his round, however, and now finds himself seven-under and tied for 16th. 

Round 1 Recap

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    MARCO GARCIA/Associated Press

    Brian Stuard went out early in Round 1 of the Puerto Rico Open and posted a six-under-par 66 that no one else could match, although Jason Gore and Danny Lee came close. They both fired a 67 to sit just one stroke back. 

    Seven more golfers finished Round 1 at four under to leave a tightly packed leaderboard. Have a look at how the top golfers sit at the completion of Round 1: 

    1Brian Stuard -6
    T2Jason Gore-5
    T2Danny Lee-5
    T5Tim Petrovic -4
    T5Ricky Barnes-4
    T5Chesson Hadley-4
    T5William McGirt -4
    T5Y.E. Yang-4
    T5Eric Axley -4
    T5Ben Martin-4

    Full leaderboard, stats and results can be viewed via PGATour.com.

    Stuard started off on the back nine, and he set the course on fire. He jumped out to a blistering start with a five-under 31 for his opening nine. 

    He slowed down a bit after but was still rock solid. He picked up six pars, two birdies and a bogey on Nos. 1 through 9. His success is not at all shocking. The following tweets from TheGolfLine and PGATourMedia should help explain.

    Jason Gore used a safe and consistent approach to sit at tied for second, and it is one that should have him in contention all tournament. 

    The veteran only missed a single fairway off the tee, but his average driving distance was also under 250 yards. 

    Danny Lee's play does not appear to be as sustainable. The 23-year-old stuck every green in regulation after hitting just 64 percent of his fairways. Lee is going to have a hard time bailing himself out with his irons like that for a full week. 

    Meanwhile, defending champion Scott Brown is way back in a tie for 32nd, but he is only four shots off the lead.