Puerto Rico Open 2013: Biggest Names to Watch in Rio Grande

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2013

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 12:  George McNeill hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on January 12, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A handful of golf's best will take their talents even farther south than South Beach this week, when they travel to the Caribbean to play in the sixth annual Puerto Rico Open at the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande.

Reigning tournament champion George McNeil will lead a field of golfers that includes players like Rory Sabbatini, D.A. Points, Paul Casey and Y.E. Yang, among some other notables.

Here we'll highlight some of the biggest names set to tee off on Thursday.

Michael Bradley

A two-time champion of this tournament, American Michael Bradley isn't a household name, but he's certainly a player worth watching given his credentials at Trump International Golf Club.

The 46-year-old Florida native has just four career PGA Tour wins, but two have come in the last four years, both in Rio Grande. He won most recently in Puerto Rico in 2011, when he outlasted Troy Matteson in a playoff. 

Bradley's been off to a sluggish start in 2013, missing four cuts in his first six tournament appearances this season. He missed the cut at last week's Honda Classic after shooting four-over through the first two rounds.

Despite his struggles, you would be foolish to count Bradley out this week. Remember, he's the only man to have won this tournament twice.

Angel Cabrera

Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera will play the Puerto Rico Open for the third straight year in 2013. Although the 43-year-old Argentine has never won at Rio Grande, he has played well here in recent years.

Cabrera, winner of the 2007 U.S. Open and 2009 Masters, has shot under par in seven of eight rounds at this tournament dating back to 2011. He finished 24th a year ago, but was tied for seventh place in 2011. While Cabrera has yet to win this tournament, he's no doubt one of the most accomplished players taking part in 2013. 

Cabrera has two major championships to show for his efforts on the golf course, so keep an eye on him in Rio Grande the rest of the week and into the weekend.

George McNeill

George McNeill returns to Rio Grande in 2013 as the reigning Puerto Rico Open champion, having shot 16-under to edge Ryo Ishikawa and the rest of the field. McNeill's best round last year was on Day 1, when he shot a six-under 66 to push to the front early on. 

Like Bradley, McNeill is a Florida native who has won multiple times on the PGA Tour. McNeill's first win on Tour came at the Frys.com Open in 2007.

However, McNeill enters this week's event with lots of momentum, as he has survived five cuts through five tournaments to start the year. He placed 28th in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in early January and finished tied for 41st at last week's Honda Classic, just one stroke back of Tiger Woods.

With Woods and the sport's other big names playing in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla. this weekend, the stage is set for McNeill to repeat in Puerto Rico.

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