PGA Tour

Struggling Trainer defends lone PGA title at Puerto Rico

Martin Trainer (Getty Images)
Martin Trainer (Getty Images)

Miam - Martin Trainer, who missed the cut in 20 of 22 events before last week, defends his lone PGA title starting Thursday at the Puerto Rico Open.

While most of the world's top golfers will compete at this week's WGC event in Mexico, Trainer will be among a field of 120 as he tries to repeat at Grande Reserve Country Club.

Trainer, 28, holds dual citizenship after being born in Marseille to a French mother and American father.

Trainer missed the cut in 20 of 22 events before taking 47th at last week's Genesis Invitational at Riviera. He was also last in a field of 34 at the PGA Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and withdrew from last year's Byron Nelson.

A coaching switch to Jeff Smith paid immediate dividends with a set-up switch that lifted him past the cut at the Tiger Woods-hosted event.

"It has been a long 10 months of struggling, but I'm just happy to be hitting the ball straight again," Trainer said.

"Even on Thursday I was on my sixth hole of the tournament and was already two over par but I was ecstatic because I was actually achieving the things that I've been working on.

"I was just thrilled that I could actually hit a ball that started to the left and faded, which I hadn't been able to do it in months. So that kind of a thing was a victory in and of itself.

"Now that I'm hitting the right shots and missing in a narrower window, I have a chance."

There will be 16 rookies trying to become the first US PGA newcomer to win a title this season. Not since 2009 when no rookie won a title has it taken so long for a PGA season to produce a rookie winner.

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