The PGA Tour has 2 events running this week, the big one that is the World Golf Championship in Austin, Texas. Also, a more standard event over in Dominican Republic for those who haven’t qualified for the Match Play, the Corales Puntacana Championship.
The Match Play event consists of 64 players, split over 16 groups of 4 players, with just the player progressing who finishes top of their group. The Match Play format can play into anyone’s hands, so I won’t be previewing it this week as it is a great event just to watch. Instead, I will be previewing the second event on Tour this week which sees a standard stroke play format over 4 days.
Corales Puntacana Championship
For the few players that played last week in Palm Harbor Florida, players will travel from there to the province of La Altgracia in Puntacana, Dominican Republic. Where they will compete for the Corales Puntacana Championship.
This event has been here 7 times in total, with the first in 2016. In 2016/2017 the event was on what was known then as the Web.com tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) and from 2018 onwards it came in as part of the PGA Tour.
As this runs alongside the WGC event, the field is always substandard but this gives us a chance to perhaps look at players we wouldn’t normally consider. Let’s have a look at what the players will face this week.
Corales Golf Course
7660 yards approx.
4 x Par 3s, ranging from 204-265 yards
10 x Par 4s, ranging from 387-501 yards
4 x Par 5s, ranging from 515-626 yards
All Par 3s 205 yards or more, 6 of the Par 4s are 450 yards or less, 2 of the Par 5s are 545 yards or less, but 2 of them are 620 yards or more! standard
Tom Fazio design
Massive, flat and wide open fairways
Wind effected course
As you’ll see in the stats shortly there are no two ways about this week. The course is a huge one but it is fairly simple to navigate as the players that have won this event have not been the biggest hitters by any stretch. The players’ week will come down to how well they navigate the Paspalum surfaces overall.
Being on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, the course is heavily exposed to the wind. We certainly saw a few sideways flags the last two years when Joel Dahmen and Chad Ramey got the victories.
Previous 5 winners and their Performance Stats
No Strokes Gained data has been recorded to date here so just the basics are what we will try to analyse!
2022 Winner – Chad Ramey -17
50th DD 14th DA 21st GIR 18th SCR 2nd PA
2021 Winner – Joel Dahmen -12
17th DD 40th DA 10th GIR 4th SCR 2nd PA
2020 Winner – Hudson Swafford -18
12th DD 14th DA 25th GIR 21st SCR 5th PA
2019 Winner – Graeme McDowell -18
53rd DD 31st DA 16th GIR 47th SCR 1st PA
2018 Winner – Brice Garnett -18
51st DD 20th DA 24th GIR 15th SCR 1st PA
Average Stats for the past 5 winners – Score -16
37th DD 24th DA 19th GIR 21st SCR 2nd PA
Summary/Stats to consider
Putting stats, experience on Paspalum
Par 5 scoring
Keeping it simple this week.
Driving is out of the question – the fairways are that wide it will be harder to miss most of them than it will to hit them. Past winners have hit an average of 70% of the fairways or more here. Therefore, I am not worried about that stat. Distance doesn’t seem to be an issue either, the past 2 winners have been 50th and 17th for distance rankings but the first two were both 53rd and 51st and notorious for being sub 300-yard hitters.
Therefore, we class this course as a second-shot golf course. GIR will be a factor to maximise their chance of sucess.
The average for Putting Average being 2nd is the lowest I have seen since writing these previews at any event. It cannot be one to be ignored being that low. We will have to factor in Putting Averages when looking at our card and positive experiences on Paspalum greens.
Paspalum greens mainly lie at El Camaleon and Coco GC on the PGA Tour, the homes of the Mayakoba Classic and the Puerto Rico Open. Therefore, a look Beach into those wouldn’t be a bad idea.
And finally, Par 5 scoring. A massive variance from 515 yards right up to 626 yards, so a massive swing from scorable holes and holes players will need to grind on, especially if the winds are high this week.
Outsiders have always prevailed here, especially when the wind blows so I am taking my chances it does this week with these tips below! 5 each way shouts, all 1pt each way as ever. Good luck!
Started on twitter as a low key Golf punter. Progressed into a successful Golf podcast where we interviewed numerous professional guests and previewed every tournament on the PGA Tour/DP World Tour for 2 years. Have since wrote Betting Preview for an Odds Comparison company where I have consistently return profit over 18 months.