Starts: 25th March 2021
Course: Corales GC, Dominican Republic
Length: 7,670 yards
2020 Champion: Hudson Swafford
Overall Profit/Loss: +11.38 pts
Pre-Event Bets: -7pts
1pt EW Aaron Baddeley 80/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-7)
0.5pts EW Tyler Duncan 90/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts EW Scott Brown 100/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-6)
0.5pts EW Satoshi Kodaira 125/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-6)
0.5pts EW Troy Merritt 150/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
1pt Luke Donald Top 20 Finish 6/1 @ William Hill
In-Play Bets: +18.38pts
26 March 2021 (+19pts)
1pt EW Rafael Campos(1/4 1-5) - 50/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts EW Hudson Swafford (1/4 1-5) - 80/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts EW Graeme McDowell (1/5 1-5) - 90/1 @ Skybet
27 March 2021 (+1.38pts)
1pt EW Tyler Duncan (1/4 1-4) - 16/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts EW Michael Gligic (1/4 1-4) - 66/1 @ Betfair
28 March 2021 (-2pts)
2pts Danny WIllett Win Only - 5/1 @ General
2021 Course Notes
The weather was much the same all four days with the draw giving no significant advantage to either group of players.
Used Since: 2018
Rough: Bermuda (2 inch)
Greens: Paspalum (11.5 stimp)
Water Hazards: On 6 holes
Par 5's: 4th, 7th, 12th and 14th
Premium on: Ability to deal with wind
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
This event was played on teh Korn Ferry Tour for several years before becoming a PGA Tour event in 2018.
The forecast is for sunshine all week.
Max 16mph winds forecast
Max 16mph winds forecast
Max 17mph winds forecast
Max 17mph winds forecast
All three PGA Tour tournaments have been won with 18 under par. The two Korn Ferry Tour events were won with scores of -20 and -24.
The last three champions had played at Puntacana prior to their win but all three missed the cut the year immediately before their win. Course form preferred but definitely not essential.
None of the last three champions had recorded a top 30 finish in the three starts prior to their win. Neither Graeme McDowell or Brice Garnett had recorded a top 10 that year prior to winning.
The world ranking of the past three champions has been 341-257-211. There's every chance we get a high priced winner.
In the three years this event has been played on the PGA Tour, two of the winners have been American.
The last three winners have ranked 20-78-76. Distance off the tee isn't essential.
The last three winners have ranked 21-51-28. Accuracy slightly preferred over distance.
Greens In Regulation
The last three winners have ranked 40-16-30.
The last three winners have ranked 29-65-16.
Putts Per GIR
The last three winners ahve ranked 8-1-2. A hot putter is essential.
The 11th, 5th and 2nd played hardest last year but the wind direction and strength will often determine which holes are hardest.
The four par 5s rank as four of the five easiest holes. The par 4 3rd hole ranks as amongst the easist also.
16-18 are known as The Devil's Elbow and play slightly over par (+0.18 in 2020, +0.08 in 2019 and +0.37 in 2018)
Fast or Slow Start
2020 and 2018 champions, Hudson Swafford and Brice Garnett, both led after the opening round.
Leaders after round three have a strong record here. Both McDowell and Garnett converted from in front and Dominic Bozzelli won when joint leader in 2016 on the web.com Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour). Each of the last five course winners have been inside the top 10 at halfway.
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Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship In-Play Blog
28 March 2021, 11.30am
Our 50/1 in-play selection Rafael Campos still leads the way, but many of the other second round leaders have fallen away and he will have some new competition to beat if he is to get the job done.
Joel Dahmen is the only other player from the top 5 at halfway who is still right in the thick of it. He recovered beautifully after being one over par for the day through 8. Like Campos, he is seeking his first PGA Tour win and both will see this as a perfect opportunity.
Our player profile of Dahmen shows a 2 star pressure performance rating and he was very poor in his last attempt in contention at the 2020 RBC Heritage. Starting the day one off the lead, he shot 75 to finish 48th and he’s not for us at 7/2.
Our 66/1 halfway play, Michael Gligic is one shot back and he is also seeking his first win on tour. He has barely challenged so far and we’re more hopeful for an each way return than a win but maybe he’ll surprise us!
The danger man appears to be Danny Willett who is also one shot back and rated a 11/2 chance by the bookmakers. Thomas Pieters and Emiliano Grillo have put themselves in a great position after rounds of 69 and 65 respectively and are two shots back.
As mentioned in our preview, leaders have a strong record here so we’re not wanting to look too far down the leaderboard. We’re already in a really strong position but will add one ‘win only’ play as he is the most likely in our eyes.
- 2pts Win ONLY Danny Willett 5/1 @ General
Danny is the only PGA Tour winner within one shot and he is a player we trust in contention. Our player profile shows 5 stars for converting when in the mix, most recently defeating Jon Rahm at Wentworth. The slight concern is that he has not contended for quite some time now but he should be able to draw on these positive experiences. He leads the field for GIR and if he keeps that up he is the most likely winner in our eyes.
27 March 2021, 08.00am
|Six players tied||-5|
It's a three way tie at the top in the Dominican Republic as Justin Suh, Rafael Campos and Fabrizio Zanotti lead the way. All three are seeking their first PGA Tour win and all three will be encouraged by the fact that two of the last three winners have led at the halfway point.
We put Rafael Campos up at 50/1 as an in-play bet yesterday and a bogey free 69 was enough to see him take a share of the lead. He's only made one bogey all week and sits 3rd for Greens in Regulation. His family have had a holiday home here for the past 20 years and he says the Dominican Republic feels like a 2nd home to him. With that level of comfort we'd expect him to contend come Sunday, just as he did at his national open, The Puerto Rico Open, a few weeks ago.
Given his undoubted quality, Justin Suh is the favourite with the bookmakers at 13/2. Suh was a contemporary of Collin Morikawa, Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland and the four were regulalrly spoken about in the same breath when they all turned pro. Injury and a loss of form curtailed Suh's progress to date but we're starting to see him fulfil his potential. He's likely to go on to bigger and better things and on that basis he's rightly favourite here.
With all that said, there are concerns regarding his ability to convert winning chances so far in his career and we'd be happy to take him on at this point. We saw a similar start from him here in September when he opened with 67-67, before falling away with rounds of 71-73. He's also failed to convert some good opportunities on lesser tours. He'll obviously have gained valuable experience from those near misses but for now we're happy to leave him out the equation.
Fabrizio Zanotti is the other member of the leading trio and will be enjoying the wind and firm conditions. He's won twice on the European Tour but the last victory was in 2017 and he was poor when last in serious contention (2019 Oman Open). Given his experience, the bookies have priced him up at 9/1 but it's not a price we're in a rush to take.
We've got plenty of irons in the fire this week with our 90/1 pre-event pick, Tyler Duncan, nicely positioned in 4th place. We also have several other pre-event picks in the top 21 and another of yesterday's in-play picks, Graeme McDowell (90/1), in 6th position. Let's hope for a good weekend from those we have in contention!
The weather is once again forecast to be sunny with a constant wind of 15+ mph throughout the day.
- 1pt Each Way Tyler Duncan 16/1 @ William Hill (1/4 1-4)
Tyler was one of our pre event picks and we're happy to top up with a fantastic price at William Hill. He's a general 14/1 elsewhere and their price has to be taken if you can get it. He leads the way in Greens in Regulation so far this week and he is a relatively recent PGA Tour winner, having won the RSM Classic in 2019. He has his coach on the bag this week and he described his play as "trending" after yesterday's round.
- 0.5pts Each Way Michael Gligic 66/1 @ Betfair (1/4 1-4)
Michael is two shots off the pace after a brilliant 66 yesterday. He opened with a 73 and we saw Graeme McDowell do something similar in 2019, when also opening with a 73. We're obviously not suggesting Gligic and McDowell are comparable but Gligic does have a history of getting off to a slow start and finishing strongly. His win at the 2019 Panama Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour came after weekend rounds of 67-65 and he could well threaten this weekend.
26 March 2021, 12.00am
Whilst the world's best battle it out in Texas, the Dominican Republic plays host to the opposite field event this week. A hole in one helped propel Stephan Jaeger to the top of the leaderboard and he'll be hoping to follow in the footsteps of past round one leaders to make his breakthrough on the PGA Tour.
Both Brice Garnett (2018) and Hudson Swafford (2020) led after the opening round before taking the title here and it's very much a course where those near the top of the leaderboard have had success. Each of the past three champions has been inside the top 7 at halfway so it's imperative to be close to the lead come the weekend.
Jaeger has a history of going low in this tournament - in 2016 he opened with rounds of 66-62-69 before falling away with a final round 74. He's gone on to win five times on the Korn Ferry Tour since then but he's yet to record a top 10 on the PGA Tour. With that in mind, it's a tough ask for him to lead from start to finish here.
Those who started slowly can take heart from the fact 2019 champion, Graeme McDowell, opened with a 73 before going 64-64-69. Furthermore, both times the event was held on the Korn Ferry Tour, the winners started with modest rounds of 70 and 69.
The weather is forecast to be much the same as round one with the morning players set to play in winds of around 15mph and the afternoon starters experiencing around 17mph.
- 1pt Each Way Rafael Campos 50/1 @ William Hill (1/4 1-5)
Rafael did us a favour at the Puerto Rico Open a couple of weeks ago at big odds when he landed an each way place. He mentioned in an interview before that event that he is now playing injury free for the first time in four years and his game was in a really good place. A missed cut last time out at The Honda Classic meant he didn't make our pre-event bets but we want to get him onside now. He boasts a third place finish in this event in 2017 when it was a Korn Ferry Tour event and he's subsequently gone on to win on the Korn Ferry Tour since. Being in the final group at Puerto Rico will have given him valuable experience and we think he can can go close here.
- 0.5pts Each Way Hudson Swafford 80/1 @ William Hill (1/4 1-5)
Hudson is the defending champion and at odds of 80/1 is worth a small bet. He spoke of hitting a lot of solid golf shots after yesterday's round and he was certainly strong off the tee, ranking 4th for Driving Accuracy and 36th for Driving Distance. With his win in September still fresh in his memory, he can win again this week.
- 0.5pts Each Way Graeme McDowell 90/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-5)