PGA Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship Handicapping Preview

by Mar 26, 2019Golf

Corales Punta Cana Championship

Where: Corales Golf Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Start Date: Thursday, March 27, 2019

Finish Date: Sunday, March 31, 2019

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The Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship will take place this week for it’s second year on the PGA Tour.  This event was formerly a Tour Event but last year, it became an official part of the PGA Tour.  This may be the second year for the tournament on the PGA Tour but many of the golfers from the tour are in this tournament so you can use the course history on several of these guys. One golfer that many people will have their eyes on in this tournament is former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, who will be playing on a sponsor exemption.  Romo missed the cut here last year but people will waste their money and throw a few dollars on him, simply because it is fun to root for the underdog.

Overall, this tournament will have a much less quality caliber of talent than the WGC-Dell Championships Match Play.  The majority of the tournament will be the lower level players and those that did not qualify for the WGC. That being said, there are still some decent guys in the tournament worth looking at.  

An interesting fact about this tournament is the winner will receive the two-year exemption to play on the PGA Tour but they do not receive an automatic invite to The Masters.    

Corales Golf Club Details

The Corales Golf Club was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2010.  The course plays out as a Par 72 and measures over 7690 yards! It is a very long golf course so ball strikers will have a big advantage.  There is only one course, that the pro’s will play on this year, that is longer than Corales Golf Club and that is Torrey Pines.

The course is set up in the midst of natural cliffs, Ocean covers, and the Caribbean.  The sites that the course is set upon are breathtaking and will create some nice views for the PGA pros.  

The greens at Corales Golf Club are made up of Paspalum.  This is not a normal putting surface that many pro’s are accustomed to, so putting can be tricky this week. Some other tournaments that are played on Paspalum are the Puerto Rico Open, OHL Classic and the CIMB Classic.  

The fairways here are very easy to hit so you really don’t have to put too much emphasis or worrying about your golfer hitting the fairways.  

Additionally, even when a golfer rarely misses the fairway and end up out in the rough, it is much shorter than most other courses and also scrambling here is much easier than pretty much any other course on the PGA Tour.

Wind is normally a factor here because of how the course is situated.  It is pretty much uncovered from the elements and sits on the coast, so wind plays a factor nearly 12 months a year.  

The final three holes of the course is referred to as the Devils Elbow.  The 16th is a 416 yard hole that faces the water. There is a bunker literally right smack dab in the middle of the fairway, which makes it difficult to maneuver around. The 17th hole is 214 yards and can be drastically impacted by the wind.  The hole is set in a spot where the organizers can change the method of approach, making this a very difficult hole to play. The final hole, the 18th, is a 501 yards and sits along the cliffs of the Bay of Corales. The three holes together look to be very trying and appear to difficult to venture through.    

System Attributes

With this course being the second-longest course on tour, there should be no shock that we are looking for golfers that are long off the tee.   You will also want to look for golfers in decent form. They don’t necessarily have to be in great course form however it is always a good asset to have decent form while heading into a tournament!

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Corales Punta Cana Championship Golfers

Jhonattan Vegas at +1620 (WagerWeb)

Our first golfer is Jhonattan Vegas.  Vegas enters this weeks tournament off a weeks rest, following up on a 3rd place finish at the MUCH tougher caliber tournament, Players Championship.  Vegas played really well in that tournament and is coming in off 3 straight decent performances.  He finished 16th at the Honda Classic and 23rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, making it 3 straight Top 25 finishes. With this tournament being a much softer tournament in means of competition, I see no reason why Vegas isn't there on Sunday competing for the win. 

Sung Jae Im at +1620 (WagerWeb)

Im is about as inconsistent as the stock market but the fact remains when he is on his game, he is a very good golfer. I think having the weaker field will greatly help him this week and get him some much-needed confidence.  Im finished in 3rd and 4th place at the Valspar and Arnold Palmer, yet missed the cut at The Players Championship.  If the golfer that we seen at the Valspar shows up here at Punta Cana, no one will catch him on Sunday!!!

Matt Jones at +3300 (WagerWeb)

Matt Jones has been playing in some tougher tournaments most recently but still managing to compete in the mid-pack. He finished in 13th place last week at the Valspar Championship and has played well, with an average finish of 34th place in the last 5 PGA Tournaments, none of which did he miss the cut. A majority of those tournaments were much tougher caliber tournaments and with the weaker field, we could see him compete much closer to the lead this week. 

Jonathan Byrd at +5500 (WagerWeb)

Byrd has course experience on his side, having played here in 2017 and 2018.  He didn't do spectacular or anything like that but he finished 30th and 54th place. This year, he is playing a much softer schedule and hasn't played in over a month, which was the Puerto Rico Open, where he finished in 21st place. His tournament prior to that was the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he finished in 22nd place. He also played in the Desert Classic this year and placed 57th but overall, those are the only 3 tournaments he has played in this year. Don't be surprised if we see a much more energized golfer in Byrd and one that controls the leaderboard this week. 

Derek Fathauer at +8000 for ½ Unit (MyBookie)

Fathauer has taken a month off to rest and now returns off a 21st place finish at the Puerto Rico Open. Prior to that, he finished in 17th place at the Web.Com Tour's LECOM Suncoast Classic.  He has competed at a much lower scale this year and this is just up his alley for being able to compete. Fathauer's putting will be key this week, and if he can maintain the distance, he could compete for a win at a nice price!

D.J. Trahan at +9000 for ½ Unit (MyBookie)

Trahan finished in 16th place at the Puerto Rico Open and 18th at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He has played here two years in a row and didn't really particularly play well missing the cut in 2017 and finishing in 60th last year.  That being said, he wasn't in the same form then as he is now. He is hitting the ball really well and should be able to hang around on Sunday for a top spot.  

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