Whilst much of the golfing world’s attention will be on this week’s WGC World Matchplay, the PGA Tour has moved on to the Dominican Republic for this year’s Puntacana Championship. Let’s take a look at the field, favorites, and latest Corales Puntacana Championship Odds courtesy of Jazzsports.
Although the world’s top 50 players will be absent, the Puntacana allows some of the tour’s lesser lights a golden opportunity to find themselves in the PGA Tour’s winners circle.
Most of the players in the field this week will often find themselves battling to keep hold of their PGA Tour cards, and a win this week will earn the winner a two-year Tour exemption – so there is certainly plenty to play for.
Ahead of what could be a tightly fought four days of golf, here is everything you need to know about this year’s Puntacana Championship.
This is the eighth time that the Corales Puntacana Championship has been held and since earning full PGA Tour status the tournament has been won by the likes of Graeme McDowell and Joel Dahmen. Last year’s winner Chad Ramey will be teeing it up again this year and will be hopeful of regaining his title.
The Puntacana is the first and only tournament in PGA history to have been held in the Dominican Republic.
This week’s action will unfold on the Corales Course which is one of the most picturesque stops on the PGA Tour.
Designed in 2010, the course is situated on the banks of the Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by cliffs and coves, making it a truly stunning destination.
Measuring 7,670 yards, the course plays as a par 72. The players will be greeted with wide, expansive fairways and the greens are amongst the slowest on Tour.
The course’s main defense is the wind and if it isn’t blowing, we have seen winning scores as low as -24. The windiest edition of the tournament came back in 2021 when Joel Dahmen won with a score of -12.
The winner this week, shouldn’t need to rely on their driving abilities but approach play will be key in determining who will be victorious.
With no top 50 field players in the lineup this week, the tournament is wide open. Based on rankings, Belgian Thomas Detry leads the field. Ranked 82nd in the world, Detry now spends most of his time on the PGA Tour but is yet to taste success.
A fine player, Detry has finished second on numerous occasions when playing on the DP World Tour. Interestingly some of Detry’s best performances have come on links-style courses.
The Belgian has finished in the top five in both the Alfred Dunhill and Scottish Open where conditions will be similar to what the players will encounter this week. Detry also finished second in last year’s Bermuda Open which has a very similar set up to this week’s course.
Clearly capable in tough and breezy conditions, Detry looks to be one of the smartest picks of the week.
Joel Dahmen will return to the scene of his greatest triumph as he bids to win this title for the second time in the last three years.
Dahmen’s victory in 2021 was underlined by superb iron play and an unflinching nerve on the green. Located just outside the world’s top 50 a year ago, Dahmen has struggled this year and has slid down to 100 in the rankings. His best effort of 2023 came in the AT&T at Pebble Beach where he finished 41st.
It’s been a tale of missed cuts and lowly finishes since then, and Dahmen will be hoping a return to a course he has enjoyed previous success on will ignite his stuttering season.
Arguably the man in the best form heading into the tournament is Wyndham Clark. Clark will head to Dominica fresh off a top-five showing at last week’s Valspar which was his best performance of 2023.
Despite not troubling the top of leaderboards too often, Clark is as consistent as they come and has made the cut in his last eleven outings.
In those eleven tournaments, he has finished in the top ten three times and has posted a top twenty finish on two other occasions.
Whereas the majority of this week’s field has been plagued by inconsistencies, Clark has shown the opposite and could be the one of the best players to side with this week.
Anyone on the 120-man field competing this week will believe that they can win and wherever you look there is some tremendous value that can be found.
When it comes to riding the hot hand, Adam Schenk is bound to be a popular selection. The American produced one of the best performances of his career at last week’s Valspar and was desperately unlucky not to have won. His second-place finish was the best of his PGA Tour career, and he will be hoping to go one step further this week.
Since his win at this event a year ago, Chad Ramey has largely found life difficult and now finds himself ranked at 199 in the world.
However, despite his recent struggles the last two weeks have shown that Ramey’s game is starting to shape up.
Ramey led The Players Championship after the first round and would go on to finish a respectable 27th. He would match that result at last week’s Valspar.
Returning to the scene of his success just twelve months ago, Ramey will be hoping he can build on his last few results and defend his title at a venue he clearly enjoys.
This is the type of PGA event that can throw up a surprise winner and Ben Martin could fit the bill here.
Ranked at 260 in the world, Martin is a player on the up. He finished 5th at this year’s Honda Classic and was in the running through two rounds at this year’s Players Championship before tamely falling away over the weekend. A superb ball striker, Martin can contend this week and could be one of the better options at a decent price.
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