With the world’s top 50 busy playing at the World Golf Matchplay Championship, many PGA regulars have been offered the chance to net a rare PGA title and the lucrative bonuses that come with it. Played at the stunning Corales course in the Dominican Republic, Englishman Matt Wallace leads the Puntacana field by one stroke. We are set for a fascinating weekend with 27 players positioned within five strokes off the lead. Here our Puntacana Championship Round 1 & 2 Recap
Four years ago Matt Wallace looked set to take the golfing world by storm. A three time winner on the DP World Tour, all the promise that the Englishman showed at the start of his career has been blunted by a couple of disappointing seasons.
Now ranked 176 in the world, Wallace has endured a tough time on the PGA Tour, missing the cut in six of his last seven tournaments. However at last week’s Valspar Wallace showed some signs of recovery and form finishing seventh – his highest ever PGA Tour finish.
Clearly boosted by his performance last week, Wallace has looked in complete control of his golf ball and through the first 36 holes leads the field by one stroke.
This is the second time in his career that Wallace has led a PGA field through the halfway stage and he has found himself in this position courtesy of three closing birdies in yesterday’s second round.
Wallace has been superb from tee to green, finding fairways and greens with regularity. Through the first two rounds Wallace has dropped just one shot and if he can keep this level of play up over the weekend he could be the man to beat.
Clark continues good form – will start the third round one stroke off the lead
Wyndham Clark headed into the week following a superb performance at last week’s Valspar where he finished fifth. Like Wallace, Clark has continued the positive momentum from his performance last week and is superbly placed to launch his challenge over the weekend.
Ranked 90th in the world, Clark has become a model of consistency and has made the cut in his last eleven starts. Clark has never won on the PGA Tour but has recorded several second place finishes. He started the week as the favorite for the tournament and could be the sensible play for victory this weekend.
Value to be found throughout the field
With so many players sitting within five strokes of the lead, there are plenty of players who are capable of mounting a charge over the weekend.
Nicolai Hojgaard is quickly earning a reputation for being one of the brightest prospects on the DP World Tour and the Dane will start today three strokes off the lead.
A huge hitter of the ball, Hojgaard fired himself into contention with a stunning -7 second round that saw him vault up the leaderboard.
A winner of last year’s Italian Open, Hojgaard will be eyeing up a spot on this year’s European Ryder Cup team and a positive showing this weekend could put him in a strong position in qualifying for the team.
The highest ranked player heading into this week’s tournament was Belgian player Thomas Detry. Detry is another player like Hojgaard that has played well on the DP World Tour but is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour.
Detry has work to do and will start today five shots off the lead. A capable striker of the ball, he will be looking to make a significant move up the leaderboard in today’s third round.