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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Corales Puntacana Championship (2024)

Updated: Apr 16

These alternate events on the PGA Tour are often-times a crap shoot as the vast-majority of the Tour’s best play at the primary event.

That is not the case this week with the changes made to Signature Events being limited field events. This offers a much improved field for the alternate events, such as their week’s Corales Puntacana Championship.

Due to this, the Corales Puntacana Championship will feature the best field of any alternate event we have or will see this season.

This event has been a part of the PGA Tour since 2018 and was previously part of the Tour from 2016 to 2017. 

It annually served as the alternate event to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and since its inception on Tour, has always served as an alternate event. 

The Field

As previously mentioned, this event serves as an alternate event to the Signature Event RBC Heritage.

Due to that, the majority of the Tour’s best will be in Hilton Head Island but that doesn't mean the field here at the Corales Puntacana Championship is lacking.

This week’s field is headlined by PGA Tour starlet Nicolai Hojgaard who finished runner-up here a season ago and comes into this week fresh off a T16th at The Masters.

He’s joined at the top by Alex Noren who has been one of the most consistent golfers on Tour this season. 

Matt Wallace is the defending champion who topped Hojgaard by a stroke a season ago. Wallace will not be back this year to defend his title.

Other notable names teeing it up this week include Billy Horschel, Aaron Rai, Ben Martin, Nate Lashley, Mark Hubbard, Kevin Yu and Doug Ghim.

Former winners of this event in this week’s field include Chad Ramey (2022,) Joel Dahmen (2021) and Nate Lashley (2017.)

The Course

Corales Golf Club plays as a par 72 at over 7,600 yards, making it one of the longest courses on all of the Tour.

Corales Golf Club is a thing of beauty as it features six oceanside holes and an endless display of natural beauty.

The course is very open off the tee and combining that with the long distance of the course makes it for a bomber’s paradise.

The Paspalum greens are where this event is often won.

The green complexes are very difficult and will cause players fits all week long. Being able to navigate these tricky Tom Fazio designed putting surfaces will be the difference between winning and losing this week.

Corales Golf Club’s closing three-hole stretch, known as ‘The Devil’s Elbow’ will once again be the spotlight this week. The par-four 18th hole features a force carry of the Bay of Corales.

Wind will be a factor as the course is coastline. The coastal winds at these types of events always come into play.

The Weather

As of the time of writing this, the weather appears to be on our side. There is just a 40-percent chance of precipitation on Sunday with the rest of the week calling for just a 20-percent chance. Winds will range between 11-and-13 miles-per-hour across all four days but that does not include the threat of the coastal winds. Temperatures are currently set at 84-degrees across all four days. In all, we could be in line for four clear days in the Dominican Republic.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Average Driving Distance

  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)

  • Birdie or Better Percentage

  • Par 5 Average Scoring

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Scrambling

  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG) / Sand Saves Percentage

Betting Card

Nicolai Hojgaard (+1600)

Hojgaard comes into this week fresh off a T16th at The Masters last week and was the runner up to Wallace in this event a season ago. If it wasn’t for a 76 on Sunday, he could have placed top ten in his first visit to Augusta National. Besides that, he hasn’t been in the best of form. He made the cut at the Valero Texas Open but prior to that missed back-to-back cuts. His season started promising with a runner-up finish at the Farmers Insurance Open to Matthieu Pavon. He followed that up with top 40 finishes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. He’s, in my opinion, the most talented golfer in this field and will be hungrier than ever after what he did on the biggest stage the sport has to offer last week. He is also currently 21st on Tour in both SG: OTT and average driving distance, 65th in SG: APP and 84th in birdie or better percentage. The rest of the stats listed don’t tell the full story on how good of a golfer he is as he’s struggled this season. He’s primed for his big breakthrough on Tour this week. I’m playing two units on him.

Davis Thompson (+4000)

Thompson has had a mixed bag of results on the PGA Tour this season. He’s played in ten events, making the cut in seven of them. However, he does have four top 25 finishes on the season, most recently at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. He also placed T15th earlier this season at the WM Phoenix Open in a star-studded field. He also made the cut in his last outing at the Valero Texas Open. Thompson is currently 14th on Tour in sand saves percentage, 28th in SG: ATG, 35th in birdie or better percentage, 50th in SG: APP, 51st in average driving distance, 59th in par five average scoring, 60th in GIR%, 64th in SG: PUTT, 69th in scrambling and 134th in SG: OTT. His off-the-tee statistic may alarm you but he does come with plus distance and that’s what we really care about this week. I’m playing a unit on him this week.

Max Greyserman (+5500)

A similar comp course to this week is the Grand Reserve Country Club at the Puerto Rico Open. Not only for the climate but the same unique Paspalum greens. Greyserman finished T15th there. He also burst onto everyone’s radar with a T7th at the Texas Children’s Open on Easter weekend. He did miss the cut in his last outing at the Valero Texas Open but prior that made four consecutive cuts with the aforementioned results and a T33th at the Valspar Championship. He is currently 30th on Tour in average driving distance, 45th in scrambling, 49th in birdie or better percentage, 63rd in SG: APP, 81st in SG: PUTT, 83rd in SG: ATG, 88th in SG: OTT and 95th in sand saves percentage. In other words, he’s above average in each of the ten statistical categories I took into consideration this week. I’m playing a unit on him.

Hayden Springer (+9000)

We’re looking for golfers this week with plus distance off the tee and who can putt the ball. That is Springer. He rode that same play style to a T3rd at the Puerto Rico Open earlier this season. On top of that he has made the cut in five-of-seven events this season. He also placed T33rd at the Farmers Insurance Open and T38th at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. Springer is currently 20th on Tour in average driving distance, 24th in birdie or better percentage, 41st in SG: PUTT, 42nd in SG: OTT, 53rd in sand saves percentage, 73rd in par five average scoring, 81st in SG: ATG, 110th in scrambling, 135th in GIR% and 147th in SG: APP. I’m also playing a unit on him.

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