You’re forgiven if you can’t place the last few winners at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. After all, two of the last four winners posted their first PGA Tour victories at this off-field event that goes up against the WGC Match Play event in Texas.
But that’s a good thing for those looking to make a name for themselves or those trying to make a comeback. While the big boys are going head-to-head in a match play shootout over five days, the players teeing it up in the Dominican Republic know this week can be the key to their future.
With a win, the champ receives a paycheck of more than $500,000, earns 300 FedEx Cup points and–most importantly–receives a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. All of that being said, we’re looking for players who have been playing solid golf. Or, a golfer who is playing well and has good vibes when it comes to this course.
That may be in recent weeks or in this event over the past couple of years. No matter who comes away with the win, it’s definitely going to be life-changing.
Odds To Win The Corales Puntacana Championship (BetMGM)
Jhonattan Vegas +1600
Joel Dahmen +2000
Brice Garnett +2800
Mark Hubbard +2800
Matthias Schwab +2800
Sahith Theegala +2800
Nate Lashley +3000
Brian Stuard +3300
Kramer Hickock +3300
As always, shop around the betting market for the best odds on your plays.
This Event Can Spark A Career
This is one of those events where the favorites are going to have to be high on everyone’s watch list. The reason is these guys know, in their minds, they shouldn’t be here. They are looking for that win that will get them back on track. That’s their goal. Just like last year’s champ, Joel Dahmen.
Dahmen came into last year’s tournament having missed the cut in six of his seven previous events. Not good play at all. Then came this event with the talent level down because of the WGC event and, what do you know, we have a guy winning for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Two years ago, Hudson Swafford won here. His second PGA Tour win got his game back on track and snapped a four-year winless streak. That put him on the right path as he also won this year at The American Express. So what does all this mean?
Watch Out For Players On The Rise In World Rankings
Players who are anywhere from No. 71 to No. 100 in the rankings have a lot to prove this week. They missed out on the WGC Match Play, and a win here will help them move closer to being eligible for those type of events.
We were all set to pick Maverick McNealy this week, No. 70 on the list, but he is now the last man in the WGC Match Play when Sam Burns withdrew after his win last weekend at the Valspar Championship.
With that in mind, we’re going to focus on the one guy who has the chance to repeat–Dahmen.
Like Last Week, Don’t Overlook The Defending Champ
We told you last week to back Sam Burns at the Valspar Championship as he was the defending champion. He came through for us after being taken to a playoff by his good friend, Davis Riley. But, a win is a win.
And that’s exactly what Dahmen, +2000 this week, went through last year when he held off a hard-charging Burns to win by a stroke. It was Dahmen’s first–and only–PGA Tour win to date. He’s played solid if not spectacular golf in this wraparound season. Dahmen’s up to No. 103 in the world rankings.
Dahmen, listed as the +1600 favorite at DraftKings, won last year with a limited field. He’s played solid in full field events for most of this season. Why not get that second win and solidify his spot in the top 100 in the world rankings?
Back Graeme McDowell At Longer Odds
It’s tough to call Graeme McDowell a longshot this week, but at +3500 but here we are. He won here in 2019 and has been playing well enough to stay in the back of bettors’ minds.
McDowell is a big name in a field where small names dominate. That in itself is a big plus for him. To be a former champion has to boost his confidence to get back in the bigger events.
Over his last seven events, he’s alternated missed cuts and solid tournaments. This week comes after a missed cut, so we’re expecting another solid effort. And McDowell needs it. He’s No. 141 in the FedEx Cup points race and No. 347 in the world rankings.
Looking For A Real Longshot?
We’re targeting Sean O’Hair at +8000 this week. Sure, he’s had a rough couple of events having missed the cut his last two times out. Prior to those MC’s, he was T-16 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
This may be just the type of event to get him kick-started back in the right direction as he was T-14 here last year. All it takes is a little confidence–and getting rid of one or two bad shots–and he could find himself in contention on Sunday.
Someone has to win this off-field event and get their name back in the spotlight. Why not O’Hair who is 172nd in the FedEx Cup points race and all the way down to 418th in the world rankings?
More incentive? Those 300 FedEx Cup for the winner would vault O’Hair well inside the top 75 of the rankings.