Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Corales Puntacana Championship
The PGA Tour is heating up as we head toward the Masters. We just got to see Rory McIlroy snag a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past weekend, thanks to some incredibly outstanding putting.
This week, the PGA Tour splits up, with some of the tour's top-tier golfers playing in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
For DFS purposes, though, we're honing in on the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship at Puntacana Country Club in the Dominican Republic, the first PGA Tour event held in the Dominican Republic.
What should we know about the first-time course?
Course and Tournament Info
Usually, first-time courses are a huge headache for digging deep into research, and this week is kind of the same way. But at least this time around, we have two Web.com Tour events to study -- but no strokes gained data.
In 2017, Corales played as the 22nd-most difficult course -- out of 28 courses -- on the Web.com Tour (-1.664). In 2016, it ranked 25th out of 26 (-2.326).
The par 4th and 7th holes -- par 5s -- are the two really scorable holes. Each played at least 0.597 strokes below par in each of the two season on the Web.com Tour schedule. The 515-yard 7th generated 20 eagles each year, and the 563-yard 4th offered 23 in 2016 but just 9 last year. Additionally, the 623-yard 12th was the third-easiest hole each year, relative to par.
The 12 par 4s span from 387 yards to 501, and the four par 3s are all shorter than 265 yards (204, 214, 239, and 265).
There will be guesswork here, with no past PGA Tour events to consider plus a lack of Web.Com Tour stats to draw from. But based on the course, these stats should help us pick some strong golfers this weekend.
|Key Stats for the Corales Puntacana Championship at Puntacana Country Club|
|Par 5 Scoring|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Proximity From 200+ Yards|
Scoring on the par 5s is very doable, so that makes the cut as a necessary stat this week. Even if golfers struggle elsewhere, scoring on the par 5s will help them generate fantasy points.
Despite the number of bunkers and water hazards in play, distance over accuracy seems to be the preference for those who have played it.
Still, sticking it on the fairway and gaining strokes via approach shots should matter plenty in the long run. Playing into that, all par 3s are roughly 200 to 265, so longer than your average par 3.
Course History Studs
Sam Ryder played Puntacana in both 2016 and 2017 on the Web.Com Tour. He finished 2nd and 12th, respectively. Eric Axley also played it twice, finishing 19th and 16th. Tyler Duncan was 33rd and 3rd; Adam Schenk was 41st and 12th. Only John Merrick also made both cuts here (33rd and 41st).
Roberto Diaz was 2nd and cut in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Rafael Campos was cut and 3rd.
Nate Lashley won here last year, with Augusto Nunez finish second. Just three golfers in the top 10 in 2016 are in this year's field: Ryder, Diaz, and Seamus Power (7th in 2016).
Richard Johnson (8th) and Brandon Harkins (12th) had top-12s in their debuts last year.