The PGA Tour’s alternate event this week is the Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic.
The PGA Tour’s alternate event this week is the Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic. The Corales Course primarily a flat course which features six oceanside holes and is extremely susceptible to the wind.
The fairways are fairly wide and forgiving. Players missing these wide and forgiving fairways will be greeted with short rough, meaning accuracy won’t be an issue this week as it wasn’t an issue last year either.
The greens ran as fast as a typical PGA Tour event, and were firm last year, so outside of judging the wind players will need to play away from the hole and run their approaches close.
Speaking of wind, it was only really windy during the first round, so I don’t think it’s necessary to heavily target strong wind players as much as we’d like to think. Instead, I’d pay closer attention to draws and target the favorable draw more than anything this week. Normally I don’t give into that narrative, but because the wind can be so strong here we should be able to gain an edge by utilizing the draw.
The Par 5’s are the easiest holes on the course, which shouldn’t be a surprise and for the most part this course has easy Par 4’s as well. The Par 4’s aren’t beastly out here, but six of them are listed at over 430 yards, while two of them are under 400. Par 4 scoring on the long holes won’t be where the players score from, but as long as our guys don’t bleed back many birdies on these holes, it should be considered a win.
o The Course
· Corales Course
· Par 72
· 7,600 yards
· Paspalum greens
o Location: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
o Corollary Courses/Performances:Coco Beach Golf Club, El Camaleon GC
o Past Champions:
· Brice Garnett -18 over Keith Mitchell
KEY STATS TO TARGET
o Strong Emphasis – SG: T2G, P5 Scoring, Birdie Or Better, Scrambling
o Important – SG: P, P4 Scoring, Driving Distance/SG: OTT
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Jhonattan Vegas (DK $11,500)
· History: None
· Form:DNP – 3rd– 23rd– 16th
· Stats: 10th– SG: OTT, 98th– SG: APP, 106th– SG: P, 28th– SG: T2G
· Analysis:Vegas is sure to be a chalky play after his strong showing at THE PLAYERS. His off the tee game should shine again this week as he should be able to spray it without being penalized much and his distance should give him decent looks on most of his approaches, even on the longer par 4’s. This seems like an obvious chalk fade this week at an elevated price tag and someone you only sprinkle into your GPP lineups.
Denny McCarthy (DK $10,400)
· History: 4th
· Form:9th– 41st– DNP – MC
· Stats:59th– SG: OTT, 175th– SG: APP, 6th– SG: P, 125th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Not going to lie, I laughed when I saw his price this week and then I was taken aback when seeing his current form paired with his course history. He’s playing much better leading into this event this year than he was last year at this time (MC-66th-MC-MC) and I think we can gleam a lot of that is maturing on Tour. McCarthy is a bit of a ball striker with a solid putter, so expecting a drop-off in result this week could be asking a lot. I like him in all formats.
Aaron Baddeley (DK $10,700): Badds’ game is primarily putting and “decent enough” ball striking to get him through the cut. If his putting is off, even for a day, he won’t meet value at this price so I think he’d be someone I have very minimal exposure to in GPPs this week and someone I don’t look at in cash. He’s more of a low floor, moderate ceiling play for me.
Paul Dunne (DK $8,600)
· History: 5th
· Form: DNP – DNP – DNP – 58th
· Stats:163rd– SG: OTT, 222nd– SG: APP, 18th– SG: P, 213th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Dunne paid off for us here last year at an elevated price tag and returns again to a course that fits his game. He’s a strong wind player most of the time, but his game leading in doesn’t look all that great and overall, he’s never really been a guy whose stats explain his play (see above). I’d hesitate to load up here because of last year’s result, but I also wouldn’t fully fade him either.
Curtis Luck (DK $7,600)
· History: None
· Form:13th– DNP – DNP – MC
· Stats:179th– SG: OTT, 205th– SG: APP, 54th– SG: P, 203rd – SG: T2G
· Analysis:Luck has taken advantage of some opportunities lately and while the No Laying Up bump is a real thing that’s actually happening on Tour(s), I don’t think they deserve all the credit here. His Par 5 scoring could use a lot of better bounces this week, and I expect it to with how easy they play, but historically he hasn’t been that great of a scorer on Par 5’s. Instead, I expect his Par 4 scoring to be what elevates him this week as he’s been extremely strong on them since January and they make up the majority of the holes.
KH Lee (DK $7,500): Lee needs to have the putter working this week to pay off. His tee to green game has been really strong for a player of his caliber, and if not for the putter I think he’d be a much more popular play this week. His WD last week was probably more of a result of poor play, so I’m looking to use the reduced ownership on him this week as a positive.
Adam Schenk (DK $7,400): 35th here last year and missed the cut by one last week. Schenk is going to be the type of guy we target week in and week out until his price reaches the high $8,000 range. He’s a strong wind player, and someone who putts around average for most of the events he plays. If he can putt slightly better than average and not lose >1 stroke on the greens he should pay off.
Rory Sabbatini (DK $8,800)
· History: 43rd
· Form:18th– 35th– DNP – 36th
· Stats:75th– SG: OTT, 159th– SG: APP, 103rd– SG: P, 107h– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Sabbatini’s been on this hot run because of his hot putting. If there’s one thing we know, its that these types of runs will come to an end eventually, and while I don’t think it could happen this week, I think it’s worth acknowledging that he’s historically been a bad putter and scrambler over his career. His approach game isn’t built to carry him through an event, so loading him up as a core play this week isn’t advised and he should be treated more as a one-off type play.
Julian Etulain (DK $8,000): 24th last week, which marked his third straight made cut, and seventh in eight starts. When the putter is clicking, he’s a fine play, otherwise he’s your typical bargain bin player. When looking at his play on our corollary courses, he appears to be someone to target this week.
Roger Sloan (DK $7,600): Sloan’s been quietly plugging along on the PGA Tour the past month having finished inside the Top 30 three times in four events. His Par 5 play has been the strongest part of his game, and he’s playing the Par 4’s at a high level as well. He’s a cheap guy that we can take at a medium exposure to in the event he gives us another ceiling result.
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
Sungjae Im (DK $11,300): He’s not exactly a contrarian play this week as many will have FOMO bets and lineups that include him. This week marks the fifth straight week of play for Im, but I think the slower greens will have a positive impact on his putting, which has been the biggest hole in his game. If the putter is working, we could get another Top 5 or better finish and that’s what we’re after this week.
Joaquin Niemann (DK $9,900): Another FOMO play will be Niemann who can be bet anywhere north of 25/1 this week. Obviously, it’s not the same 100+ odds that we’ve become accustomed to this year, but we can literally see his play turning a corner and the Chilean should have some familiarity with the grass types on this course.
Joel Dahmen (DK $9,100): 13th here last year as an up & coming DFS darling, Dahmen’s game has taken awhile to get back to where we were with him about six months ago but it looks like he’s on the cusp of putting it all together. He’s great from tee to green, which should be good for him this week and if he can avoid a round like his 3rd here last year (where he lost 1.7 strokes, my guess is mostly with the putter) he should give us a podium finish.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
– Pari (@hitthehighdraw)