The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship is usually played opposite of a World Golf Championship event in March, so it’s used to not getting a quality field. Being the week after the US Open, however, has prevented any star players from showing up.
- Mackenzie Hughes completed the 2019-2020 season with three high finishes in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, including the Tour Championship, and that momentum might carry over to this week
- Sam Burns has a deadly combination of driving and putting that should serve him well at Corales Puntacana Championship
- Will Zalatoris finished tied for sixth in the US Open last week, but the 12/1 favorite hasn’t played regularly on the PGA Tour
Only one golfer in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking is here. Number 43 Henrick Stenson is making his first appearance at the Dominican Republic golf course. (Click here for the Swedish striker’s quick tips on how to hit a 3-wood.)
Stenson told reporters on Tuesday that the event’s being scheduled in September as opposed to March due to the pandemic made it possible for him.
“I don’t get to see too many new places these years,” Stenson said, “so [I’m] excited to put a few new pins on the world map and meet some new people.”
Odds to Win Corales Puntacana Championship
With few recognizable names in the field, bettors are going to have to take some fliers on which unknown professionals are likely to perform well in the Dominican Republic this week.
- Will Zalatoris 12/1
- Mackenzie Hughes 16/1
- Corey Conners 18/1
- Sam Burns 18/1
- Adam Long 25/1
- Charles Howell 28/1
- Emiliano Grillo 28/1
- Thomas Detry 33/1
- Denny McCarthy 35/1
- Henrik Stenson 35/1
- Pat Perez 40/1
- Branden Grace 40/1
- Luke List 40/1
- Charley Hoffman 40/1
- Kyle Stanley 40/1
Source: William Hill
Even though he is the highest-ranked golfer in the field according to the OWGR, Stenson is not the favorite to win. The 44-year-old is at 35/1, well behind top pick Will Zalatoris, who is at 12/1.
Hughes Riding Momentum into New Season
Mackenzie Hughes finished the 2019-2020 season with three top-15 finishes in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He tied for 13th at the first event, The Northern Trust. He then tied for 10th at the BMW Championship, and followed that up with a 14th-place finish at the Tour Championship.
The Canadian missed the cut last week at the US Open, but the Corales Puntacana Championship is a much easier golf tournament, and he was the runner up here last year.
Sam Burns Deadly Off Tee, On the Greens
Burns, who is at 18/1, is one of only four golfers who has odds of less than 20/1. The others are Will Zalatoris (12/1), Hughes (16/1), and Corey Conners (18/1). Burns might be the best pick of the bunch. He finished tied for seventh at the Safeway Open two weeks ago, despite fading during the weekend.
Another plus was he ranked eighth in driving distance average last season, as well as 30th in putting. He also has the benefit of not playing in the US Open, so he should be rested.
Emotional US Open Could Cause Burnout for Favorite Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris is the 12/1 favorite to win the Corales Puntacana Championship, and the odds are largely based on his tie for sixth at the US Open. That high finish might actually work against the 24-year-old, however.
The US Open is a grueling experience, especially for someone who was making just his second appearance in the major championship. In addition, he has little experience on the PGA Tour. Zalatoris was on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, and only played in six events on the PGA Tour, missing the cut in five of those tournaments.