The First Look: Corales Puntacana Championship
5 Min Read
Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
It’s the second additional field event of the season, and Chad Ramey – after his solid week at THE PLAYERS Championship – is returning to the Corales Puntacana Championship looking to become the first-ever back-to-back winner.
FIELD NOTES: Chad Ramey looks to defend in a field that includes plenty of past winners at Corales including the 2021 champion Joel Dahmen, 2018 winner Brice Garnett. Dominic Bozzelli, who won the first iteration of this championship in 2016 when it was on the Korn Ferry Tour, is in on a sponsor exemption… TOUR winners including Ryan Brehm, Tyler Duncan, Jim Herman, Erik van Rooyen, and Richy Werenski are teeing it up… Thomas Detry is the highest-ranked in the FedExCup standings set to play at Corales… Ben Martin returns after a heart-breaking tie for second a year ago… Plenty of Korn Ferry Tour grads are in the field looking to earn valuable FedExCup points… Major winners teeing it up include Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, and Geoff Ogilvy.
NOTABLE SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: Among the sponsor exemptions at Corales: Ryan Gerard, who finished 4-T11 at The Honda Classic and Puerto Rico Open before making the cut at the Valspar Championship. Gerard Monday qualified (it wrapped up on Tuesday) for The Honda Classic and was in the mix through 36 holes in just his second career TOUR start… Rafael Campos, a native of nearby Puerto Rico and a fan-favorite is looking for more magic in paradise… Nicolai Hojgaard, whose twin brother Rasmus finished sixth at Corales a year ago, is back in action… Spaniard Angel Hidalgo, who is 46th in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, is making his TOUR debut… As per usual, there are a handful of golfers with ties to the Dominican getting a spot in Corales including Juan Jose Guerra, Rhadames Pena, Hiram Silfa, and Santiago Tarrio.
MONDAY QUALIFIERS: The Monday qualifier was completed on March 6 with four golfers earning a spot in the field… Thomas Longbella finished at 6-under. Longbella, a University of Minnesota alum, will be making his PGA TOUR debut… Cougar Collins finished at 5-under. Collins, who shot a 6-under 30 in the back nine of the Monday qualifier, is an Eastern Michigan University alum and will be making his PGA TOUR debut… The multi-time PGA TOUR Latinoamerica winner is making his second TOUR start of the season. He made the cut at the Puerto Rico Open after Monday qualifying that week as well… Justin Kim finished at 5-under. The UNLV alum will be making his PGA TOUR debut.
1) The Magic Number
For three years in a row, the winning total at the Corales Puntacana Championship was 18-under 270. Chad Ramey, a year ago, ended up at 17-under 271. If you want to lift the trophy Sunday at Corales – and if the weather is favorable – 270 is the magic number.
2) Putting Importance
The last two winners in Corales – Ramey and Dahmen – were both in the top-3 in Putts per Round. The beast of a golf course (at 7,600 yards, it’s one of the TOUR’s longest) is wide open off the tee, but someone who is elite with the flatstick will be able to navigate Tom Fazio’s tricky putting surfaces to find success.
There has never been a repeat winner at Corales but perhaps Ramey, who will be coming into the week off an opening-round 64 at THE PLAYERS and a made-cut at the Valspar Championship, will be the one.
HIGHEST RATED PLAYERS IN THE FIELD
|82. Thomas Detry||28. Thomas Detry|
|90. Wyndham Clark||39. Wyndham Clark|
|100. Joel Dahmen||47. Patrick Rodgers|
|114. Emiliano Grillo||48. Joel Dahmen|
|117. Erik van Rooyen||64. Tyson Alexander|
|118. Taylor Pendrith||72. Emiliano Grillo|
|136. Patrick Rodgers||77. Justin Lower|
|140. Nicolai Hojgaard||85. Aaron Baddeley|
|147. Jhonnattan Vegas||89. Ben Martin|
|152. MJ Daffue||90. Tyler Duncan|
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 300 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Corales Golf Course, par 72, 7,670 yards. One of the longest courses on the PGA TOUR, the course – opened in 2010 and designed by Tom Fazio – is open of the tee but features difficult green complexes and, often, a challenging wind. The course boasts six oceanside holes and plenty of natural beauty. The Devil’s Elbow, the closing three-hole stretch at Corales, will once again be in the spotlight. The par-4 18th features a forced carry of the Bay of Corales.
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Dominic Bozzelli (2016 Korn Ferry Tour).
As PGA TOUR event: 270, Brice Garnett (2018), Graeme McDowell (2019), Hudson Swafford (2020).
18-HOLE RECORD: 62, Stephan Jaeger (2nd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour), Scott Harrington (2nd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour), Alexandre Rocha (3rd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour).
As PGA TOUR event: 63, Brice Garnett (1st round, 2018), Chip McDaniel (4th round, 2019)
LAST TIME: Chad Ramey won for the first time on the PGA TOUR, topping Ben Martin and Alex Smalley by one. Ramey, who finished at 17-under, fired a tidy 5-under 67 in the final round which included a two-putt for par on the 72nd hole, after Martin, the 54-hole leader by two, missed a six-foot birdie try that would have forced a playoff. Ramey bogeyed the par-3 2nd before adding birdies on Nos. 4 and 7. His final round moved into high gear after he made the turn, however, and had circles on his scorecard on Nos.13-16. Those four straight birdies saw Ramey take the lead after Martin bogeyed the par-5 12th. For Martin, it was an emotional conclusion to the week that saw him have the lead after 18, 36, and 54 holes and as he was searching for his first TOUR title since 2014. Cameron Percy and Jhonattan Vegas rounded out the top five at 15 under for the week.
HOW TO FOLLOW:
Television: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (NBC).