Saturday, March 2, 2024

Corales Puntacana Championship: Best Bets, Daily Fantasy Golf Picks, Course Key Stats, and Win Simulations

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We’ve got two — count ’em: two — PGA Tour events on the schedule this week.

In Texas, 64 golfers will be teeing it up for the final-ever installment of the Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.

I highlighted some historical trends and picks I like for the match play already. For our purposes here, we’re highlighting the opposite field event: the Corales Puntacana Championship at the Corales Golf Course.

With that in mind, let’s dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.

You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.

Course Information and Key Stats
Golfers With Great Course History
Win Simulations
Best Bets
Daily Fantasy Picks

Corales Golf Course Info & Key Stats

Par: 72
Distance: 7,670 (about 270 yards longer than the average par 72)
Fairway Width: N/A
Average Green Size: 6,000 square feet (average)
Green Type: Paspalum
Stimpmeter: 11 to 11.5
Past 5 Winning Scores: -17, -12, -18, -18, -18
Past 5 Cut Lines: -1, +1, -3, -2, -1
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Strokes Gained: Putting, Birdie or Better Rate, Adjusted Strokes Gained

There is, unfortunately, no ShotLink data from the five events we’ve had at Corales Golf course, but we still have five years of overall data to figure out a thing or two.

The winning score has been 17- or 18-under in four of five starts; the outlier was a year that was impacted by wind.

While I don’t have official fairway width data, the course features 6.5 fairway acres per yard, which is on the high end of the spectrum, and there is generally an emphasis on driving distance in terms of in-tournament success, which means just hitting fairways isn’t enough to be a super worthwhile stat.

I’m simply preferring strokes gained: off the tee due to the fact that it rewards distance more but also values in fairway data, but I will cite data on distance, too.

In each iteration of this event, the field average for greens in regulation has been lower than the PGA Tour average, which is likely a function of the field being weaker — but also an indication that we should prioritize the better ball-strikers who do exist within the field.

Golfers With Great Course/Event History

The best strokes gained averages among golfers who have played at least twice here over the past five years (a “-” indicates a did-not-play situation):

Golfer SG/
Round
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Joel
Dahmen
2.40 W/D 1 T12 T13
Ben
Martin
1.85 T2 T9 T52
Kramer
Hickok
1.78 T13 T21 T10
Chris
Stroud
1.67 MC T2
Cameron
Percy
1.66 T4 T8 T54
Kelly
Kraft
1.41 MC MC T14 T5 3
Thomas
Detry
1.31 T15 T13 T33 T33
Charley
Hoffman
1.24 T34 T14
Chesson
Hadley
1.21 MC T13
Brice
Garnett
1.16 T58 T9 T61 T39 1
George
McNeill
1.16 MC MC T41 T7 T13
Emiliano
Grillo
1.13 MC T6 T21 T50
Michael
Gligic
1.11 T36 T4 MC
Kevin
Chappell
1.09 T15 MC

Past winners in the field include Chad Ramey (2022), Joel Dahmen (2021), and Brice Garnett (2018). Dominic Bozzelli also won when this was a Web.Com (now Korn Ferry Tour) event in 2016.

Win Simulations for the Corales Puntacana Championship

Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Wyndham
Clark
$12,000 11.5% 50.1% 92.6% +850
Thomas
Detry
$11,700 5.9% 33.7% 84.0% +1800
Patrick
Rodgers
$11,100 5.1% 35.7% 88.2% +2700
Taylor
Pendrith
$11,600 4.9% 32.1% 84.1% +2200
Emiliano
Grillo
$10,600 4.1% 30.0% 83.8% +2900
Joel
Dahmen
$11,900 3.1% 24.0% 78.1% +2000
Nick
Hardy
$9,300 2.8% 25.1% 83.6% +4500
Ben
Martin
$10,900 2.5% 20.3% 76.5% +2900
Tyler
Duncan
$10,100 2.4% 18.8% 75.5% +3100
Matt
Wallace
$10,500 1.9% 20.7% 80.4% +2200
Sam
Stevens
$9,100 1.9% 18.0% 78.6% +4200
Chesson
Hadley
$9,500 1.8% 19.9% 80.4% +5000
Carl
Yuan
$8,700 1.8% 17.5% 75.8% +8000
MJ
Daffue
$8,700 1.8% 16.3% 73.1% +5000
Nicolai
Hojgaard
$10,300 1.8% 14.0% 72.8% +2900
Kevin
Tway
$8,800 1.7% 15.5% 76.4% +6000
Akshay
Bhatia
$10,000 1.6% 15.2% 71.4% +2600
Mark
Hubbard
$9,600 1.5% 17.0% 78.3% +4500
Michael
Kim
$9,200 1.5% 16.3% 77.9% +4000
Scott
Piercy
$9,200 1.4% 17.2% 77.8% +5500
Justin
Lower
$8,800 1.4% 18.0% 78.6% +7500
Harry
Hall
$8,900 1.3% 15.2% 76.7% +4500
Kramer
Hickok
$10,200 1.3% 12.6% 74.8% +3100
Dylan
Wu
$9,400 1.3% 13.2% 68.8% +4500
Fabrizio
Zanotti
$9,700 1.2% 17.2% 77.7% +5500
Ryan
Gerard
$9,300 1.2% 15.9% 71.7% +5000
Augusto
Nunez
$8,500 1.1% 12.7% 72.3% +6500
Adam
Long
$9,800 1.1% 14.1% 75.8% +4000
Charley
Hoffman
$9,500 1.1% 11.8% 72.8% +5000
Aaron
Baddeley
$9,100 1.1% 14.9% 76.1% +6500
Doug
Ghim
$9,400 1.0% 11.3% 66.7% +4000
Estanislao
Goya
$8,500 1.0% 12.3% 69.0% +9500
Austin
Eckroat
$8,500 0.9% 11.8% 71.9% +10000
Henrik
Norlander
$8,900 0.9% 11.8% 73.4% +6500
Cameron
Percy
$9,800 0.9% 13.1% 73.0% +3300
Erik
van Rooyen
$10,800 0.9% 8.9% 63.2% +2700
Vincent
Norrman
$8,700 0.9% 11.1% 71.4% +9500
Matti
Schmid
$8,200 0.9% 9.9% 65.3% +11000
Paul
Haley II
$8,400 0.8% 10.6% 66.2% +10000
Kyle
Westmoreland
$7,800 0.8% 9.2% 66.2% +14000
Andrew
Novak
$9,700 0.8% 9.2% 66.5% +6500
Kevin
Roy
$8,400 0.8% 10.7% 69.5% +11000
Brent
Grant
$8,000 0.7% 8.7% 63.6% +12000
Matthias
Schwab
$8,800 0.7% 8.6% 68.5% +6000
Chad
Ramey
$9,900 0.6% 9.6% 65.1% +2900
Chris
Stroud
$8,400 0.6% 9.3% 69.5% +7500
Harry
Higgs
$8,900 0.6% 6.5% 59.7% +8000
Hank
Lebioda
$9,000 0.6% 8.2% 67.7% +8500
Austin
Cook
$8,300 0.6% 8.7% 67.5% +11000
Tyson
Alexander
$8,000 0.5% 7.0% 64.3% +12000
Michael
Gligic
$7,700 0.5% 8.2% 67.4% +21000
Grayson
Murray
$7,800 0.5% 7.4% 60.3% +14000
Harrison
Endycott
$8,400 0.5% 7.6% 61.7% +6500
Ryan
Moore
$8,600 0.5% 8.8% 68.9% +7500
Seungyul
Noh
$8,100 0.5% 6.4% 64.7% +11000
Fabian
Gomez
$8,000 0.5% 7.9% 63.0% +12000
Russell
Knox
$8,600 0.5% 8.9% 69.7% +7500

Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Corales Puntacana Championship

In a wild turn, I’m actually seeing pretty notable value in this field.

Jhonattan Vegas and Stephan Jaeger withdrew, and it doesn’t seem like odds were adjusted quite enough at the top of the board. Wyndham Clark (+850), Thomas Detry (+1800), Patrick Rodgers (+2700), Taylor Pendrith (+2200), Emiliano Grillo (+2900), and Nick Hardy (+4500) are all showing outright value for me.

Yes, a big reason for it is the withdrawals but also a handful of very overrated golfers near the top of the board, too. That includes Joel Dahmen (+2000, who I have at +3100), Matt Wallace (+2200, who I have at +5100), Akshay Bhatia (+2600, who I have at +5500), Erik Van Rooyen (+2700, who I have at +8000), and Chad Ramey (+2900, who I have at +8500).

It’s a little uncomfortable to be so off on so many names. This never happens. With the number of unknowns, though, it makes sense to see at an event like this as opposed to a major or elevated event.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Corales Puntacana Championship

All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.

Best of the Best

Wyndham Clark (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | Golf betting odds: +850) – In fields like this, usually the highest-salaried golfer is a bit overrated. I’m not saying Wyndham Clark is Tiger Woods, but he’s vastly superior to the rest of this field, and it’s not accurately reflected in the salary. He gains an average of 17.8 yards on the world average driver, and he’s a neutral putter over the past 50 rounds. Clark has a T22 here in his only start and was solo fifth last week. The tee-to-green game is unmatched this week.

Patrick Rodgers ($11,100 | +2700) A full tier behind Clark, Rodgers is next up in terms of long-term strokes gained average. Despite that, he has a salary that puts him at the bottom of the second tier, which makes him a pretty obvious value. Rodgers is 10th in driving distance in the field and 8th in strokes gained: tee to green despite just modest approach stats. He has two top-25s in four starts at this course, as well.

Others to Consider:
Thomas Detry ($11,700 | +1800) 11th off the tee and 8th in putting for a good high-end profile.
Ben Martin ($10,900 | +2900) Sixth in approach play over the past 50 rounds and consecutive top-10s at Corales.
Emiliano Grillo ($10,600 | +2900) – Good course history; sixth in T2G the past 50 rounds.

Mid-Range Picks

Chesson Hadley ($9,500 | +5000) The good news for Hadley is that he has gained strokes on the putting green in four of the past five starts he’s made (losing -0.08 per round in the other) and from approach play in three straight. He debuted with a T13 at Corales in 2021 before missing the cut last year. Hadley finds himself ranked 10th in approach and in putting over the past 50 rounds, so the volatile stats columns are ripe for an outlier week.

Nick Hardy ($9,300 | +4500) Despite a $9,300 salary, Hardy ranks third in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds. He does that in part because of positive driving distance (+8.0 yards per drive) and iron play (4th-best in the field). That hasn’t led to success at Corales (two missed cuts). However, it doesn’t particularly matter because that’s not super predictive. The recent form wins out and makes Hardy a strong, strong process play for the salary.

Others to Consider:
Akshay Bhatia ($10,000 | +2600) A little oversalaried but solo 2nd at Puerto Rico open shows upside in similar fields.
Scott Piercy ($9,200 | +5500) 5th-best player from fairway through green in the field.
Sam Stevens ($9,100 | +4200) 13th in distance and 19th in T2G.

Low-Salaried Picks

Justin Lower ($8,800 | +7500) Lower ranks 7th in the field in true strokes gained over the past 50 rounds and 15th in my long-term strokes gained database, so you can see why he’s someone I’m honing in on. He’s doing a lot of the damage with the putter (7th) but is still 40th in T2G. He was 15th at Corales last year, as well. You just have to overlook the four straight missed cuts in much tougher fields.

Kevin Tway ($8,800 | +6000) Tway has missed two straight cuts at THE PLAYERS (by two strokes) and the Valspar Championship (by one) and is at a lower salary than he deserves because of it. Tway still ranks 39th in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds and is 22nd in putting in that span. Tway has also finished T28 and T41 at Corales, so he checks all of the value boxes we could realistically seek.

Others to Consider:
Carl Yuan ($8,700 | +8000) – 13th in strokes gained: ball-striking in the field and 18th in distance; great sign for a pop week.
Augusto Nunez ($8,500 | +6500) –
26th T2G and 12th in distance; if the putter isn’t terrible, he’s set up well.
Kyle Westmoreland ($7,800 | +14000) 2nd in distance and 27th in T2G.

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