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Pick Details

Puntacana Championship 3:00 AM | Sun, Mar 28 2021
Sport: PGA | Star Rating: 4.0 Evaluation: Loss (-400)
Pick
100 (True) - Pre-Tournament Futures @ Multiple Sportsbook

This week's final event sees those golfers not in action either in Austin, or Nairobi, or anywhere else for that matter, head to the Dominican Republic for the CORALES PUNTACANA CHAMPIONSHIP.

And a week's golf in the sun-drenched Caribbean would seem a not-too-disappointing alternative.

Here's a preview of the action in the holiday hotspot...

The Tournament - It started out life as a Web.com Tour event (now Korn Ferry Tour), on the level below the PGA Tour, in 2016, but since then the Puntacana Championship has been elevated to full PGA Tour status. Point being, in weeks where the top players are competing in Majors, or WGC events like this week, there is a need to fill the rota with action... to bring the game to new markets, placate sponsors and give the other "lesser" players a chance to earn both prize-money and ranking points. As a result the tournament's field has a rather eclectic feel to it, but that doesn't mean competition won't be every bit as intense as the Match Play.

The Course - A relatively new venue at Puntacana in the Dominican Republic, this facility was opened in 2010. Designed by well-known course builder Tom Fazio the track has an exposed location, bordering the Caribbean on several holes. At 7,668 yards the par 72 is a long course and can fall foul of the windy coastal conditions. But with wide fairways and a friendly set-up, scoring can still be good with winning scores around 20-under-par.

72-Hole Record - 264, Dominic Bozzelli (2016).

18-Hole Record - 62, Scott Harrington, Stephan Jaeger & Alexandre Rocha (2016).

Past Winners - Hudson Swafford (2020), Graeme McDowell (2019), Brice Garnett (2018), Nate Lashley (2017), Dominic Bozzelli (2016).

The Field - A standard PGA Tour look to this week's field, in terms of numbers at least, with 150+ players on show. Charley Hoffman is the +1900 favorite.

The Weather - Temperatures will be high this week, peaking around the high 80s as the tournament progresses, and cloud cover will be minimal. The wind, the course's main defence, will hit the 15-20mph mark - which is not that testing for golfers experienced in playing these exposed, coastal conditions.

The Bets - There are four bets ranging from +3100 to +10900.

Here are the details...

CORALES PUNTACANA CHAMPIONSHIP - TOURNAMENT WINNER

(starts on Thursday)

CHARLES HOWELL
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +3100 Bet365
Top 10 Odds: +375 Bet365, Betvictor

"After a poor start to 2021, Howell has shown some really promising signs in recent weeks. He finished 36th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and followed that up with a 9th place finish at the Players Championship. His stats for both these events are what really caught the eye, ranking 12th and 3rd respectively in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, which is much more like the Charles Howell of old - the one who has amassed over $20m in tournament earnings. Howell is known for his great ball-striking, dodgy putting, and incredible consistency. He is definitely an under-achiever in terms of career wins, but churns out Top 5/10's for fun in over 20 years on tour. This week represents a superb opportunity for Howell to claim his 4th title against the lesser names on the PGA Tour. When Charley Hoffman is the 18/1 favorite (rightly so I may add) you know the standard isn't all that great. Howell did miss the cut here last year, but hopefully the course experience will help this time around. Howell is arguably the best player in this field, and I think he should be a lot closer to the Hoffman price based on his ability and recent performances, he's the standout value for me at around 25/1+."

JOSH TEATER
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +9400 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +900 Fanduel

"Teater is a man who always seems to play these "B-Grade" PGA Tour events well. Teater has made his last four PGA Tour cuts in a row, with his best finish coming last time out at the Puerto Rico Open where he finished 22nd. Teater's best result before this finish was actually at the same event, where he finished 2nd in 2020. His next best result in recent times came at the Barbasol Championship, where he finished 6th in 2019, further highlighting that he tends to raise his level when he knows he has the best chance of winning. The recent performances have been positive, and this standard of event is right up Teater's street, even if his record here isn't great. At triple-figures I fancy the man from Lexington, Kentucky to continue his good recent form and potentially challenge for the win here."

KELLY KRAFT
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +10500 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +1000 Draftkings, Betvictor

"Kraft ranks 15th on my ratings sheet this week and I can see why when I look at his form at the venue. He's finished no worse than 14th on his last three starts here, which includes a 3rd and 5th place finish. His recent results haven't been great, but I was surprised to see that he's gained strokes on approach shots in every event he's played going back to this event last year - except for last week at the Honda, where he lost 0.2 shots to the field. It's therefore no surprise that he ranks 23rd this season on tour for approach play, which is quite remarkable for a player who has only made two of his last eight cuts. Like Teater, Kraft comes alive in these undercard events, with his best finish on tour coming at the Barbasol, where he finished 2nd in an event with very much a similar field strength. Kraft has shown in the past he has the game to win on the PGA Tour. His notable results include 5th and 2nd at the Greenbrier Classic, 2nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach, and 3rd and 5th here at the Corales course. This also highlights his ability to play well on the same courses, which really bodes well for this week. With a sharp approach game, and a love for the course, I think Kraft is definitely worth getting onside at a decent price in this poor field."

TYLER DUNCAN
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +10900 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +850 Bet365

"Since winning the RSM Classic at the end of 2019 Duncan has struggled to reach those heights again. This week I'm willing to take a calculated risk on the man from Columbus, Indiana after looking at his stats last time out at the Honda Classic - where despite missing the cut, his tee-to-green game looked in fine form. He gained nearly 5 strokes against the field off the tee, and on approaches, which tells me his swing is working well right now. He just needs to tidy up around the greens to start producing better results. Duncan finished 3rd here when playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, so he knows how to handle this course and the conditions that playing in the Dominican Republic bring. Duncan has actually been swinging great for a while now, it's the putter that's been giving him a headache in recent months. You have to go back to the RSM Classic last year to find an event when Duncan last gained strokes putting! But Duncan's ball-striking was great at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he ranked 2nd in approach play, despite finishing 57th, and the numbers last week suggest this was no fluke. In a poor field, I believe he could be a live runner at a healthy price if he just manages to hole a few putts."

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