This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
Corales Golf Club (7,670 yards, par-72)
$540,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points to the winner
While bracket season extends from March Madness into this week's WGC-Dell Technologies Championship, an eager field full of 132 entrants with everything to prove will head to the Dominican Republic for the PGA Tour's second ever edition of the Corales Championship. Sure, the $540,000 payout to the champion is about one-fourth of what Rory McIlroy received for his win at the PLAYERS, but a two-year exemption is still up for grabs and that alone can result in quite an emotional Sunday afternoon. Corales' resort-style layout lessens the burden of its lengthy 7,670-yard setup, but an active coastal breeze off the Atlantic Ocean will provide some sort of defense with the possibility of scattered showers early Friday afternoon as well. Speaking of the course's defense, a three-hole closing stretch known as the Devil's Elbow could spark drama as the par-4 18th played as the toughest hole last year, ultimately averaging .25 strokes over par.
Recent Past Champions
2018 – Brice Garnett
2017 – Nate Lashley (Web.com Tour event)
2016 – Dominic Bozzelli (Web.com Tour event)
Key Stats to Victory
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Birdie or better percentage
Strokes Gained: Putting
Brice Garnett relied on a scorching-hot putter en route to his wire-to-wire, four-shot victory at the Corales Championship in 2018 when he also led the field in par breakers with 23 birdies and an eagle. He was second among the field in putting average and paced the way in par-3 scoring, but also played the par-5s in 10-under-par. Keith Mitchell was the only player to score better on the par-5s, and he finished solo-second. Putting can clearly take on a significant role when an event becomes a birdie fest, but ball striking should remain the primary focus per usual. The Corales Golf Club caters to the field's longer hitters thanks to wide fairways and forgiving rough, so competitors aren't often penalized when sacrificing precision for power. Having less yardage into the greens will improve proximity numbers and therefore increase scoring opportunities, so SG: Tee-to-Green lands atop our list of key stats.
FanDuel Value Picks
Jhonattan Vegas, $11,400 - Stockpiling four top-25s in five starts dating back to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Vegas is in great form coming off his best finish of the season with a T3 at the PLAYERS Championship. He fired a bogey-free 66 during his final round at TPC Sawgrass, ultimately ranking sixth in SG: Putting, 14th in SG: Tee-to-Green and T8 in GIR percentage. Over their past 12 rounds, nobody in the Corales field is better in terms of SG: Total.
Sungjae Im, $11,300 - At 59th in the OWGR, Im is the top-ranked player in this week's field and it's a shame we won't get to see the 20-year-old in action at the WGC Match Play. He owns more top-10s and cuts made than fellow rookie Cameron Champ, but remains without a signature win in his first year on Tour. Im has finished top-4 in two of his last three starts and that maiden victory could very well come against lesser competition this week in the Dominican. Most recently at the Valspar, Im led the field in GIR percentage and ranked third in SG: T2G.
Nate Lashley, $10,800 - A winner on the Web.com Tour at Corales in 2017, Lashley is familiar with the course and followed his victory with a top-30 here last year when he broke par in all four rounds. Despite a missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Lashley ranks third in SG: Total, fifth in SG: Approach and sixth in SG: T2G in his last 24 rounds.
Joaquin Niemann, $10,700 - Much like Im, Niemann is another one of those young guys who could break through for his first career victory at any point now. The Chilean is third in SG: Approach and eighth in SG: T2G over his past 24 rounds, but has lost strokes putting in eight of 10 measurable events this season. Niemann has gained at least four strokes tee to green in three of his last four starts, so he might only need an average performance with the flat stick in order to contend.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Thomas Detry, $10,000 - Making his first career start on the PGA Tour this week, the University of Illinois alum hasn't missed a cut on the Euro Tour since the Sky Sports British Masters in mid-October. Detry ranks 46th in birdies per round and 34th in putts per GIR overseas, collecting a trio of top-15s during his streak of nine cuts made in a row.
Corey Conners, $9,600 - Leading the Corales field in SG: Off-the-Tee and ranking second in SG: T2G in his last 36 rounds, Conners is one decent flat-stick performance away from putting it all together. The last time he gained strokes on the greens, the Canadian finished third at the Sony Open. Conners even managed to tie for 41st at the PLAYERS Championship against the strongest field to date despite losing nearly six strokes putting. On the season, he's fifth in GIR percentage, 28th in total driving and second in proximity.
Adam Schenk, $9,400 - Schenk struggled in Round 1 at the Valspar Championship and would go on to miss the cut by one shot, but he limited the damage with a two-under 69 on Friday and actually gained strokes tee-to-green overall. He gained at least 2.5 strokes on approach in his last three starts and strung together three straight top-30s from the Puerto Rico Open through the API. Schenk also led the field in GIR percentage at the Corales Championship in 2018.
Jonas Blixt, $8,800 - Notching five top-45s in his last six starts dating to the Farmers Insurance Open, Blixt has risen more than 100 spots in the OWGR since the beginning of 2019. He's gained strokes both off-the-tee and with the putter in four consecutive showings, highlighted by a T15 at the Genesis Open where he caught fire on the greens.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
The bottom of the barrel is pretty much a wasteland in a field this poor. You've got a four-time winner on the PGA Tour in Heath Slocum at exactly the same price as former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. A more balanced approach is a good way to go this week in terms of pooling as much value into one lineup as possible, but snagging one or both of Vegas and Im at the top in tournament formats may pay dividends as the clear betting favorites.