Corales Championship – Golfers to Target

Mark Diana
Golf Analyst

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The PGA Tour will host two separate events this week. The main event is the World Golf Championships – Match Play. WGC Match Play is the PGA version of March Madness with a bracket-style championship, where golfers will compete against one another. Stay tuned for an article later this week breaking down that event. The alternate event is the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Domincan Republic. 

As an alternate event, Corales will feature a weak field that is filled with PGA Tour journeyman, young studs off the Korn Ferry Tour, and older players who are looking to take advantage of a weak field. Corales Golf Club is a long Par 72 that measures over 7,600 yards. The fairways and greens are easy to hit and there will be an abundance of birdies. The greens are Paspalum, which is a unique green-type that is also seen at the Mayakoba Classic and the Puerto Rico Open. I will be looking for ball-strikers who can take advantage of their distance and create plenty of birdie opportunities. It is also worth noting that there is no ShotLink data available for this event.

Each week, I will highlight golfers from different price tiers to help you build your betting card! The four price tiers I will highlight this week will be the: the top-tier, mid-tier, sleepers, and longshots. Top-tier golfers will consist of golfers who are 50-1 or less. The mid-tier will consist of golfers who are longer than 50-1, but shorter than 75-1. Sleepers will consist of golfers who are longer than 75-1, but shorter than 100-1. Longshots will consist of golfers who are longer than 100-1.

Top Tier (Under 40-1)

Jhonattan Vegas 26-1

Vegas was the runner-up at the Puerto Rico event three weeks ago. Vegas finished 30th at the Honda Classic last week and is striking the ball very well. Prior to his second place finish in Puerto Rico, the last Top 20 finish that Vegas recorded was at the Mayakoba Classic. Vegas is a good coastal player and finds himself at the top of leaderboards at these alternate events. He has finished inside the Top 30 in strokes gained Off-the-Tee in his last four events. Using 2020 ShotLink data, in this field Vegas ranks: first Off-the-Tee, fifth in Driving Distance, fifth in Greens-in-Regulation, and ninth in Good Drive Percentage. Vegas is a great ball-striker and is great at getting to the green. Corales Golf Club will favor the big bombers and Vegas is exactly that. 

Luke List 31-1

List is a Tee-to-Green machine and a great ball-striker. He has played well at this event before, finishing eighth in 2020. List hasn’t been good over the past month, missing three cuts and a 63rd place finish. However, the Florida courses do not set up easily for scoring. List struggles with his putter but is so good Off-the-Tee that on this particular course I think he can contend. List is a very volatile golfer and while he may not be consistent, he does have Top 10 equity. In a weak field event like this, List is a class above most of these players and should be able to contend. 

Patrick Rodgers 34-1

Rodgers is another player who pops up at Coastal, weaker field events. Rodgers finished T17 at Mayakoba last year, and T11 at Corales last year as well. He missed the cut last week at the Honda Classic, but I don’t put much credence into that considering the difficulty of that course. Rodgers is a long hitter who drives the ball over 310 yards. He has never won on the PGA Tour but he lost in a playoff to Charles Howell at the RSM Classic in 2019. Tom Fazio, the designer of the Corales Golf Club, aslo re-designed the Sea Island Golf Club where the RSM Classic is hosted. The closest Rodgers has ever come to a PGA Tour victory was against a similar type of field, and at a course that is pretty comparable. Another positive sign for Rodgers is that he’s flashed the ability to get hot with his putter. Last month at the Genesis Invitational, Rodgers gained over seven strokes in putting. If Rodgers can put this all together, he could be in the hunt for his first PGA Tour win. 

Mid Tier (Longer than 40-1, Shorter than 75-1)

Will Gordon 45-1

Gordon is a young golfer who is still very unproven. He is an elite driver of the golf ball, and is playing good golf right now. He has made his last four cuts with finishes of 36th, 49th, 27th, and 21st. The finishes in Florida are encouraging because the hazard-laden courses are not the type of courses that fits Gordon’s strong suit. Gordon was 2nd Off-the-Tee last week at the Honda Classic, an event that saw more water balls than any other event this season. If Gordon is able to drive it well when it’s a tougher setup, he should love what Corales Golf Club has to offer. Wide open fairways and greens that are easy to hit means Gordon can utilize the best aspect of his game. This week will be a sprint to the finish, and Gordon is a long hitter who will find himself with plenty of opportunities to make birdies.

Nate Lashley 50-1

Lashley was very close to snatching his second career PGA Tour win at Pebble Beach back in February. A triple bogey on the 16th hole during the final round took him out of contention. Lashley won this event in 2017 when it was a Korn Ferry Tour event. Lashley also finished 4th at this event in 2020. He loves this course and has shown some form recently. Lashley has made his last five cuts and has two Top 20 finishes in that span. Going back to a course where he has won before should give Lashley a confidence boost in converting the close calls into victories.

Chase Seiffert 50-1

Seiffert had a great week at the Honda Classic last week, finishing 3rd. Over his last five starts, he has three finishes inside the Top 15. Seiffert was incredibly sharp with his irons last week, gaining over seven strokes on Approach. Seiffert is a good putter and has been playing well with his ball-striking recently. This is a good combination for Corales Golf Club because of the leniency off of the tee. If all of the golfers are able to hit fairways, and land on the green, it will come down to someone having a great week with the putter. Seiffert is in good form and has shown his potential upside. I like his chances to put up another great week. 

Sleepers (Longer than 75-1, Shorter than 100-1

Seamus Power 90-1

Power does not get to play too many events, so these alternate field events are always a great opportunity for him. At the Puerto Rico Open, he finished 22nd. The best he has finished over the past year, was a ninth place finish at the Barracuda Championship. Using 2020 ShotLink data, in this field Power ranks: first in Birdie or Better Percentage, third in Par 5 Birdie or Better Percentage, and 10th in Par 4 Birdie or Better Percentage. While his sample is smaller, Power is still a birdie maker and has scoring upside. Power will look to take advantage of a weaker field, at a course that should yield tons of birdies. 

Ryan Brehm 100-1

Brehm is a one-trick pony. He is a long hitter, finishing as the third longest driver on all of the Tour during 2020. Brehm’s best finishes over the past year have been at the Corales Championship, Barracuda Championship, and the Puerto Rico Open. Brehm has played this event twice with finishes of 35th and 33rd. His last PGA Tour event was an 11th place finish at the Puerto Rico Open. Brehm plays his best golf at these types of alternate events and against this type of field.

Longshots (Longer than 100-1)

Grayson Murray 125-1

Murray was in contention in Puerto Rico with a 3rd place finish. Murray is a long hitter who’s best aspect is his Off-the-Tee performance. Using 2020 ShotLink data, in this field Murray ranks: first in Par 5 Birdie or Better Percentage, second in Driving Distance, 10th in Birdie or Better Percentage, 14th Off-the-Tee, and 14th in Putting Average. I have seen his betting number as low as 65-1, so 125-1 is great value on a golfer who was recently in contention.

Kelly Kraft 125-1

Some people will bet on golfers solely based on course history. If you’re one of those people, then Kelly Kraft is the perfect guy for you. Kraft has done nothing in recent appearances to indicate he’ll play well this week. Kraft has three straight missed cuts, and hasn’t finished inside the Top 20 since September. The last good event was a 14th place finish at last year’s Corales Championship. Kraft has played this event all three years it has been an official PGA Tour event. In those three appearances, Kraft has finishes of: third, fifth, and 14th. Kraft is a horse for the course, and if you’re willing to take a chance on a guy who only plays well on this course, then 200-1 should be very intriguing.

Brian Stuard 125-1

Stuard is a fairway finder who won’t overpower any golf course he plays on. On a wide open course like Corales, Stuard will be living on the short grass and will be playing clean golf. He probably doesn’t have the same winning upside as some of the other golfers mentioned, but he is a safe play. I would look to back Stuard in a Top 40/Top 30 market. Using 2020 ShotLink data, in this field Stuard ranks: first in Par 4 Efficiency from 400-450 yards, ninth in Bogey Avoidance, eighth in Putting Average, 10th in Good Drive Percentage, and 17th in Approach. Stuard is coming at big odds and could make some money for you in derivative markets.