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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! Bryson DeChambeau bombed his way to victory at the U.S. Open in impressive fashion. The Mad Scientist was the only player to finish under par for the week at Winged Foot and proved that his quest for distance has been worth it.

While we didn't highlight Bryson in this article last week, we did very well with our selections, as Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson, and Louis Oosthuizen all finished inside the top-six, while Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama both made runs up the leaderboard at different points during the week. We had lots of options in last week's stacked field, but this week's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship offers a stark contrast in field strength.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!


Corales Puntacana Overview

Last week's U.S. Open field was filet mignon, while this week's Corales Puntacana field reminds me of a cheeseburger from the Dollar Menu at Mickey D's. An eclectic mixture of veteran journeymen and young up-and-comers will descend on the Dominican Republic this week in an attempt to get a headstart on the new 2020-21 season's FedEx Cup points race.

Last year's Corales winner Graeme McDowell will be back to defend his title with Henrik Stenson being perhaps the other name in the field that is the most recognizable. This event is not without some solid, quality PGA Tour players, as guys like Mackenzie Hughes, Corey Conners, and Emiliano Grillo represent a contingent of "in their prime" Tour regulars. Several youngsters are looking to make their mark this week, with phenom Akshay Batia, Sam Burns, and KFT-stud Will Zalatoris (who is fresh off a T6 at the U.S. Open and shockingly sits atop the salary scale this week) being some of the most exciting prospects in the game. We know what to expect from these types of events...lots of volatility and some definite "sticker shock" when it comes to DFS pricing...and that is certainly the case this week.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


The Course: Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales Course)

Par 72 - 7,666 Yards, Greens: Supreme Paspalum , Designed By: Tom Fazio (2010)

A typical resort course designed by Tom Fazio in 2010, Corales hosted a couple of KFT events before moving up to the PGA Tour schedule and is set to host the "big boys" for the third time. Like most "resort" layouts that caters to guests for 51 weeks out of the year, Corales plays easy for these professionals. This week's field will especially need to take advantage of the front nine, which has traditionally played much easier than the back.

Players will face Paspalum putting surfaces this week, which is a unique grass that isn't seen much on the PGA Tour schedule (here, Mayakoba, and Puerto Rico Open).

This is a coastal course, so there are some days where the wind could possibly play a factor, but overall this layout is gonna be a cakewalk, which forces us to target birdie makers this week. I'll look for players with a solid Birdie or Better Percentage, as well as those that can take advantage of this layout's four Par-5s.


Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Graeme McDowell (-18)
  • 2018: Brice Garnett (-18)
  • 2017: N/A
  • 2016: N/A
  • 2015: N/A


The Horse

Mackenzie Hughes

DraftKings: $10,300
Notable Course History: T2 ('19)

Since this event has just a two-year history, we don't have a great sample size to work from this week. So, I'm looking for players that are in good form and basically have any type of experience on this Corales layout. Mackenzie Hughes fits the bill, as the Canadian is coming off his best season as a pro and also logged a T2 in this event last year.

As I mentioned, the 29-year-old posted the best season of his career in 2020 and displayed some impressive upside by racking up four top-10s in 22 starts. Hughes went on a tear during the recent FedEx Cup Playoffs, posting top-15 finishes in each of the three Playoff events and qualifying for the Tour Championship.

He stands ninth in this week's field in Birdies or Better Gained and is a tremendous putter who ranks out first in this field in SG: Putting. Hughes certainly has his weaknesses (as does pretty much every player in this field), but he's been playing well as of late and has found success on this Corales layout previously.


The Ponies

Sam Burns

DraftKings: $10,100
Notable Course History: T12 ('19)

Sam Burns is a player that I've rostered in several events lately, the most recent of which was a strong T7 performance at the Safeway Open. Burns notched a T12 in this Corales event last year, so I'm more than happy to continue riding the LSU Tiger this week.

Burns is just 24, but it looks as though he has a big future ahead of him on the PGA Tour. He's sort of the prototypical "modern" golfer...he hits it a mile (eighth on the Tour in Driving Distance last year), devours Par-5s (21st Par-5 Scoring Average), and is a fabulous putter (24th Total Putting).

His iron play can come and go - and it is the only thing holding him back at this point - but Burns' ball striking has looked sharper over the last couple months and he's gained strokes on Approach in four of his last five starts. This would be a likely spot for a breakout win for him.

Denny McCarthy

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel: $10,500
Notable Course History: T26 ('19), 4th ('18)

It's officially Denny McCarthy SZN! McCarthy has made his living in the Swing Season for the last couple of years and that success includes this event, as he's went T26-4th in his last two trips to Corales. From September to November last year, McCarthy made seven of seven cuts with three top-10s and I look for him to start another successful late-year run this week.

He doesn't have the name recognition of some players or get much publicity, but McCarthy is perhaps the best putter on the PGA Tour. He's finished the last TWO seasons ranked FIRST on the PGA Tour in SG: Putting and he wields the flatstick like Biggie rocked the mic.

While I normally don't give a ton of weight to putting - unless I'm targeting bad putters with great ball-striking numbers - my outlook changes a bit during some of these swing season events. These things normally devolve into pure birdie-fests and we need guys that can consistently fill it up with the flatstick. McCarthy (and Hughes and Burns) fits that description.



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Xinjun Zhang

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $9,500
Notable Course History: T5 ('18)

A former Korn Ferry Tour stud who won twice on the KFT in 2019, Xinjun Zhang made some waves last fall after graduating to the PGA Tour, when he went T7-T16-T4 over a three-tournament stretch during September and October. However, Zhang hasn't recaptured that form in 2020 and has struggled to find consistency throughout this year.

Inconsistency has also been the name of the game since the restart for Zhang, but he has displayed high upside on a couple of occasions. Since the restart he has missed seven cuts in 10 starts, but the three times he's played the weekend, he's finished inside the top-14. This is a week where we almost have to "embrace the volatility" and Zhang's history of high finishes in these type of events (including a T5 in this event in 2018) makes him an intriguing "boom or bust" GPP option this week.

Patrick Rodgers

DraftKings: $8,000 
FanDuel: $9,300
Notable Course History: T22 ('18)

Those of you that regularly read my articles here or watch my podcast, The Turn, have probably heard me mention Patrick Rodgers before. The Stanford product isn't a golfer that I'm going to target every week, but there are specific layout "types" where I feel comfortable rostering him. He's similar to the aformentioned Sam Burns in that he's a bomber (18th on Tour in Driving Distance) that is also an exceptional putter (11th SG: Putting). Rodgers posted a T22 in his lone previous trip to Corales and this is the type of course that will allow him to bomb away off the tee, attack the Par-5s, and - hopefully - make lots of putts.

Aaron Baddeley

DraftKings: $6,600
FanDuel: $7,900
Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

This is a crazy week, so we may as well get nuts here, right? I mean this as no disrespect to Aaron Baddeley, who has had a very respectable career, but the poor guy was probably just born at the wrong time, as there are several other eras in which he would've been a hugely-successful player on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, Baddeley broke on to the PGA Tour in an era of driver domination, a facet of the game in which he's infamously struggled. Badds has one of the best short games of his generation, but is epically-bad off the tee, both in distance and accuracy metrics. However, Corales is the type of course that the one-time phenom can still navigate...there is plenty of room for him to operate off the tee and the greens are not particularly difficult to hit, the ball travels forever in this Dominican climate, so he can basically live and die with his putter. The Aussie posted a T7 here last year and has - shockingly - gained strokes with his irons the last three times he's teed it up. He's obviously a dart throw, but one I'll have some exposure to in GPPs.


Win Big With RotoBaller

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