Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. However, finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they select a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Corales Puntacana Championship based on current form, course fit, and — of course — the value of their odds.
With the top golfers on the PGA Tour tied up at Austin Country Club for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the standard four-day stroke play event of the week is the opposite field enjoying the beautiful Dominican Republic.
The Corales Golf Course has been the host for five editions, a span that included two in 2021, with four winning scores at 17- or 18-under par and one windy week at 12-under par. Wind looks like it will play a role this week, so the second 2021 leaderboard (the event held in March) may be our best guide.
Caribbean courses and El Camaleon in Mexico are our paspalum models, and we’ll look to performance in weak fields and solid recent approach play as the best form guides this week.
At The Top
Thomas Detry (+1800) – Detry disappointed when we touted him at the Honda Classic, withdrawing near last place in what was arguably the worst start of his professional career. He lost 3.07 strokes putting and 2.67 strokes on approaches, and a T24 in which he was at or above field average at Bay Hill was encouraging. He gained on approach but was overmatched at Sawgrass, and he will be much more in his element this week. The 30-year-old Belgian has excelled in weak fields and on paspalum. In four trips to Corales, he’s finished T33, T33, T13, and T15, and in two Mayakoba starts, he was T22 and T15. His best PGA finish is a solo second at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, which while not a paspalum course is a weaker group.
Ben Martin (+2900) – Another repeat of a recent recommendation, Martin just missed the first round places at the Valspar Championship and hung around before fading on Sunday thanks to his short game failing him. While a far shorter number here, Martin features much more prominently in a field like this, and the recent form puts him squarely on our radar for many of the same reasons as last week. He’s now gained on approaches in four straight and seven of his last eight. For the season, he’s lost strokes on approach just twice and ranks 22nd overall. His history at paspalum and Caribbean courses is solid, including a runner-up here last year, T9 in the windy conditions in spring 2021, and two top-15 finishes in Puerto Rico.
Cameron Percy (+3300) – Percy was fourth here last year and eighth in the early 2021 edition. He was T7 in both the 2021 and 2022 Puerto Rico Open, another opposite event with paspalum greens. He missed the cut at this year’s Puerto Rico Open a few weeks back, but he’s sandwiched that disappointment with two solid starts, finishing T12 at the Honda Classic and T16 at the Valspar Championship. At 48 years old, he won’t be intimidated by the wind, and the course and recent form both fit for the Australian this week.
Chesson Hadley (+5000) – Hadley was T13 here in the windy spring 2021 edition and since then has posted most of his best finishes in the weakest events. Hadley has top-10s at the Palmetto Championship, the Travelers Championship, the John Deere Classic, and the Wyndham Championship. The Travelers is still a solid event despite following a major, but the others are weak mainland events. Until the last year or two, he was not in the other opposite events by virtue of being in the primary, with the exception being the Puerto Rico Open thanks to his win there in 2015. Hadley has gained with approaches in three straight events with nothing much to show for it, and he’s putted well this season. The stars align for him this week, colliding decent form and a course fit.
Russell Knox (+7500) – A perennial head-turner in the annual strokes gained: approach statistic, Knox is once again compelling as an irons savant, ranking 13th on the season. He’s been 26th or better in each of the past four seasons. This week is his first time at Corales, but Knox has shined at El Camaleon, including three straight top-10s from 2016-2018. As a native of Scotland, he can’t be bothered too much by some wind, and the recent form in the Florida events highlights how overmatched he is in traditional settings. He has missed five straight cuts, but that shouldn’t deter us. When Joel Dahmen (too rich at +2000) won here, it was on the back of three straight missed cuts and overall a run of missing six of seven cuts.