Corales Puntacana Championship

While many of the top PGA Tour players are in South Carolina for the “Signature Event” at the RBC Heritage, a full field is also in the Dominican Republic for the alternate event at the Corales Puntacana Championship. 

Nicolai Højgaard (16-1), last year’s Corales Puntacana runner-up, got his first taste of contention in a major championship at the Masters, but five straight bogeys on the back nine in Saturday’s third round ended his chances and he eventually settled for a T-16. 


Alex Noren (14-1) and his run of great form was not enough to earn him a spot in the Masters, but he does come into this week with four consecutive top-20 finishes. 

Billy Horschel (20-1) has three top-12 finishes in his last five starts. 

Aaron Rai (22-1), 2017 Corales Puntacana winner Nate Lashley (28-1), Kevin Yu (30-1), Doug Ghim (30-1), Davis Thompson (33-1) and Victor Perez (33-1), who fell out of the Aon Swing 5 for the RBC Heritage, round out the second group in the market. 

The Event

The Corales Puntacana Championship began as a (now Korn Ferry) Tour event in 2016. The event was promoted and transitioned to the PGA Tour as an alternate event in 2018. The event is back to alternate event status, so no Masters invitation going to the winner, but 300 FedEx Cup points and a two-year PGA Tour exemption are on the line this week.

The Field

Field Updates

  • Erik Barnes OUT (in the Aon Swing 5 for the RBC Heritage); Harry Higgs IN off the alternate list. 
  • Kramer Hickok OUT via W/D.
  • Davis Riley OUT via W/D; Russell Knox IN off the alternate list. 
  • Chesson Hadley OUT vis W/D; Bill Haas IN off the alternate list.
  • Alejandro Tosti OUT (in the Aon Swing 5 for the RBC Heritage); Ryan Armour IN off the alternate list.
  • Cameron Champ OUT via W/D; Jason Dufner IN on his number.
  • Kevin Kisner OUT (sponsor exemption for the RBC Heritage); Philip Knowles OUT via W/D.
  • Jonathan Byrd and Robert Streb IN off the alternate list.
  • William McGirt and Herman Wibe Sekne IN with sponsor exemptions. 
  • Matt Kuchar OUT; Sung Kang IN off the alternate list. 

The Course

The Corales Golf Club in Punta Cana is in the La Altagracia province on the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The course was designed in 2010 by Tom Fazio and plays as a par-72 of 7,670 yards and is the second-longest course on the PGA Tour. It is an easy, flat (a rarity amongst Fazio designs) track with inland and coastal sections. The wind can blow here and keep the scoring somewhat under control, but Corales is plenty scoreable and there should be plenty of birdies. The portion of the course that is away from the shore has six holes with water hazards. Six holes play along the coast including 16-18, known as “The Devil’s Elbow.” Supreme Papsalum, which is a turf that is becoming more widely used throughout courses especially in the South because of its low maintenance and irrigation requirements, is used throughout the course. The fairways are wide and forgiving and the sticky and smooth greens (6,000 square feet average) roll relatively slow at 11 on the stimpmeter. This course really doesn’t favor any player. It is gettable for both bombers and superior ball strikers, but it will largely be decided by who gets hot at the right time with the putter.

The outbound set of nine holes is where some serious scoring is essential. With the longest par-4 measuring 465 yards and two par-5s that measure only 565 yards (4th) and 515 yards (7th), the front side of the golf course is there for the taking. The inward nine is more stringent with both par-5s playing over 600 yards and the closing Devil’s Elbow putting up far sterner resistance. 

Correlated courses include El Camaleon, Grand Reserve, Plantation at Kapalua, Kiawah Island and Vidanta Vallarta. 

Recent History/Winners

2023: Matt Wallace (-19/269); 28-1

2022: Chad Ramey (-17/271); 50-1

2021: Joel Dahmen (-12/276); 50-1

2020: Hudson Swafford (-18/270); 200-1

2019: Graeme McDowell (-18/270); 40-1

2018: Brice Garnett (-18/270); 66-1

2017: Nate Lashley (-20/268); 28-1*

2016: Dominic Bozzelli (-24/264); 90-1*

* Events


Nate Lashley (28-1, BetMGM)

Lashley won at Corales Puntacana on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2017. He has also been fourth, 15th and twice just inside the top 30.

Furthermore, he has great form in another coastal event at Puerto Rico with an 8-7-3-MC line. 

He ranks sixth for Strokes Gained: Total in this field over the last 36 rounds. 

Victor Perez (33-1, BetRivers)

Perez missed out on being in the RBC Heritage field by one spot having been No. 6 in the Aon Swing 5. 

He finished third last month in the alternate Puerto Rico Open event. 

His last victory came on the DP World Tour in the 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. That last win also came on a fairly long Paspalum golf course at Yas Links, plus he’s also finished fourth at the 2021 Saudi International played on the Paspalum carpeted Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

Sam Stevens (35-1, DraftKings)

Stevens was the 54-hole leader last year, eventually finishing third.

He has two top-20s in his last five starts, including at a correlated event in the Puerto Rico Open. 

Matti Schmid (55-1, BetMGM)

Schmid was third in Bermuda late last year and 10th at the Grand Reserve in Puerto Rico in March.

Since that finish in Puerto Rico, Schmid has finished T-26 at The Players, T-17 at the Valspar and T-21 in Houston. 

Peter Kuest (66-1, BetRivers)

One of the longer hitters and better putters in this field, Kuest opened some eyes last year in his few starts on the PGA Tour with a top-4 finish at the Rocket Mortgage and three subsequent top-20 finishes. 

He has struggled this year on the Korn Ferry Tour but things turned around at the Valero Texas Open two weeks ago when finishing 10th.

Alex Fitzpatrick (80-1, BetRivers)

Fitzpatrick vacationed frequently at Hilton Head as a youngster with his family, including older brother Matt, who is defending last year’s RBC Heritage title there this week.

He has cooled off a bit from his 2023 form that saw him win his first professional event on the Challenge Tour and contend multiple times on the DP World Tour. Nevertheless, he finished top 20 or better in five of his last nine worldwide starts dating to last December and certainly will be motivated here to try to join big brother on the PGA Tour. 

Placement markets, matchups and any other futures will be up Wednesday at