The First Look: Corales Puntacana Championship
March 20, 2022
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
Joel Dahmen’s Round 4 winning highlights from Corales Puntacana
All past winners of the Corales Puntacana Championship – including both from when the event was played on the Korn Ferry Tour – are back in paradise for another crack at the trophy.
Joel Dahmen returns to defend his breakthrough PGA TOUR title.
FIELD NOTES: Danish twins Rasmus and Nicolai Hojgaard will tee it up together for the first time on the PGA TOUR… Field also includes major winners Graeme McDowell (Corales champ in 2019), Jimmy Walker, and Danny Willett, as well as 2011 FedExCup winner Bill Haas… Each of the past winners at Corales (including Dominic Bozzelli and Nate Lashley, when the event was part of the Korn Ferry Tour) is back… Dahmen looks to become the first repeat winner… Rafael Campos of nearby Puerto Rico will be buoyed by local fan support… The Monday qualifier has already taken place, and Michael Balcar, Brian Davis, Bryson Nimmer and past Korn Ferry Tour winner Rick Lamb earned the four spots… Victor Perez, who finished fourth at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in 2021, played opposite Corales, is one of the sponsor exemptions. Other sponsor exemptions include former Presidents Cup International Team member Haotong Li and four-time DP World Tour winner Rafa Cabrera Bello.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 300 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Corales Golf Course, par 72, 7,670 yards. Opened in 2010 and designed by Tom Fazio, it’s a beast. The course is open off the tee, but with difficult green complexes and challenging wind. The Devil’s Elbow – the closing three-hole stretch at Corales – features a forced carry of the Bay of Corales on 18. The course has six oceanside holes and plenty of natural beauty – cliffs, bays, ocean coves, inland lakes, and quarries.
STORYLINES: The Hojgaard brothers are the second set of twins to play a PGA TOUR event. Derek and Daryl Fathauer played the 2007 Ginn sur Mer Classic (in Florida) together. Both Nicolai and Rasmus are DP World Tour winners… Last season golfers had to battle the elements, and it was the first time in its iteration as a TOUR event that the winner did not shoot the magic number at Corales: 18-under 270. The forecast is for breezy but sunny, which means a low winning total may be back in play… Since becoming a TOUR event, there have been two first-time winners and two veteran winners… The 7,670-yard layout is one of the longest courses on TOUR.
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Dominic Bozzelli (2016 Korn Ferry Tour). As PGA TOUR event: 270, Brice Garnett (2018), Graeme McDowell (2019), Hudson Swafford (2020).
18-HOLE RECORD: 62, Stephan Jaeger (2nd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour), Scott Harrington (2nd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour), Alexandre Rocha (3rd round, 2016 Korn Ferry Tour). As PGA TOUR event: 63, Brice Garnett (1st round, 2018), Chip McDaniel (4th round, 2019)
LAST TIME: Dahmen broke through for his first TOUR title by one over Sam Ryder and Rafael Campos. Campos had a long birdie try on the 72nd hole to tie but it lipped out. Dahmen’s 2-under 70 on Sunday was enough to hold off a hard-charging Ryder, who shot 5-under 67 in the final round. Dahmen won despite two bogeys on his back nine, and nerves. The 33-year-old’s first TOUR title came in his 111th TOUR start as he became a fan favorite. McDowell, the 2019 winner, tied for fourth, with Michael Gligic, while 2020 winner Hudson Swafford tied for sixth with Emiliano Grillo, whose 7-under 65 on Saturday was the round of the week.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (Golf Channel)