Pro Golf Weekly

2018 Corales Puntacana: Brice Garnett Maintains Lead After 54 Holes

In this post we’ll keep track of the 2018 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship Classic for the first three rounds of play in a quick-hit format (who leads, who’s in hunt, quotes, and stats). Following Sunday’s final round at the Puntacana Resort’s Corales Course, we’ll produce a full recap with story, quotes, final stats and how the tournament played out, round by round.


CORALES PUNTCANA ROUND 3

GARNETT TAKES TWO-SHOT LEAD INTO FINALE

Following an opening-round 9-under 63, good for a one-stroke lead, Brice Garnett posted a bogey-free, 4-under 68 in round two to maintain that slim edge over Steve Wheatcroft (66-66) and Keith Mitchell (66-66).

Brice Garnett tees off during the third round of the Corales Puntacana Championship. (Credit: Getty Images/Christian Petersen)

After making birdie on four of his first seven holes, Garnett finished his round with 11 straight pars.

Garnett and Steve Wheatcroft are the only players in the field to remain bogey-free.

Prior to this week, Garnett’s only lead after any round on the PGA TOUR was following round two of the Fort Worth Invitational (DEAN & DELUCA). He finished T30.


TOP 5

1 Brice Garnett -13
2 Steve Wheatcroft -12
2 Keith Mitchell -12
4 Xinjun Zhang -10
4 Seungsu Han -10


STAT LEADERS

DRIVING DISTANCE
Ryan Brehm 315.3yards (-2)

FAIRWAYS
Steve Wheatcroft 26/28 92.9% (-12)
George McNeill 26/28 92.9% (-6)

GREENS
Adam Schenk – 33/36 91.7% (-3)


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


LEADERBOARD


QUOTABLES

Brice Garnett (63-68-69, -16)
“I knew it was going to be tough. I knew there would be some guys that got out early that might play well and post a number. But that last nine holes, when it’s 15 to 20 and every hole’s into the wind, I was just trying to make pars. The Web.com last year, being in contention coming down the stretch helps and I’ll draw on those experiences tomorrow.”

Corey Conners (64-71-67, -14)
“Yeah, really happy with the round. I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine, but it was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging. But hit the ball solidly all day and got it up and down when I needed to. Really happy with the score.”

Tyler McCumber (67-70-67, -12)
“Obviously playing really solid. It was nice to Monday at Melreese, pretty familiar with that course from the Latin Tour Championship. Obviously very comfortable down here with these courses, spent quite a bit of time in the Caribbean and Latin America per se. Yeah, definitely would have taken it.”


CORALES PUNTCANA ROUND 2

GARNETT MAINTAINS LEAD

Following an opening-round 9-under 63, good for a one-stroke lead, Brice Garnett posted a bogey-free, 4-under 68 in round two to maintain that slim edge over Steve Wheatcroft (66-66) and Keith Mitchell (66-66).

Brice Garnett tees off on the 9th hole during the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. (Credit: Getty Images/Christian Petersen)

After making birdie on four of his first seven holes, Garnett finished his round with 11 straight pars.

Garnett and Steve Wheatcroft are the only players in the field to remain bogey-free.

Prior to this week, Garnett’s only lead after any round on the PGA TOUR was following round two of the Fort Worth Invitational (DEAN & DELUCA). He finished T30.


TOP 5

1 Brice Garnett -13
2 Steve Wheatcroft -12
2 Keith Mitchell -12
4 Xinjun Zhang -10
4 Seungsu Han -10


STAT LEADERS

DRIVING DISTANCE
Ryan Brehm 315.3yards (-2)

FAIRWAYS
Steve Wheatcroft 26/28 92.9% (-12)
George McNeill 26/28 92.9% (-6)

GREENS
Adam Schenk – 33/36 91.7% (-3)


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


QUOTABLES

“There’s so much golf left, 36 holes, and especially out here guys are going to make charges from way back. A lot of birdies are out there. So I’ll just keep my head down, keep plugging and try to have a solid weekend.”
– Brice Garnett

“Bogey free is rare for me, so that was — that’s a huge positive. I hit it a little bit more consistent today. I didn’t get as aggressive maybe. Still, even when I did I felt like I got up and down. So I felt like I played really similar golf other than without that one hiccup. So it was fun, it was easy, it was fun. But I know we’ve got two more days and Brice is a hell of a competitor out here so I’m going to have a big task to fill.”
– Keith Mitchell

“It’s a long ways to go and my year’s been terrible, so I can’t really afford to let the foot off the gas pedal. Usually when I get into contention, a birdie-fest so to speak, I’ve done a good job in the past. My two wins are 29 under and 24 under on the Web, so I’ve done a good job of following up birdies with more birdies, and this course especially you kind of have to. Chipping around the greens is fairly easy, or it’s easier, the ball sits up nice on this grass. You just have to take advantage of the par 5s and try to stuff some irons on the other ones.”
– Steve Wheatcroft


CORALES PUNTCANA ROUND ONE

GARNETT’S 63 LEADS THE WAY

Brice Garnett opened with a bogey-free 9-under 63 and holds the first 18-hole lead/co-lead of his career at the inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

Thursday’s 63 by Garnett included nine birdies and nine pars. The Missouri native is one ahead of Canada’s Corey Conners, who shot an 8-under 64.


TOP 5

1 Brice Garnett -9
2 Corey Conners -8
3 Jonathan Byrd -6
3 Brendon de Jonge -6
3 Steve Wheatcroft -6
3 Denny McCarthy -6
3 Keith Mitchell -6
3 Xinjun Zhang -6
3 Troy Matteson -6


STAT LEADERS

DRIVING DISTANCE
Kevin Tway 309.5 yards (-5)

FAIRWAYS
David Hearn – 14/14 100% (-3)
Retief Goosen – 14/14 100% (-2)
Harris English – 14/14 100% (-1)
Jim Furyk – 14/14 100% (E)

GREENS
Paul Dunne – 18/18 100% (-5)
Omar Uresti – 18/18 100% (+3)


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


QUOTABLES

Brice Garnett (63, -9)
“My caddie and I have been talking and we felt our game was kind of trending in the right direction. Even the second day at Honda I was playing — my game was starting to round into shape.
Played well at Tampa, had a couple late bogeys. But yeah, I texted my coach I guess the week of Tampa and I said I’m ready to get back to work. The Web season took a lot out of me and once the calendar turned, I was not quite as motivated as I was last year. So right now I’m excited and working hard on my game.”

Corey Conners (64, -8)
“Yeah, I was feeling really good about my game and really excited to get the tournament started. Yeah, I was expecting to play well, really happy with how I did play and how I scored. Hit a lot of really good shots and holed a lot of really good putts. You’re going to need to make some birdies on this golf course. Even though it’s a bit on the long side, the conditions are just perfect.”


Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images


Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid is a Pro Golf Weekly producer and contributor.

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