Debuting in 2018, opposite the WGC-Dell Match Play, the Puntacana Resort and Club Championship returns to its regular spot on the schedule after being played in September 2020, following the PGA Tour’s COVID reshuffle.
Contested on the resort’s Corales course, the Tom Fazio design features six oceanfront holes, including a final three dubbed “The Devil’s Elbow,” which are capped by a forced carry on the 18th hole over the Bay of Corales.
While the top-ranked players and big names will be teeing it up in Austin this week, the field in the Dominican will feature a potpouri of players from many different places and in many different stages of their careers.
One player who will be in the field is Hudson Swafford, the defending champion who won the title THIS season – just six month ago.
Swafford will be joined by the tournament’s four other champions: Graeme McDowell (2019), Brice Garnett (2018), Nate Lashley (2017), and Dominic Bozzelli (2016) – Lashley and Bozzelli were winners when it was a Web.com Tour event.
The top-ranked player in the field is Australian Lucas Herbert, who sits at No. 72 in the world, one clear of Dylan Frittelli (71) – the last player to make it into the Match Play field.
Marquee names include former Masters winner Danny Willett, as well as Thomas Pieters, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Charles Howell III, Emiliano Grillo, Charley Hoffman, and Pat Perez.
Here are more facts and features about the Tour’s only stop in the Dominican.
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
Dates: Mar 25-28, 2021
Where: Punta Cana, D.R.
Course: Corales Course
Distance: Par 72, 7,670 yards
Architect: Tom Fazio (2010)
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Field: 144 Players, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $540,000
Points: 300 (FedEx), 24 (OWGR)
Defending Champion: Hudson Swafford
How to Follow
TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 10:00 a.m.-1 p.m. (GOLF); Sat: 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (GOLF); Sun: 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (GOLF)
The Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship is a former Web.com Tour event, first played in 2016 at the Puntacana Resort and Club, on the east coast in the La Altagracia province.
In 2018, after two editions as a Web.com event, the tournament was promoted to the PGA Tour as an alternate event (opposite the WGC-Dell Match Play), becoming the first PGA Tour event contested in the Dominican Republic.
The inaugural champion was Brice Garnett, who scored his first (and still only) PGA Tour title with an 18-under par total, four clear of Keith Mitchell.
As an opposite-field event, the tournament rewards 300 FedExCup points to the winner, a two-year tour exemption, and 24 OWGR points, but no invitation to the Masters Tournament.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 tournament was postponed until September when it was inserted into the wrap-around portion of the 2020–21 PGA Tour season. And, so yes, it does appear on the 2020-21 schedule TWICE – making it the first event to be played two times in the SAME season in the PGA Tour’s modern era.
Checking in at 7,668 yards, the Corales Course regularly ranks as one of the longest courses on the Tour’s schedule. Besides the six oceanfront holes, it’s setting is described as being, “punctuated by natural cliffs, coralina quarries and ocean coves.”
The title sponsor is Puntacana Resort and Club, a major resort development located on the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic.
2020: Hudson Swafford (-18)
2019: Graeme McDowell (-18)
2018: Brice Garnett (-18)
2017: Nate Lashley (-20)
2016: Dominic Bozelli (-24)
(264, -24)* – Dominic Bozzelli (2016)
(270, -18) – Brice Garnett (2018), Graeme McDowell (2019), Hudson Swafford (2020)
(62, -10)* – Stephan Jaeger (2016, Rd2), Scott Harrington (2016, Rd2), Alexandre Rocha (2016, Rd3)
(63, -9) – Brice Garnett (2018, Rd1), Chip McDaniel (2019, Rd4)
(4)* – Dominic Bozzelli (2016)
(4) – Brice Garnett (2018)
Contested as Web.com Tour event
Hudson Swafford shot a final-round 69 to claim his second career PGA Tour title at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
Swafford entered the final day at the Corales course trailing third-round leader Adam Long by two shots. But the Georgia product quickly erased that deficit with three birdies and one eagle in a six-hole stretch on Nos. 3-8 and turned with the lead at 20 under. After dropped shots on Nos. 13 and 15, Swafford bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 17th hole to finish 18-under par, one clear of Tyler McCumber who shot 66.
For the week at the Puntacana Resort, Swafford hit 44/56 fairways, 51/72 greens, and stroke the putter 108 times.
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Hudson Swafford -18 (-3)
2. Tyler McCumber -17 (-6)
3. Mackenzie Hughes -16 (-2)
4. Nate Ashley -15 (-3)
5. Adam Long -14 (+3)
The field will be headlined by all five winners of the event: Hudson Swafford (2020), Graeme McDowell (2019), Brice Garnett (2018), Nate Lashley (2017) and Dominic Bozzelli (2016).
Players with rankings inside the top 100 include Lucas Herbert (72), Danny Willett (75), Thomas Pieters (77), Joel Dahmen (81), and Tom Lewis (96).
Marquee names, who should contend, are: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Charley Hoffman, Charles Howell III, Emiliano Grillo, Luke List, Pat Perez, Patrick Rodgers, and J.B. Holmes.
Other familiar names include Charl Schwartzel, Aaron Baddeley, K.J. Choi, Luke Donald, and Bill Haas.
Over-50 stars include Davis Love III, Retief Goosen, and Miguel A Jimenez, who will be teeing it up on the PGA Tour for the first time in a non-major/non-World Golf Championships event since 2009.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Emiliano Grillo (18-1)
1. Charley Hoffman (18-1)
3. Thomas Detry (22-1)
3. Charles Howell III (22-1)
3. Thomas Pieters (22-1)
Full Field, Odds, Rank
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images, Carey Hoffman