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|Charles Howell III
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Adam Long boasts the course and current form to make him the outright pick at +2500 with BetMGM.
Conditions are ripe for a Patton Kizzire top 20 and he can be backed at +450 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Take coastal expert Pat Perez to win his bet365 match-bet with Kristoffer Ventura at -110.
Adam Long to win +2500 at BetMGM
Patton Kizzire to finish in the top 20 +450 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Pat Perez to beat Kristoffer Ventura in a match-bet -110 at bet365
|Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship Information
|Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship
|Corales GC, Dominican Republic
|Thursday September 24 – Sunday September 27
|How to watch
|Thursday & Friday 3pm & 7pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday & Sunday 7pm ET (Golf Channel). All four days on Sky Sports.
After the excitement of last week’s U.S. Open, the PGA Tour turns its attention to a lower grade event, but one which offers a genuine opportunity for plenty of players.
The most intriguing of those is 24-year-old Californian Will Zalatoris who has been electric on the second tier Korn Ferry Tour this season amassing one win and another nine top-ten finishes.
Many thought he might struggle at Winged Foot, but instead, he proved that he really is one of the hottest players in the world right now by claiming a share of sixth place. The compilers have immediately made Zalatoris favorite for this week’s event, however, he’ll be up against it on a course that yields to low scoring, assuming the golfer is adept at playing golf by the ocean.
Corales Golf Club is not only defended by the blustery coastal winds, but also by the tricky paspalum grass on the greens.
Second in the betting is Mackenzie Hughes, who enjoyed a superb stretch of form in the FedEx Cup PlayOffs and was runner-up last year behind Graeme McDowell.
The fine form of Zalatoris and Hughes will attract plenty of attention this week, but 32-year-old Adam Long has also proved himself in good shape without quite experiencing the draining effects of being bang in-contention. In his case, he carded a fine 69 in round three at Winged Foot and then consolidated on Sunday with a 72 to claim a tie for 13th.
Add to that an impressive tied eighth in this tournament in 2017, when it was a Korn Ferry Tour event, and his case begins to look like a strong one. Moreover, he was third at El Camaleon last year in the Mayakoba Classic, a regular PGA Tour stop in Mexico.
The importance of El Camaleon form lies in the presence on its putting surfaces of that tricky paspalum grass and also the fact that this week’s defending champion McDowell has also won there.
Another distinction at Corales is the low scoring and Long proved himself well capable of that when, at the start of 2019, he thrashed two rounds of 63 and then closed with a 65 to win the Desert Classic at PGA West.
In great form, with excellent course experience and the ability to drain plenty of birdies back him at +2500 with BetMGM.
34-year-old Patton Kizzire is making his debut at Corales this week, but there are plenty of reasons to think he’ll be a good match for the test. His breakthrough win on the PGA Tour came at El Camaleon in late 2017 which we have already established has the same putting surfaces that he’ll face this week. Within weeks of that success he’d added to his win tally with victory in the Sony Open at Waialae – yet another coastal course with blustery winds and since then he has added another top 20 there.
He has also recorded finishes of tied 15th and tied eighth at Plantation in the Tournament of Champions, a layout that is wide open, windy and demands low scoring – all details that are pertinent to Corales.
It’s also true that since this tournament became a PGA Tour regular stop a hot putter has been essential. Brice Garnett, the 2018 winner, and also McDowell ranked first for Putting Average and all six top three finishers have ranked top 20, five of the top six.
In three of Kizzire’s four starts on paspalum greens, he’s finished the week in the top 11 for Putting Average.
He also tends to shine on Bermuda grass which is very similar to paspalum and in his penultimate start, the last time he played Bermuda grass, he ranked fifth for Strokes Gained Putting.
It’s a case of veteran versus youngster with bet365’s match-up of Pat Perez and Kristoffer Ventura this week. Perez is the 44-year-old American with three wins on the PGA Tour in a solid career lasting over two decades.
In contrast, Ventura is a Norwegian 25-year-old embarking on a second season on the PGA Tour and still looking for his first top-five. Ventura is undoubtedly a fine player, who won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour and claimed a PGA Tour best of tied seventh last time out, but he’s up against a canny operator in this week’s conditions. Perez has five top 20 finishes at El Camaleon, three of them top tens including a win in 2016 and it’s far from his only high-quality experience on courses similar to this week.
Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]More info on Matt Cooper
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