Golf picks of the week: Kern checks out the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship where Will Zalatoris is the fave
Where and when to watch: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. on the Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. on NBC
No, we didn’t give you Bryson Dechambeau in the U.S. Open. But we did tell you to play Xander Schauffele to at least finish in the top five, which he did, at plus $350. So hopefully you got some of your money back, which is never a bad thing.
Now it’s on to the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, from the Dominican Republic. Of course, it’s a much weaker field, as you’d expect. But somebody still has to win, so maybe we can make some money too.
Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champ, is the defending champ. That was his first PGA Tour win since 2015. And he’s won again since, in February. But he’s listed at 80-1. Don’t know quite what to make of that. Don’t necessarily think he’ll repeat, or maybe even come close, but it might be worth at small bet, say like five bucks, on him to do so just in case. And a little something more on him to finish in the top 10, at plus $750. Just saying. Or you could even try him for a top five at double the possible payout.
Will Zalatoris, who’s been big on the Korn Ferry Tour and is coming off a sixth at the Open, is the fave at 12-1. He’s followed by Corey Connors and Mackenzie Hughes at 14-1. Hughes was second last year and had played well in the FedExCup playoffs before missing the cut at the Open.
Sam Burns is 18-1., He’s been seventh, ninth and 13th in his last three starts, and was 12th here a year ago with a second-round 74. Emiliano Grillo, Charles Howell III and Adam Long are 20-1. Pat Perez is 25-1, Thomas Detry and Denny McCarthy 30-1. Charley Hoffman, Adam Schenk, Henrik Stenson, Sepp Straka and Kristoffer Ventura are 33-1. Stenson is the interesting one. The recent British Open winner has played only three times since the restart in June. But he is the most accomplished player teeing it up, by far.
Branden Grace, Luke List, Henrik Norlander, Matthias Schwartz, Kyle Stanley and Brian Stuard are 40-1. That’s about as far as I’m going to. To be honest I don’t know a whole lot about many of these blokes. But I did my research, and I’m still not sure of much.
James Hahn, who’s 66-1, was the co-leader at the Safeway Classic two weeks ago before tying for ninth. He’s 11-1 to get a top 10, so that’s probably worth a little something too. But nothing to get too carried away with. It’s just that kind of event.
I may be trying to get ahead of the learning curve, but my friend really likes Zalatoris. Told me so before the Open. So, I think I’m going to ride him here. Maybe even try him for a top five at plus $350. Hey, there’s not a whole lot to like in this thing. And sometimes you have to recognize that and tread lightly.
I guess if I was going to go in any other direction, I would tell you to look at Sam Burns at 18 or maybe even Charles Howell at 20. So maybe you just toss a little on each. But you can’t bet too many or at some point it’s more or less counterproductive.
I don’t really have a good feel for a longshot, other than Hahn and, as I explained, Stenson. Hey, if Stenson has his A game this could easily be his week. I could give you more but that’s probably enough.
Until next week anyway. Then we’ll try to make some sense out of the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss., where I once played in the pro-am. Don’t ask. Just know that our team finished next-to-last, with Brandon Todd. I can do that to a foursome.