The PGA Tour continues this week as it visits Corales Golf Club for the 2022 Corales Puntacana Championship. Read on below to see my predictions for who will win the tournament, as well as my predictions for who will finish in the top 10, my dark horse, and my player to fade.
Winner: Nate Lashley- Coming into the week ranked #316 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Lashley has had a mixed bag of a season so far, with 1 top 10 and 3 top 25’s to go along with 6 missed cuts in 13 starts. Lashley won this tournament back in 2017 when it was played on the Korn Ferry Tour and has had continued success since it became a PGA Tour event, with 3 top 30 finishes in 4 starts, capped off by a 4th place finish in 2020. As a whole, Lashley’s stats aren’t super flashy, but he does sit inside the top 50 in Strokes Gained: Putting. I’m a big believer in past success and this week just feels like a Nate Lashley week. Nate Lashley will find the winner’s circle on Sunday in the Dominican Republic and bring home his second career PGA Tour victory!
Top 10: Kramer Hickok- Hickok has had a relatively quiet season so far. Outside of a 4th place finish at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open, Hickok has had just 1 other top 25 finish in 14 starts. Even so, Hickok comes into this event with a bit of past success, with a T-10 and a T-21 finish in his previous two starts in this tournament. Hickok might not be lighting up the leaderboards, but he sits 87th in Strokes Gained: Total entering the week. I predict that past success will pay off for Hickok as he brings home his second top 10 finish of the season this week.
Dark Horse: Chad Ramey- In his rookie season on tour, Ramey has had an up and down season, with 1 top 10 and 3 top 25’s, to go along with 8 missed cuts in 13 starts. Ramey has shown to be a feast or famine type player this season and has feasted in 2 other tropical events, with a T-5 at the Puerto Rico Open and a T-17 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. He may have missed 7 of his last 9 cuts on tour, but I have a feeling that this course is going to appeal to his style, as he sits inside the top 50 in both Driving Accuracy Percentage and Greens in Regulation Percentage. A win would be improbable, but a top 30 is certainly within reach for Ramey this week.
Player to Fade: Jeronimo Esteve- Originally hailing from Puerto Rico, Esteve comes into this tournament having recently won the Devil’s Elbow Invitational. Esteve missed the cut in both of his previous PGA Tour starts in the Puerto Rico Open and I don’t expect him to be much of a threat this week, even in a field that is as weak as this week’s is. Esteve is a lock to miss the cut.