Corales Puntacana First-Round Leader Tips: McCumber can make hay early

American Tyler McCumber
Tyler McCumber can go low on day one

There's regular PGA Tour action this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader at the Corales Puntacana...

"Back in September, McCumber was one of four first-round leaders thanks to a 65 and then closed with 66 to finish runner-up."

Back Tyler McCumber E/W @ 55/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Corales Golf Club: Temperatures are pleasant (early 80s) for the whole golfing day while the other expected constant here, wind, is also on display. It's locked in at 15mph from early morning and should stay that way.

FRL history at Corales Golf Club

2020 - 65 Hudson Swafford, Tyler McCumber, Scott Harrington, Sepp Straka
2019 - 66 Joel Dahmen, Paul Dunne, Matt Jones
2018 - 63 Brice Garnett
2017 - 65 Jamie Arnold
2016 - 65 Blake Adams, Jin Park, Ryan Brehm

Strategy: With wind a factor all day, there's no obvious advantage for either wave so I'll just pick freely without looking too much at tee times.

Trust course specialist Tyler

Few in the field this week will come in with as much confidence as Tyler McCumber.

For starters, in just two appearances at Corales Golf Club, the American has already established himself as a course horse.

On debut in 2018 when the tournament was staged in March he opened 67-70-67 to sit third with 18 holes to play before falling to T19 on Sunday.

But back in September, McCumber was one of four first-round leaders thanks to a 65 and then closed with 66 to finish runner-up.

He said after that opener: "This was my first PGA Tour event two years ago in 2018 and I played pretty well in it then, so I definitely have good memories here as well."

They'll come flooding back again this time and he has the current form to turn them into another fast start.

McCumber impressed against the elite to finish T22 in the Players Championship and he backed that up with T33 in the Honda Classic.

He's 55/1 to be first-round leader again and that's worth a play. McCumber starts out at 07:40.

Home in on Harrington

No, not Padraig, my second bet is namesake Scott Harrington.

The 40-year-old American has some notable form at Corales, improving his finish each time: 28th in 2016, 25th in 2017 and 14th last year.

The highlights were a second-round 62 on debut and the 65 which helped him share the lead in the 2020 edition.

Harrington opened with a 66 in last week's Honda Classic to sit fourth after 18 holes while he also fired a Friday 66 at Riviera. In short, he produces the low rounds that you want for this sort of bet.

Fifth at halfway in the Honda, Harrington usually does his best work before the cut and I'll play him at 60/1.

He's an afternoon starter at 12:07.

Brandon can blast out of the blocks

Defending champion Hudson Swafford was brought into the press tent on Tuesday and said: "It kind of plays a little bit into a longer hitter's hand I feel like, so that helps me."

Comparing it to September, he also suggested it could play a bit longer this time.

McCumber and Harrington are ranked 16th and 21st in Driving Distance this year which bodes well.

And I'll add in a guy even higher up the DD charts - Brandon Hagy.

The 30-year-old is ranked 11th for Driving Distance and is flowing with confidence after his second place at last week's Honda Classic. His great week there included a 62 on Friday.

As for fast starts, back in January he was the first-round leader at The American Express thanks to a 64 while an opening 66 put him fourth after 18 holes at the Farmers Insurance.

He's 50/1 this week which immediately looks good. The explanation for the bigger price than expected is course form that shows MC-MC. The first was back in 2016 while the latter came in September.

That's not ideal but he broke par in the second round in both those events and it's nowhere near enough to write him off, especially after he showed he could thrive in windy conditions at The Honda.

Hagy is in the very first group at from the 1st at 06:45.

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