Corales Puntacana First Round Leader: Seamus has the Power

Ireland's Seamus Power
Irishman Seamus Power can burst out of the blocks

The new 2020/21 PGA Tour season continues in the Dominican Republic this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way selections to make a fast start at Corales Golf Club...

"At this course, he made two eagles last year, while signing for 23 birdies and an eagle in 2016."

Back Seamus Power each-way @ 75/1

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

Weather forecast for Corales Golf Club: Temperatures are already in the 80s for the morning starters and they peak in the early 90s at 2pm. Wind speeds are fairly modest to begin with but start to rise towards 10mph and over by the late afternoon.

FRL history at Corales Golf Club

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: In the two years that this has been a PGA Tour event, there's an even 2:2 split in terms of which wave produced the leader. The wind looks a little lighter for the a.m. wave so I'll pick two from the morning and one in the afternoon.

Power can surge early

I was close to putting up Seamus Power in my outright preview but will definitely play him in the R1 leader market.

The Irishman is one of the course horses this week having finished seventh on debut in 2016 and fifth on his return in 2018. He also made the cut last year.

Power is somewhat curious statistically in that he's incredibly high in some of the stats where only the big big names seem to roam.

For example, he was 11th in the All-Around last season and fifth for Birdie Average.

The latter is certainly good to know on this course where Graeme McDowell made 27 birdies on the way to victory last year.

Power made 18 and an eagle when tied ninth in August's Barracuda Championship and racked up 19 despite having to settle for tied 27th in the Wyndham Championship two weeks later on his next start.

As for this course, he made two eagles last year, while signing for 23 birdies and an eagle in 2016.

If he can keep the bogeys away, Power's attacking philosophy can produce a good early position.

In terms of fast starts, he's been tied 11th or better in six of his last 20 starts, with two of those top threes. That includes sitting third after day one in the Barracuda three starts ago.

Back the Waterford man - an early starter at 06:50 - at 75/1.

Count on Kyoung-Hoon

Kyoung-Hoon Lee has some useful history at Corales Golf Club.

The Korean opened 66-64 in 2017 and led through the second and third rounds while he was ninth with 18 holes to play last year.

KHLee1280.jpg

In other events played by the sea on Paspalum grass he was tied 14th in the Puerto Rico Open this year while a 66-66 start in the 2018 Mayakoba put him in the top 10 at halfway.

Lee was the R1 leader in last year's Travelers Championship while twice last season he was second after day one; the first of those came in another coastal event, the RSM Classic in Georgia.

He's not been in sensational form of late but four of his last seven rounds have been in the 60s and, on a course he likes, I'm hoping he can thrive early.

Take the 90/1 on the 29-year-old from Seoul, who does his best work around the greens - a key skill here. He heads out at 11:50.

G-Mac can shine again

I thought of plenty of others for my final pick including Rob Oppenheim, Ryan Brehm, Denny McCarthy and Scott Harrington.

But I'll end with a punt on last year's winner, Graeme McDowell.

It's doubtful he's playing well enough to string four good rounds together but one - and hopefully the first - is certainly possible.

He loves this type of seaside golf (G-Mac is also a winner by the coast in Mexico) and it will seem like a breath of fresh air after the gruelling US Open at Winged Foot.

McDowell missed the cut by a distance there, hitting under 40% of the tight fairways which hampered him hugely. This week's are far, far wider.

Taking the positives, he's started out with 68s in a couple of post-lockdown events - the WGC-St. Jude and the Workday Charity Open - and fired a Friday 66 at another of his favourite courses, Hilton Head.

G-Mac carded two middle rounds of 64 here last and I'll back him to make an early charge from his 07:00 tee-time.

Take the 60/1.

Dave's First Round Leader P/L

Staked: £690
Returned: £380.35
P/L: -£309.65

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