Corales Championship expert picks: Who our staff thinks will win
This is advice about advice. Don’t just listen to me. Or Jessica Marksbury. Or Alan Bastable or Dylan Dethier. (Though, if you’ve listened to Alan and Dylan for golf-pick wisdom over these past 15 weeks, Lord help you.)
Listen to a lot of advisers.
A host of other golf sites are full of golf-betting insight. The PGA Tour itself is even. A Google search of “PGA Tour picks” brings up over 5 million results. You might even stumble across some of Josh Berhow’s stone-cold locks from earlier this season.
You’re seeking confirmation for your pick. And refutation. Pick, and then pick it apart. You want to hear the pros and the cons. You need yes men and no men. Plural.
This week, the PGA Tour is playing the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship at Corales Golf Club in the Dominican Republic. Since I started this story with advice, I’ll end it with some, too.
I like Mackenzie Hughes, at +2,000.
He played well last year at Corales with a tie for second. He’s played well over the past month with a 14th-place finish at the Tour Championship, a tie for 10th at the BMW Championship, and a tie for 13th at the Northern Trust.
A quick refresher on our game. Twelve members of our staff will make three $100 bets — to win, top 10 and a prop bet of choice — for each tournament from the Charles Schwab Challenge through the Masters in November. Each member starts with $4,000, and the odds will come from the DraftKings website. The first-place finisher will play a round of golf when it’s all said and done, and the last-place finisher is on the bag for the winner.
Our primary goal, of course, is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook.
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($9,374)
To-win: Mackenzie Hughes, +2,000. Hughes has been a cut-making machine since June (with the exception of last week’s U.S. Open) and made it all the way to the Tour Championship this year. He also finished second to G-Mac at this event last year, so he gets my pick this week.
Top 10: Kelly Kraft, +2500. Kraft finished in the Top 5 for the past two years here — that’s good enough for me!
Prop: Patrick Rodgers, Top 20, +225. Rodgers has three Top 20s since the Tour’s restart, and I’m confident this week will be his fourth.
Nick Piastowski ($7,818)
To-win: Mackenzie Hughes, +2,000. He tied for second here last year and has played well over the past month.
Top 10: Chris Stroud, +1,000. And this is whom Hughes tied for second with!
Prop: Leader after Round 1, Mackenzie Hughes, +3,300. Hughes, wire-to-wire.
Sean Zak ($7,302.30)
To-win: Mackenzie Hughes, +2,000. Guy is just so solid. Can he go low enough, though?
Top 10: Henrik Stenson, +400. I choose to believe he is just too good a golfer not to play well against a weak field.
Prop: To make the cut, no, Pat Perez, +225. Shot in the dark here!
Jonathan Wall ($5,803)
To-win: Adam Long, +2,000. Finished 13th at Winged Foot. Feels like a good week to ride the major momentum.
Top 10: Kristoffer Ventura, +400. Has logged six top 25s on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry in his past nine starts. Don’t see him slowing down this week.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +225. Dart throw.
James Colgan ($5,101)
To-win: Will Zalatoris, +1,400. Grabbing Zalatoris before noted Korn Ferry Tour expert Zephyr Melton can stake his claim. The guy has played great golf all year on the KFT, and he’s coming off a T-6 finish at the Open. There isn’t much not to like about his chances this week.
Top 10: Adam Long, +300. Hard to go too far off the board in a tournament lacking big names, but Long seems like he has the right mix of prior performance.
Prop: Winning margin, three strokes, +600. Strong odds for a legitimately attainable finish. Seems reasonable to me.
Tim Reilly ($4,750)
To-win: Will Zalatoris, +1,200. The best player on the KFT has made a name for himself in limited starts on the PGA Tour. This week, he becomes more than a name to watch and becomes a name on a trophy.
Top 10: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, +1,200. Life’s too short not to root for Barnrat to succeed.
Prop: Winning margin, after a playoff, +400. After a blowout result last week, we’re due for a tight tournament.
Josh Sens ($4,688)
To-win: Charles Howell III, +2,000. Like certain comets, Charles Howell wins don’t come around often. But the man is a cut-making (and money-making) machine, and I like him to be in the mix against what isn’t exactly the toughest field of the year.
Top 10: Will Zalatoris, +225. A solid showing at Winged Foot this past week should put him in a good frame to attack a much more vulnerable course.
Prop: Winning margin, after a playoff, +400. I’d like to pretend there’s something scientific to this pick, but there is nothing cybermetric about it. It just kinda feels like we’re due for a tie after regulation.
Josh Berhow ($4,324)
To-win: Will Zalatoris, +1,400. Gotta go with the hot hand! Dr. Z — pretty sure no one calls him that — was already having a good year on the Korn Ferry Tour when he tied for sixth at Winged Foot. He’s bound for another good week.
Top 10: Will Zalatoris, +225. I’m going all in!
Prop: Winning margin, three strokes, +600. I like this one in a blowout, and I like these odds even better.
Andrew Tursky ($4,100)
To-win: James Hahn, +6,600. In his last start, at the Safeway Open, he finished in the top 10, so he’s in decent recent form. He’s also a two-time PGA Tour winner, so we know he can get the job done in crunch time. Big-time value here, and I need to start making a comeback.
Top 10: Sepp Straka, +400. If you’ve been following along with our picks this year, then you know I’m a Straka believer. Granted, I haven’t made any money on him, but this is the week he proves me right.
Prop: Winning margin, after a playoff, +400. There have been a couple blowouts recently, and I feel like we’re due for a playoff. Let’s hope for a bunched leaderboard late Sunday.
Zephyr Melton ($3,818)
To-win: Mackenzie Hughes +2000. Though he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, his form prior to that was trending in the right direction with four top 15s in six starts. A T2 finish in the event in 2019 also inspires some confidence in the Canadian.
Top 10: Will Zalatoris +225. Though he isn’t a PGA Tour member yet, Zalatoris has all the makings of a future star. He leads the Korn Ferry Tour points list during this prolonged season and he’s coming off a T6 finish at the U.S. Open. I’d be highly surprised if this dead-eye ball striker isn’t in contention this week.
Prop: Winner’s 72nd hole score birdie or better +5000. Just throwing darts at the board here. Plus, I like these odds.
Alan Bastable ($1,460)
To-win: Pat Perez, +2,500. Even the faves this week don’t exactly inspire confidence, but “smart” money is on Perez, who’s coming off a top 10 at the Safeway two weeks ago and has more experience than much of this fresh-faced field.
Top 10: Patrick Rodgers, +550. Up-and-down year for the Stanford grad, but of late, more up than down, with six made-cuts in past seven starts.
Prop: Winning margin, three strokes, +600. If Bryson can win by six at Winged Foot, a victor can cruise home in the D.R. with a three-stroke cush.
Dylan Dethier ($1,250)
To-win: Luke List, +4000. He won that Korn Ferry event at TPC Sawgrass a few months back. He probably won’t win here — but what if he does?!
Top 10: Luke List, +450. The man finished top 10 at the Memorial. Doing the same at the CPRCC should be a can of corn.
Prop: Henrik Stenson to miss the cut, +200. I wish no ill on Sir Stenson but this seems very possible.