PGA Tour heads to Caribbean

Golf

The PGA Tour stop in the Dominican Republic should be a candidate for comeback tournament of the year.

Consider the chronology. It was among the first events to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship was supposed to be opposite the Match Play.

Then, it was moved to the same week as the Ryder Cup, which was scheduled for Sept. 25-27. And when the Ryder Cup was postponed until 2021, suddenly Punta Cana had the weekend to itself as a full FedEx Cup event.

It will be on network TV this weekend because NBC had this time set aside for the Ryder Cup. And because it offers full FedEx Cup points, the winner goes to the Masters next year.

And to think this was a Korn Ferry Tour event three years ago.

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CORALES PUNTACANA RESORT & CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Course: Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales). Yardage: 7,666. Par: 72.

Purse: $4 million. Winner’s share: $720,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (NBC).

Defending champion: Graeme McDowell.

FedEx Cup leader: Bryson DeChambeau.

Last week: Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open.

Notes: This was the first PGA Tour event that was canceled on March 13 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then it was returned to the schedule on this date. And with the Ryder Cup canceled, it now gets full FedEx Cup points for the first time. … Charles Howell III and Thomas Detry of Belgium are the only players in the field who made the cut last week in the U.S. Open. Detry is playing in his first regular PGA Tour event. … The winner earns a spot in the Masters next April. … McDowell returns to defend his title instead of playing at home in the Irish Open, which was rescheduled to this date. … The field includes former British Open champion Henrik Stenson, who missed the cut last week at Winged Foot. … Sam Horsfield was given a sponsor exemption. He had to withdraw from the U.S. Open when he received an asymptomatic positive test result for the coronavirus. … Will Zalatoris, who leads the points list on the Korn Ferry Tour, is playing on a sponsor exemption. He tied for sixth in the U.S. Open.

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