The Corales Puntacana Championship Resort and Club Championship is Dominican Republic’s first PGA Tour Event. Inaugurated in 2016, the golf tournament was formerly part of the Web.com Tour before it became a PGA Tour alternate event starting in 2018.
PGA Tour Alternate Events are only held a few times a year, conducted during the same week of high-tier tournaments. It features a limited field, smaller prize purse, and fewer FedExCup and OWGR points, as the more renowned golfers are participating in the high-profile tourneys. In addition, the winner takes a two-year PGA Tour exemption, but sans any Masters Tournament invitation.
Situated in La Altagracia Province, the Puntacana Resort & Club is the home of the golf tournament. It is an exclusive and awe-inspiring 18-hole course, featuring stunning oceanside holes. Adding the breathtaking natural cliffs, coves, quarries, and inland lakes, this Tom Fazio-designed course easily ranks as one of the world’s most majestic golf courses since its opening in 2010. No wonder that it has become part of the PGA Tour, as it provides golfers and golf enthusiasts a unique and exhilarating experience.
As the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in, the 2020 competition was canceled and was moved to the 2021 season, where two tournaments were held. The rescheduled Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship was deemed to be a full FedEx Cup event, where the winner also received an invitation to the Masters Tournament.
As part of the PGA Tour, the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship had four winners: Brice Garnett, Graeme McDowell, Hudson, Swafford, and Joel Dahmen.
Brice Garnett (2018)
Born on September 6, 1983, Brice Garnett started playing golf at the age of 4 after being introduced by his father into the sport. While he played basketball during high school, he became Missouri Western State University’s most decorated golf player, eventually inducting him into their Hall of Fame in 2021.
Garnett started playing professional golf in 2006. From 2007 to 2009, he became part of the Adams Pro Tour, before playing for the Web.com Tour from 2010 to 2013. He worked steadily and improved his rank, finally debuting in PGA Tour in 2014. Three years later, he lost his card and went back to the Web. However, Garnett won two first-place finishes, allowing him to return to the PGA Tour again, earning his first PGA Tour victory in the 2018 Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
Graeme McDowell (2019)
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Graeme McDowell plays both in European Tour and PGA Tour, starting his professional career in 2002. He won numerous times in the European Tour, but his greatest achievement happened in 2010 after winning the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The victory signaled the end of the four-decade drought for Europeans in the tournament, with the last one being secured by Tony Jacklin in 1970. In the same year, he won the Chevron World Challenge, stunning the golf legend, Tiger Woods.
Garnett then won the 2013 RBC Heritage, 2016 OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and secured his fourth PGA Tour win in the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. His highest rank climbed as high as fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, a feat he achieved in 2011.
Hudson Swafford (2020)
Hudson Swafford is a Florida native who played for University at Georgia before starting his professional career in 2011. Swafford tasted his first win in 2012 at the Web.com Tour’s Stadion Classic at UGA. Five years later, he got his first PGA Tour win at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Florida. In September 2020, Hudson Swafford toppled Tyler McCumber by a stroke at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, giving him his second PGA Tour Win. Swafford had a four-shot lead on the 13th fairway but was tied on the 15th. He broke the tie on the 17th and eventually secured the “W” on the 18th after hitting a tricky birdie. Swafford earned the victory while playing with a medical extension due to a foot surgery.
Joel Dahmen (2021)
Joel Dahmen was born on November 11, 1987, in Clarkston, Washington. He was a two-time golf champion in high school and played college golf for a year at the University of Washington. Dahmen started his professional career in 2010, joining PGA Tour Canada until 2014. In the middle of this sting, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer but successfully beat the disease and returned to the sport.
He debuted in the PGA Tour in the 2016-2017 season, ending up at no. 176 in the FedEx Cup rankings. In 2019, he lost to Max Homa at the Wells Fargo Championship, who secured his PGA Tour Win. It took two years before Dahmen won one of his own, getting his first PGA Tour Title in March 2021 at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.