It may look like paradise this week on the PGA Tour, but the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship is far from just a trip to the beach.
Players are having some fun in the Dominican Republic sun with solid scores in the first two rounds, but the muggy conditions at Caroles Golf Club are one of the early storylines heading into the weekend. The Tour announced that Robert Garrigus withdrew from the event during Friday’s second round due to heat exhaustion and multiple players have complained of the high temperatures, as well.
“It’s really hot, it’s really hot out there. I sweated a lot,” said Sepp Straka on Thursday, who was tied for the lead after the opening 18 holes. “I generally sweat a lot anyways, so I feel like everybody’s kind of on my level this week.”
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship: Leaderboard
Ask any player and they’ll tell you the truth, with wide fairways and large greens the course is gettable. That is until the Caribbean breeze kicks in and makes you wish you were sitting in the sand with a cerveza and not standing on the tee with hazards in play.
“Yeah, the wind wasn’t really blowing though this morning and it was very humid,” said Hudson Swafford, who took advantage of the calm course with a 5-under 67 to take the clubhouse lead after Friday morning’s early wave of play at 12 under.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Swafford. Starting his day on the back nine, the 33-year-old was stung by a hornet on No. 11’s tee box “right in the joint” of his pinky finger on just his second hole of the day.
“It kind of started swelling up and it was nice and warm, so it was kind of some chaos the first few holes,” said Swafford, whose caddie got stung Thursday and said “it’s kind of a good omen.”
“We played well and we ended up playing well again today, I guess it kind of just cleared my mind of the golf thing and just let me focus on something else.”