PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (AP) — Rafael Campos holed out for birdie with a putter from off the front of the 18th green for birdie and a share of the lead Saturday with Joel Dahmen in the PGA Tour’s windy Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
Campos, the 32-year-old Puerto Rican player whose family has a home in the Dominican, shot a 3-under 69 to match Dahmen at 10-under 206 at Corales Golf Club.
“I didn’t want to chip it, so I’m like, `Just hit a putt and hopefully lag it up there close,” Campos said about his closing birdie. “It was one of those days. That was a bonus for sure. I was struggling all day and I’m really happy where I’m at right now. I’m glad it’s done.”
Ranked 427th in the world, Campos is trying to break through in his 37th PGA Tour start.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a little bit more of the same,” Campos said. “I was looking at The Weather Channel and we’re going to still have the same wind direction, which makes the course really tough. You only get to play five holes downwind, the rest are pretty much into the wind. … It’s going to be exciting. I’m excited to play.”
Dahmen had a 68. The 33-year-old former Washington player also is winless on the tour.
“You have to stay patient, but you also have to take advantage of the opportunities,” Dahmen said. “I took advantage of the par 5s and just kind of hang onto your hat on 16, 17 and 18. These are tough holes coming in.”
Danny Willett (67) and Michael Gligic (68) were a stroke back. Emiliano Grillo (65) and Thomas Pieters (69) were 8 under, and defending champion Hudson Swafford (68) was 7 under with 2019 winner Graeme McDowell (70), Charley Hoffman (68), Sepp Straka (69), Roberto Castro (70) and Fabrizio Zanotti (72).
Swafford won in September when the event was held a week after the U.S. Open, earning a spot in the Masters this year because Punta Cana was not an opposite-field event. The winner this year will not be rewarded with a Masters spot because the tournament is being played opposite the WGC Match Play event.