On Thursday, the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship became the first PGA Tour event to be staged twice in the same season in 70 years.
It was just 179 days ago that Hudson Swafford hoisted the trophy in the Dominican Republic as tournament champion.
The Corales was supposed to be played in March of 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the event just two weeks before it was to be played. Instead, it was pushed back to September.
On the first day of the Tour’s return, Stephan Jaeger parlayed a hole-in-one on his 11th hole to take the first-round lead. Jaeger aced the par-3 second hole and then closed out his round with birdies on Nos. 4, 6 and 7 to post a 6-under 66. He will start Friday’s round with a one-shot lead over Joel Dahmen and Andrew Yun.
“Obviously 1’s don’t really add up too quickly, so that was a good start of the back nine,” he said.
Jaeger admits it’s been a while since he made an ace.
“I haven’t had a hole-in-one probably since college, it’s been a long time, especially in a tournament. I think my last tournament hole-in-one was, I think, junior year in college. So I’m not going to age myself, but it’s been a while, for sure.”
Dahmen has missed the cut in six of his last seven events. The one cut he made in that stretch ended in a T-60 finish at Pebble Beach.
“Been a long time,” he said after his first round 67 that included no bogeys. “Been getting my butt kicked out here since the start of the year, so it feels good to play well. Still have a long ways to go.”
Dahmen also attributed his lackluster play to some equipment issues.
“My clubs were maybe bent incorrectly so we got that fixed,” he said. “I played four weeks basically with maybe clubs that weren’t fit properly. That sucks, obviously. And just the last couple weeks had them kind of fixed and the ball’s been flying correctly again.”
Nate Lashley, Adam Schenk, Justin Suh, Sam Ryder, Rafael Campos and Mark Anderson all shot 68s and are tied for fourth.