Bermuda Championship outrights and matchups preview

[adsanity_group align='alignnone' num_ads=1 num_columns=1 group_ids='54295871']

After two weeks of premier fields with some of the top golfers in the world, the PGA Tour takes a step back this week for the Bermuda Championship. The only golfer inside the top 50 in the world rankings will be Brendan Todd who is also the defending champion of this event. Last week in Southern California, Patrick Cantaly finally broke through after more than a year away from the winner’s circle. He held off Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm down the stretch to capture the title at Sherwood CC. 

The field

This week, the tour heads to Port Royal Golf Course on the island of Bermuda for the Bermuda Championship. This event is typically played the same week as a WGC event so the field is usually below average. Even with there being no WGC – HSBC this year, the field is still on the weak side as most of the top golfers in the world are staying state-side to get their final prep work prior to the Masters in just a couple of weeks. 

There are still some key names to keep tabs on heading into this week. As mentioned before, last year’s champion Brendan Todd will be back to try to defend his title. This came last fall when he did the improbable and won back to back events on tour. Another notable name making the trip is Henrick Stenson. The former major champion has not had his A-game as of late but a golfer of his stature surely can get in tune at any time.

The young phenom, Will Zalatoris, will be teeing it up again this week after a top 5 finish his last time out. He continues to hit the course as much as possible and I expect that trend to remain throughout his rookie season. 

A few other notable players in the field are Charlie Hoffman, Harold Varner III, and Doc Redman. With a softer field like we find this week we will need to really rely on recent form and current stats. Let’s dive into the course

The course

Port Royal Golf Course is located in Southampton, Bermuda. Some could consider this paradise and if you look at some pictures of the course, the next thing you most likely do is book your trip to go play the course for yourself. It features many signature holes that have cliffs overlooking the ocean, including the par-3 16th hole that will have an approach shot carried over the water. This course was the host to the Grand Slam of Golf from 2009 to 2014 and beginning last year, is the annual host to the Bermuda Championship.

With the course located right on the ocean, it does have the potential to see some strong winds pick up that will affect the scoring throughout the event. If the weather stays calm, the scoring should be relatively easy. At this point, it looks as if we could see some 20 mph gusts kick up Friday and Saturday with calmer conditions Thursday and Sunday. Last year’s cut line came in at -1 and the winning score was 24-under. There were six golfers who ended at -18 or better. All of that leads us to believe that it should be another fairly easy week where birdies will be plentiful. Todd’s final round of 62 is what led him to ultimately claim the title and we should see something similar this year as well.

This course will play as the second shortest on the PGA Tour. The length comes in at 6,828 yards which is far shorter than most that we have seen lately. It is a par-71 with four par-3s and three par-5s. The par-3s were the most difficult to score on last year outside of the par-4 11th that saw over twice as many bogeys as it did birdies throughout the 2019 event. All of the par-5s are reachable in two and none of the par-4s will stretch anywhere near 500 yards. The majority of holes will come in between 350 – 400 yards which will put an emphasis on shorter approach shots. The par-5 7th hole is one of the easiest holes on the entire PGA Tour. Last year it had twice as many eagles as it did bogeys so scoring there will be needed to keep up with the field. 

The Bermuda greens run slower than the average course. Putting was important last year with everyone on the leaderboard being near the top of the field in strokes gained: putting. It is also one of the easier courses to get up and down from around the greens which should lead to golfers being more aggressive in attacking flags. Last year, the course was one of the more difficult on tour to find the fairways but it ranked near the top in average driving distance so most golfers were taking driver off the tee even on the short par-4s. 

Notable stats

  • Strokes gained: approach
  • Par-4 scoring 350 – 400 yards
  • Strokes gained: putting (Bermuda)
  • Par-3 scoring 200+ yards

Outrights value

Henrick Stenson +3300

Player NameSG: APPP4: 350-400SG: PP3: 200-225Fwys GainedSG: ARG
Henrik Stenson19779559
Henrik Stenson stats

Short courses where the emphasis is on accuracy and approach are tailor made for Henrick Stenson. His form has not been good as of late but sometimes you have to throw that out the window and just look at the field. Henrick has by far the best career resume of any golfer competing. He has found most of his success throughout the years by taking less than driver off the tee and relying on his irons to find greens. That strategy should work great this week in Bermuda. Over the past 50 rounds, Stenson leads the field in strokes gained: approach and is top 10 in scoring on short par-4s and long par-3s. That is a rare combination to see and both of which will be important to finding the winner’s circle this week. I have no problem starting my card with Henrick at 33/1.

Henrick Norlander +4000

Player NameSG: APPP4: 350-400SG: PP3: 200-225Fwys GainedSG: ARG
Henrik Norlander1452174996
Henrick Norlander stats

I think it is finally time to get back on Norlander. And no, I did not purposely start my card this week with two golfers named Henrick. Sometimes things just work out that way. Back in July, Henrick Norlander was the golfer that everyone loved betting on and then a rough August and September saw him lose some steam. After three straight missed cuts he was able to flash some good play by finishing 4th two weeks ago at the Sanderson Farms. Over the past 50 rounds, he is 14th in the field in strokes gained: approach. If you switch that time frame to only the past 36 rounds, he is 3rd. The solid play is coming back around and in this field, he is definitely a golfer that stands out. Historically he gains more strokes on Bermuda greens than any other surface. Solid irons, strong Bermuda putting, and finding the fairways could be a recipe to success this week for Norlander.

Cameron Percy +8000

Player NameSG: APPP4: 350-400SG: PP3: 200-225Fwys GainedSG: ARG
Cameron Percy12257385799
Cameron Percy stats

With fields like this, we need to dig down the board and find some hidden gems that have a shot at winning. Cameron Percy seems to fit that mold this week with his ability to hit irons. As you can see above, he is 12th in the field in approach over the past 50 rounds and if you look at just the last 36 rounds, he moves into 9th. It is always good to see a golfer continuing to improve on a stat he already performs well at. Just like Stenson, Percy combines both short par-4s and long par-3s. That’s a rare duo to find and something to take advantage of this week. He has made three cuts in a row after a rough summer so hopefully his form is coming around as well. Last year he played this course and also made the cut there. 80/1 is too high of a number for Cameron Percy this week.

Tournament matchups

Justin Suh -107 vs Danny Willett -113

This line just seems off to me. Much like Zalatoris, Justin Suh is a young golfer on the PGA Tour trying to earn his full time status. He was a stellar golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour and is looking to continue that form over to these pro tournaments. So far, he has done just that. His past two events have been 14th at Corales and 8th and Shriners. Two weeks ago he gained 6.5 strokes on approach; and that is compared to a professional field. He has a promising professional career ahead of him and, in my opinion, is a dark horse to win this week at 40/1.

Danny Willett hasn’t made a cut on the PGA Tour in his past three starts. He typically plays on the Euro Tour but he hasn’t finished inside the top 30 there in his past three starts either. I’m not going to dive into all of the stats. This line to me is more based on world ranking and career resume than it is recent form and current potential. Give me all of the Justin Suh in this one.

The pick: Justin Suh -107

Kyle Stanley -110 vs Max Homa -110

Both of these two are coming off weeks they would like to forget at the Shriners. Both missed the cut and did so is poor fashion. Both of them lost 8.8 strokes total to the field. Both have actually had pretty rough summers in general. Stanley hasn’t finished inside the top 20 since February and Homa has missed four of his last five cuts. The difference is that Homa still scripts out to be a good play this week. Over the past 36 rounds, he is 13th in long par-3s, 35th in approach, and 17th in short par-4s. He tends to pop up in weaker fields like this as well. The last time he was in a field this weak he finished 3rd at the 3M. I’m willing to side with the golfer who has five top-15 finishes in the past year over the golfer who has one.

The pick: Max Homa -110

[adsanity_group align='alignnone' num_ads=1 num_columns=1 group_ids='54295872']