Betting on Golf: Butterfield Bermuda Championship

Betting on Golf: Butterfield Bermuda Championship

This article is part of our Betting on Golf series.

Bermuda Championship Betting Preview

This week the PGA Tour heads to the Atlantic for the third edition of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Club. Originally held as an alternate-field event, the tournament was elevated to a regular Tour stop last year, and the prize pool was increased from $4 million to $6.5 million this year. That wasn't enough to attract any of the game's best, however, with world No. 24 Patrick Reed and tournament favorite Matt Fitzpatrick – at 10-1 odds – headlining this year's field. Last year, Brian Gay won as the longest of long shots at 175-1 odds, making birdie on nine of his final 14 holes and defeating Wyndham Clark on the first playoff hole.

A par-71 course at just over 6,800 yards, Port Royal GC will play as the shortest track on the PGA Tour all season. The scorecard doesn't include a par-4 over 460 yards, and all three par-5s are reachable in two with good drives. What that means? Plenty of scoring opportunities. The course's main avenue of defense tends to be the weather, and expected windy conditions and rain over the weekend may keep the winning score closer to the 15-under-par score we saw last year rather than the 24-under mark that was posted in 2019. Driving accuracy will be much more important than distance this week, with players often only needing a long iron or a 3-wood off the tee. Although the course doesn't have any historical strokes-gained data to draw from, approach play and putting should play a key role in determining who winds up at the top of the leaderboard. 

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 8:00 PM ET Tuesday.

Course History

The following five golfers, with a minimum of six rounds played, have the lowest scoring average at Port Royal Golf Course:

Defending champion Gay has clearly found a second home in Bermuda as, last year's champion also finished tied for third in 2019. He was certainly a surprising winner considering his form at the time, with his last top-10 coming at Port Royal the year prior and him missing nine of his previous 11 cuts. Coincidentally, Gay comes in this year with an identical record. The oddsmakers aren't giving him much of a chance, but he's certainly worthy of a dart throw at 100-1. Another player who has found success here is McCarthy, who fired a closing 63 – the low round of the day – last year to notch his second top-15 result in this event. He certainly excels in tournaments that turn into putting contests, having led the Tour in SG: Putting in 2018-19 and 2019-20. He's a good mid-range target this week at 50-1, particularly with him notching a pair of top-20s over his last five starts.

Approach Play

These players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes on approach over their last five tournaments:

Pereira has really stormed onto the scene since earning his three-win promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour, recording four top-10s since July. His metrics indicate his stellar play is no fluke – he's gaining a whopping 1.58 strokes per round off the tee and on approach combined through 28 measured rounds. Pereira is receiving respect from the oddsmakers as the third choice at 16-1, and deservedly so. Getting in this week on a sponsor's exemption is the 22-year-old Eckroat, who flashed his talent last season with a pair of top-20s in seven starts. Eckroat excelled with his irons in his limited starts, which should suit him well this week. He checks in at 65-1 odds to win, and although it's unlikely he winds up in the winner's circle, he will be an intriguing option in DFS lineups due to his below-average price tag.

Outright Picks

Seamus Power (20-1)

Power has experience at Port Royal, finishing T37 and T31 here the last two years. Both were his best result during the fall portion of the schedule. Since then, his game has moved to the next level, as he became a PGA Tour winner and had an impressive summer stretch that included six consecutive top-20s. He's a good choice among the top favorites and is generally a target of mine in events with weaker fields.

Adam Hadwin (35-1)

Like a good percentage of the participants, Hadwin is making his first trip to Bermuda, and this looks like a course that should be right up his alley. He can struggle to keep up on longer tracks, but that shouldn't be an issue here. I like leaning toward solid putters this week, and Hadwin is one of those. He is also in good form, notching a top-10 in three of his last seven starts.

Kramer Hickok (90-1)

I'm surprised Hickok is such a long shot in a weak field – he was 100-1 earlier Tuesday – especially considering he entered the final round ahead of Gay last year before settling for a T8 finish – his second top-15 in the event. Although his results since his runner-up at the Travelers Championship this summer have left much to be desired, it has been proven that current form isn't a prerequisite to winning in Bermuda.

Top-10 Wagers

Jason Dufner (6-1)

Matt Wallace came through with a top-5 at 9-1 odds last week, and I expect Dufner to keep the momentum rolling. While his best days are behind him, he has shown much improved form recently, with five straight made cuts – two of which resulted in the only top-25s he recorded last season. Dufner gained 1.46 shots from tee to green per round over those five events, and that makes him more than capable of a top-10 if he gets the putter going.

Adam Svensson (7-1)

Svensson failed to keep his card during his first stint on the PGA Tour in 2018-19, but his ball-striking numbers were solid, as he ranked 23rd that season in SG: Approach. He also played well on the Korn Ferry Tour, winning twice earlier this year. This season, I like Svensson as an under-the-radar option on shorter tracks where approach play is key.

Andrew Novak (9-1)

Novak isn't a familiar name to most golf fans yet, but the KFT graduate racked up a whopping 10 top-10s on the circuit last season ,which was only bested by three players. While he hasn't shown much at the top level yet, he should feel more at home this week on a shorter course in what will feel more like a Korn Ferry event.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Matthias Schwab (-110) over Danny Willett

After a 2-0 week at the ZOZO Championship, I'll turn to Schwab, who I view simply as the better golfer in this matchup. The young Austrian has played mostly on the European Tour but he gained his card through the Korn Ferry Tour finals after picking up two top-10s in three events. Willett won overseas a few weeks ago, but he has not experienced much success on the PGA Tour in a while, recording just one top-10 last season – and in an alternate-field event at that.

Stephan Jaeger (+105) over Patrick Rodgers

Both golfers are in good form, but Rodgers is always risky in the head-to-head format, as he tends to miss about as many cuts as he makes. His wayward nature off the tee makes him far from an ideal play this week, so I will lean toward the steadier Jaeger.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle breaks down golf bets and covers college basketball for RotoWire.
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