The field for this week’s Bermuda Championship is set around 130 golfers and normal cut rules will apply here with the top 65 and ties playing the weekend. This will mark just the second year of existence for this week’s tournament with last year’s inaugural event being won by Brendon Todd. With travel being such a big deal in today’s world, and the Masters coming up in a couple of weeks, you can probably guess that all of the big names have decided to skip this event. From the Official World Golf rankings, the highest ranked player in the field here is actually last year’s defending champion, Brendon Todd, who currently sits at 41st in the OWGR. Henrik Stenson (53), Danny Willett (54) and Will Zalatoris (57) also give this event a little clout.
Despite the lack of elite names, player such as Zalatoris, Justin Suh and Wes Bryan (MMI) will all be looking at this week as a great chance to land a full time position on the PGA TOUR—or in Bryan’s case, get back on the PGA TOUR—with a win. With travel and COVID-19 testing being done early in the week, there could be some withdraws that trickle in before tee-off so make sure you’re checking the DKLive app for the latest news.
Port Royal GC—Southampton, Bermuda
Par 71, 6,828 yards; Green: Bermuda
This is the second year that this event will be played at Port Royal GC, a shorter Robert Trent Jones designed course. At one time the venue did host the now defunct “Grand Slam of Golf” and underwent massive renovation just to be able to properly host this event prior to last year’s inaugural running. The Oceanside course is the longest on the admittedly tiny island but still only stretches out to just over 6,800 yards, making it extremely short by PGA TOUR standards.
The venue fits alongside many of the other seaside venues that we see on the PGA TOUR as it has at least six holes that stretch out and run alongside the ocean. While pure length isn’t necessarily a big bonus here, wind control will be and it’s worth noting that the wind this year looks like it will be more of a factor than last. Three Par 5’s inhabits the course this week and will all be reachable in two—by practically the entire field—if your player finds the fairway off the tee. These holes as a group played as the three easiest on the course last year and will be near must birdies just to keep up to the field.
With short Par 5’s and wind a factor, you can start to see why shorter hitters like Brendon Todd (win) and Brian Gay (T3) were able to compete here last season. Most holes at Port Royal will allow modern day PGA TOUR pros to have short approaches in this week, if they hit a decent drive, so position really starts to weigh more here than distance—especially with many holes skirting the water where even a small errant tee shot courts disaster. Venues like Waialae, Hilton Head and El Camaleon (host of the Mayakoba Classic in December) are all likely great comparisons for this week’s test.
2020 Outlook: The weather here looks like it could definitely play a role this week as gusts are set to start building Friday morning. Thursday is set to the best day of the event, as of writing, with sunny skies, highs in the high 70-range and low winds expected throughout the day. Friday is when the fun begins as winds are set to start at around 15-18 mph and build to well over 20 mph by the evening. Temperatures will stay decent throughout, but the chance of rain also exists into Saturday and Sunday where winds are expected to remain steady at around 15 mph for both days. Look for lower scoring than usual here and the possibly of a slight wave advantage to play out for Friday a.m. starters if the current forecast holds.
Past Winners and Trends
2019—Brendon Todd -24 (over Harry Higgs -20)
Previous last five starts coming into 2019 (T28-MC-MC-MC-MC)
Greens in Regulation-10th
Putts per GIR-3rd
· Todd had missed four of his last five cuts coming into this event last season but did finish T28 in his start directly prior to this one.
· He led the field in birdies last year and was starting to heat up with his scoring clubs (ATG and PUTT) in his previous start as he’d gained +1.7 strokes ATG and +3.1 strokes Putting in his last start prior to Bermuda.
· Todd was making his sixth start of the swing season when he won here last year and it’s worth noting that five of the six top-6 finishers here from 2019 had all played in four or more Fall series events already prior to this event.
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful to not put too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.
Henrik Norlander +3500 and $8,900
- Henrik Stenson +3500 and $9,300
- Kristoffer Ventura +3500 and $9,100
- Cameron Tringale +3500 and $9,200
Luke List +4500 and $8,400
- Scott Piercy +5000 and $8,500
- Peter Malnati +4500 and $9,000
- Rasmus Hojgaard +4500 and $8,800
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
1. Will Zalatoris ($10,900, Recent finishes: T5-MC-T8): Zalatoris continued his strong play in his last outing, landing a T5 at the Sanderson Farms event. He’s now been T6 or better in three of his last four starts. The only question this week is whether he sinks enough putts to finally grab a W.
2. Peter Malnati ($9,000, Recent finishes: T5-2nd): Malnati has been lighting it up in the Fall series thus far, posting T5 and T8 finishes in his last two starts. He’s putted the lights out recently but has also gained +4.5 and +5.7 strokes on APP in those last two starts. He sets up well for this week’s shorter test.
3. Denny McCarthy ($9,500, Recent finishes: T57-T6): McCarthy remains one of the most elite putters on the PGA TOUR but has seen a nice tick up in his ball-striking of late too. He’s made eight of nine cuts coming into this week and could be primed for another solid one given the short nature of this course.
4. Harold Varner III ($10,700, Recent finishes: T13-T29): Varner has put in two solid finishes already this Fall season and is coming off a T13 finish at the Shriners where he gained +4.0 strokes around the greens. This week’s event is where you might expect him to eventually grab his first PGA TOUR win and he sets up well for another solid showing.
5. Justin Suh ($8,700, Recent finishes: T8-T14): The 23-year-old Suh is looking to gain more points towards possible full-time PGA TOUR status here. He’s coming off of back-to-back top-15 finishes and gained +6.5 strokes on APP at the Shriners.
DraftKings DFS Strategy
Cash Games: The recent form of Will Zalatoris ($10,900) combined with a sub-$11K salary makes him a pretty easy anchor to start with. He ranks inside the top 10 for this field in most recent ball-striking stats and is the class of this field from a recent form perspective. Henrik Norlander ($8,900) also rates out well in most major statistical categories and should fit this week’s venue quite well. He’s coming off a T4 two starts ago and could build off the confidence gained there. Justin Suh ($8,700) and his recent form also shouldn’t be discounted as his talent makes him a great target in this field. Other potential cash targets here include Wesley Bryan ($7,800 - see below) and Cameron Percy ($7,000).
Tournaments: We don’t have a super deep field this week so ownership could be pretty condensed on a couple of big names. Tom Lewis ($7,500) definitely stands out as a player who could go overlooked though as the Englishman remains one of the highest ranked players in this field at 61st in the OWGR. He’s won against similar fields as recently as last season and was 2nd at a WGC event back in August. Rob Oppenheim ($7,000) is another veteran not to discount here, he’s made four of five cuts coming in and was in contention on Sunday not long ago at the Wyndham. Other potential GPP targets this week include the likes of Kelly Kraft ($6,600 - see below), Ollie Schniederjans ($6,200), and Camilo Villegas ($6,400).
MY PICK: Wesley Bryan ($7,800)
Bryan comes into this week off a T12 at the Sanderson Farms event just a few weeks ago. The former winner of the RBC Heritage back in 2017, Bryan has been through the ringer, seeing injuries and some absolute horrific off the tee play crater his PGA TOUR status. Having made his way back with a major medical exemption, Bryan’s now had six starts on the PGA TOUR since mid-summer and has harvested five made cuts form them.
While he missed the cut at the longer Safeway Open back in September, his last outing was far better and saw him rank 10th in SG: Approach play and 12th in putting. Port Royal GC is a short, seaside course that catered to the accurate over the powerful in 2019 and has quite a few similarities with Habour GL in that regard, the site of Bryan’s only win on the PGA TOUR. With his scoring clubs heating up, a weaker field and perfectly suited venue to take advantage of here, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if Bryan used this event to vault himself back onto the PGA TOUR permanently with a win. He grades out as a great target for me on DraftKings this week.
MY SLEEPER: Kelly Kraft ($6,600)
Kraft is another player who is playing this week thanks to a major medical exemption. The American had hip surgery last year but has now made his way back to the PGA TOUR and made four professional starts since doing so. The results haven’t jumped off the page yet, but his last two PGA TOUR starts have both yielded made cuts and he did land a T14 at Corales, another “island” event held in an easier resort course setting. One reason for liking Kraft here is the fact that almost all of his strong results—pre-injury—had come at similar events to the one we’re getting here.
Over his career, Kraft has collected numerous two top-5’s from Corales, the Dominican Republic based event, and also had solo second place finishes at both the Barbasol and Pebble Beach. His performance at Pebble and Corales should be viewed very favorably considering they’re both shorter, seaside-based venues, similar to what we’re getting this week in Bermuda. 10th in Driving Accuracy at the Sanderson Farms and T10 in GIR at Corales, Kraft’s ball-striking has slowly started to take shape and it feels like he could take another step up here in this event, one seems to set up perfectly for him based on past results. He’s a nice value this week.
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