This year will mark the third running of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and mark the second week in a row that the PGA TOUR features an event off the mainland North American continent. The field for this Fall series event features 132 players in what will likely be one of the weakest fields we see in the 2021-22 season. Only three players from the OWGR top-50 are in attendance with recent European Tour winner Matthew Fitzpatrick headlining the field. Fitzpatrick is also the betting favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook at +1000. He’s joined by Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Patrick Reed—and all three will be making their first start at this event/venue this year.
The first two winners of this event, Brendon Todd and Brian Gay, both went off at 175-1 or greater in the betting odds, so longshot winners have been the theme here. The event features a regular cutline after Friday where only the top-65 players and ties will advance to the weekend. For DFS, we could see lower fantasy scores prevail again this week with poor weather (see below) in the forecast.
Port Royal GC—Southampton, Bermuda
Par 71, 6,828 yards
This is the third year in a row 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 renovations just to be able to properly host this event prior to its inaugural running in 2019. 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. Three par 5s inhabit 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 the first two years and will be near must birdies just to keep up to the field.
With short par 5s and wind a factor, you can start to see why shorter hitters like Brendon Todd (win) and Brian Gay (T3; win) have been able to dominate here when their putters get hot. 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 and short iron play really start to weigh more here than distance—especially with many holes skirting the water where even a small errant tee shot courts disaster.
Last year, Brian Gay was an unlikely winner here and averaged just 287 yards off the tee in the win. He ranked 10th in Putts per GIR and 17th in GIR percentage. Overall, he didn’t do anything spectacular but did hit a lot of fairways and gave himself a chance to make a lot of birdies with good short iron play. Gay and 2019 winner Brendon Todd have done the best work of their career at other shorter venues like Waialae, Hilton Head and El Camaleon (host of the Mayakoba Classic in December) and are all likely great comparisons for this week’s test.
2021 Outlook: This could be a wild event from a weather perspective. If you’ve ever been to Bermuda you understand how small the island is and how unprotected it is when the wind gets up. The early part of the week has thunderstorms in the forecast and winds over 30 mph. Then on Thursday, the storms stop but winds in the 25 mph+ range are expected. Things get a little better for Friday before Thunderstorms reappear in the forecast for the weekend. Sunday has an 80% chance of precipitation with winds set to reach 18 mph or higher. Right now there doesn’t seem like a whole lot you can to avoid any of this in DFS (i.e. all golfers will be playing through this mess) but it is possible the wind on Thursday gets better in the afternoon/evening. Watch the forecast as the early-week storms could die down for Thursday evening and create an opportunity to stack in DFS.
Last 5 winners and Winning Trends
2020—Brian Gay -15 (over Wyndham Clark playoff)
2019—Brendon Todd -24 (over Harry Higgs -20)
Previous last five starts (MC-MC-MC-MC-MC)
Greens in Regulation-17th
Putts per GIR-10th
- It’s a little scary how similar Brian Gay’s lead-in was to 2019 winner Brendon Todd’s. Between the two of them, they had only made one cut in their last five starts. Gay had finished T3 at this event in 2019, so perhaps we should be weighing course history here a little (even if we have smaller sample sizes).
- When Todd won here in 2019 he was making his sixth start of the swing season already, and it’s worth noting that five of the top-6 finishers here from 2019 had all played in four or more Fall series events prior to this event.
- Both Todd and Gay ranked inside the top-10 in Driving Accuracy for the week and GIR%’s; while neither cracked the top-40 in terms of driving distance.
- Good short iron play, good around the green play and putting is what matters here, so hyper-emphasizing a player’s long-term and short-term Around the green and Putting form may actually find you a couple of diamonds in the rough this week.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting 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.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
1. Mito Pereira ($10,500, Recent finishes: T40-T31-T3): Pereira is only a couple of weeks removed from contending at the Fortinet Championship. He leads the field in strokes gained ball-striking stats over the last 50 rounds and looks primed to contend here again in this weaker field.
2. Hayden Buckley ($9,900, Recent finishes: T8-T4): Buckley has been on a tear since joining the PGA TOUR at the beginning of the Fall swing. The rookie ranks 7th in birdies or better percentage over the last 50 rounds and is coming off two top-10 finishes.
3. Taylor Pendrith ($9,100, Recent finishes: T47-T39): Pendrith is another Korn Ferry graduate who has played very well to start his PGA TOUR career. He’s made the cut in four straight PGA TOUR starts now and ranks in the top-30 (over the last 50 rounds) in birdie or better percentage and bogies avoided.
4. Nick Watney ($7,800, Recent finishes: T56-T2): Watney has had an eventful Fall swing, highlighted by a T2 finish at the Sanderson Farms event. Watney’s putter has been terrific for him of late and he is the type of veteran player that we’ve seen grab wins here over the last couple of seasons. Don’t ignore his hot play of late.
5. Chad Ramey ($9,500, Recent finishes: T14-T11): Ramey is yet another Korn Ferry Tour graduate who has been finding instant success in these weaker Fall fields. The 29-year-old finished top-20 in all of the Korn Ferry playoff events and finished T14 his last time out at the Shriners, where he entered the last round in contention for the win before fading.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Get Mighty with Mito
Mito Pereira ($10,500) should be viewed as the class of this field from a recent form perspective. He comes in ranked first in strokes gained ball-striking over the last 50 rounds and has gained +5.2 strokes or more on his approaches in his last three starts. Building around him in this highly variable field isn’t a bad way to start rosters this week at all. Adam Hadwin ($9,400 - see below) also makes for a good upper tier value and so does Russell Knox ($7,700), whose outright odds of +4500 make him a great value at under $8,000 in DFS. Some other core targets to consider here include the likes of Matthew NeSmith ($7,300), Greyson Sigg ($7,400) and Vince Whaley ($7,000).
Tournaments: Battle the Rain with Rodgers
The conditions this week are supposed to be brutal, so I don’t mind looking to a California native here in Patrick Rodgers ($9,000), who will be very familiar playing in wet, tough conditions. Rodgers has played some pretty solid golf of late too and has one of the better Off the tee games in the field here, which should help if conditions get nasty. Recent winner, Danny Willett ($9,300) is another player you could look to if you want to play the poor conditions. Further down, the likes of Peter Uihlein ($7,800), Jason Dufner ($7,200) and Graeme McDowell ($7,200) all look like good veterans to target for various reasons. Dufner’s ball-striking has been on an uptrend since the end of last year while Uihlein and McDowell are both high-end putters who have had good results at off-continent, seaside venues.
MY PICK: Adam Hadwin ($9,400)
Hadwin will be making his fourth Fall start of the year this week and that’s a good sign based on the results here the last few years. Momentum can be a huge part of the Fall swing and the Canadian certainly has that right now with a T6 in his last start two weeks ago at the Shriners. Hadwin gained +5.7 strokes on approach in Las Vegas and +3.5 strokes putting, the second week in a row that he’s gained +20 strokes or more with the flat-stick.
Over his career, we’ve seen Hadwin tend to dominate at these shorter, quirkier layouts when his tee to green game is in good form. He’s now posted multiple top-5 finishes at venues like TPC Stadium (multiple times), TPC Summerlin and Colonial for his career. While his off the tee game can sometimes be an Achilles heel, he ranks 19th in fairways gained in this field over the last 50 rounds and won’t be disadvantaged off the tee here by his lack of length. Hadwin’s a quality player who can hang with the best when his short game and putter catch fire, and with him having now gained over +2.0 in those areas (combined) over his last two starts, the time to start backing him is now. He looks like a solid outright play at +3500 this week on DraftKings Sportsbook and a good player to pay up for this week in DFS as well.
MY SLEEPER: Bo Hoag ($7,000)
Hoag enters here off a couple of missed cuts, and considering the last two winners of this event entered with remarkably worse recent form, that likely shouldn't worry us too much. Hoag will be playing this event for the third time in his career this week and while he missed the cut last year, a T11 from 2019 is a good indicator that this event and venue is one he can find some success at. His profile fits what we’re looking for too as he ranks 14th in this field in fairways gained over the last 50 rounds and also has good proximity with his short irons (10th from 75-100 yards).
Hoag has cooled off a bit of late in terms of results, but his putter has been in decent form as he’s gained +1.2 strokes or more on the greens now over his last three starts. One thing both recent winners here shared in common was strong putting form heading into this event. Hoag’s best PGA TOUR result (a T9 at the Sony Open in 2019) came at a very similar setup in Waialae and he’s the kind of player we should be looking at to take a step forward in this kind of weaker field. At $7,000, he makes for a good lower-tier value in DFS and a great top-20 target at +275 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.