Bermuda Championship Odds: Matt Fitzpatrick and Patrick Reed Early Betting Favorites
The Bermuda Championship returns for the third time and retains its elevated status, with it being the only event this week. That means the winner will get the full allocation of 500 FedEx Cup points and while I haven’t been able to confirm, I suspect a Masters invitation as well. This was the case last year when Brian Gay won and the criteria for Masters Qualification is “Winners of PGA TOUR events that award full FedEx Cup points.”
With players having to prove their vaccinated status or quarantine for 14-days to access the island of Bermuda, there is a severe lack of depth in this field. Many are seeing it as a chance to take a week off, and others cannot spend the time needed to quarantine if they haven’t had the vaccine.
Still, we have a pair of Masters Champions in the form of Danny Willett and Patrick Reed, as well a plethora of players hoping to get a jump on the 2022 FedEx Cup race.
Bermuda Championship Odds
How to watch the Bermuda Championship
Television: Thursday-Friday, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
(PGA Tour Radion on SiriusXm)
Qualifying criteria for the Bermuda Championship field
- Winner - The Masters
- Tournament Winner in Past Two Seasons
- Career Money Exemption
- Sponsor Exemptions
- Commissioner Exemption - 2 Foreign Players
- PGA Section Champion\Player of the Year
- Top 125 on Prior Season's FedEx Cup Points List
- Top 125 (Prior Season Nonmember)
- Major Medical Extension
- Leading Points Winner from Korn Ferry Tour & KFT Finals
- Top 10 and Ties from the Previous Event
- Top 50 Finishers from the Korn Ferry Tour Finals (2021)
- Top Finishers from Korn Ferry Tour Medical
- Minor Medical Extension
- 126-150 on Prior Season's FEC Points List
- Beyond 150th on Prior Season's FEC Points List
Last Year's Bermuda Championship
Brian Gay won last year’s renewal of the Bermuda Championship, giving him his first win on TOUR since for seven years. Gay had to go to a playoff with Wyndham Clark to seal the deal, and to even get there he needed to shoot a final-round 64, including a birdie on his 72nd hole.
Until Phil Mickelson’s famous win at Kiawah earlier this year, Gay was the oldest winner on TOUR since Davis Love III won the Wyndham Championship in 2015 at 51-years old. This is certainly an event though that lets all players in, no matter what their age given the lack of distance required off the tee.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1200)
A recent winner on the European Tour, Matthew Fitzpatrick will be keen to get a win on the PGA Tour soon as well, and this might be a perfect opportunity.
A short course that favours accuracy rewards the better putters and is susceptible to strong winds should be right in Fitzpatrick’s wheelhouse. Given his form on the PGA Tour, for the most part, this season, and his recent win at Valderrama, Fitzpatrick must view this as a great chance to get win number one on the PGA Tour, albeit in an extremely limited field.
Patrick Reed (+2000)
Patrick Reed hasn’t been himself since COVID and pneumonia, as you would expect for someone who’s been through those two illnesses, but enough time may just have passed for him to go well this week.
On a course where no one skill set is really favoured, the all-rounder, Reed may well excel. He’s a great putter and has a solid short game in general, so as long as he can dial in his approaches from inside 150 yards, he should go well this week.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+1400)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout has seemingly taken his game to a new level over the past couple of years, and with a PGA Tour card now secured via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, he will look to split his time across the European and PGA Tours.
Similar to Patrick Reed, Bezuidenhout isn’t someone who stands out for his length off the tee, , but he’s instead solid across the board and his recent iron play has been very good.
This profile works at a golf course that is less than 7,000 yards and he’s in good current form as well.
His last two starts have seen him finish 3rd at the Korn Ferry Finals and 5th at the BMW PGA Championship. These are two strong results in events he really needed to perform in, and he’ll hope to take that form into this week.
Mito Pereira (+2200)
It has been a strong start to life on the PGA Tour for Chilean, Mito Pereira and he will be looking to break through at this level sooner rather than later.
Pereira is every bit the modern-day golfer, with an excellent tee-to-green game, while generally ranking highly in SG Approach when he tees it up.
Although the Korn Ferry Tour does not have SG data, we can safely assume this is what powered his two Korn Ferry Tour victories last season, and has led to him posting top-6 finishes on the PGA Tour in three of his last nine starts, as well as finishing 4th in a strong field at the Olympics.
The most recent of those top-6 finishes came in the new season-opener, the Fortinet Championship, where he finished in a useful 3rd place. T31 and T40 place finishes since don’t stand out, but his strokes-gained numbers remain superb, ranking 4th and 8th respectively in those two weeks.
Hayden Buckley (+2800)
Hayden Buckley has made a fine start to the PGA Tour season, finishing T4 and T8 in his past two starts, following a missed cut in the season-opener at the Fortinet Championship.
Other than his fast start we have no real knowledge of how he might play in this event, as he has not played in any of the correlating events.
His ball-striking has been solid and he’s ranked 40th and 18th in SG Approach in those two top-8 finishes, and he will relish playing in weaker opposition.
If the two recent starts are enough to get you to dive in at short odds, I couldn’t put you off but I would personally want more evidence and a larger profile on correlating courses to back him at these numbers.
Danny Willett (+4000)
Danny Willett recently won again, back on the European Tour at the Alfred Dunhill Links and he will be keen to carry form into the season-ending event in Dubai, so this may be a good warmup. Willett outside of the majors generally tends to save his best stuff for the European Tour but he’s got two top-8 finishes at both the Rocket Mortgage Classic (4th) and the Corales (8th) over the past two years and the latter may be a good indicator.
The wind coming shouldn’t bother him one bit, and if he can bring the form over, that he showed at the Dunhill Links, he’s a class above the majority of the field.
The Course - Bermuda Championship
Port Royal GC, Southampton, Bermuda,
- Length: 6,828 Yards
- Par: 71
- Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr
- Greens: Bermuda (slow)
- Course Record: 62 (Scottie Scheffler, Round 1, 2019 & Brendan Todd, Round 4, 2019)
Correlating Courses & Events
This one is easy for me. There have been two renewals of the Bermuda Classic, and they have been won by Brendan Todd (2019) and Brian Gay (2020). Both Todd and Gay have won the Mayakoba Classic on another short course (7,000 yards) that is wind-affected and coastal.
While the greens are not Bermuda surfaces like they are here, the greens at the Mayakoba are slow as well, so you can see why Todd and Gay took to both events.
Other players who have performed well at both include:
Brice Garnett: 5th, 6th and 7th at the Mayakoba and shot a -6 final round in Bermuda last year to finish T21.
Aaron Wise: T3 Bermuda in 2019. 2nd (2020) and 10th (2018) at the Mayakoba.
Stewart Cink: T4 Bermuda in 2020, T15 at Mayakoba in 2017.
Ryan Armour: Two T8 finishes in Bermuda and a 4th at Mayakoba in 2007.
Wes Roach has a win and a runner-up finish at Mexico just not at the Mayakoba, but instead on a different course on the Korn Ferry, so that may also be a tie in.
Sony Open in Hawaii:
Another short, wind-affected and coastal course.
Brian Gay has three top-10 finishes at the Sony Open in Hawaii and has a 1st and a 3rd here.
Brendon Todd has three top-21 finishes at the Sony Open and has a win here.
Fabian Gomez has finished 7th here and won the Sony Open.
Ollie Schniederjans has a 3rd here in 2019 and a 7th at the Sony Open in 2018.
Stewart Cink was T4 here last year and 5th at the Sony Open previously.
Matt Jones finished T4 here last year and has two top-15’s at the Sony Open.
David Hearn has two T8 finishes here and a top-10 at the Sony Open.
Kramer Hickok has T8 and T15 finishes here and a top-20 at the Sony Open.
Bo Hoag has just ONE top-10 on the PGA Tour and that came at the Sony Open. His next best? T11 at this event in 2019. In total he has just 9 top-20’s on the PGA Tour, one came here, one at the Sony Open and one at Mayakoba. He might be your best indicator that these courses correlate nicely.
Other events worthy of consideration
RSM Classic – Clear indicator – Brian Gay has won both events. Scottie Scheffler was 3rd here and 5th at the RSM.
Puerto Rico Open – Clear indicator (Fabian Gomez 7th here, runner-up at Puerto Rico)
Corales – Clear indicator - Brice Garnett won the Corales and finished T21 here in 2020 after -6 final round.
RBC Heritage – Clear indicator – Brian Gay has won both events. Stewart Cink has won the Heritage and finished T4 here. Brendon Todd was 4th there and Ollie Schniederjans was 3rd.
Key Stats - Bermuda Championship
SG Approach -
This will almost certainly be a mainstay all season long. Brendan Todd made 27 birdies en-route to victory in 2019, and you’re not making that many birdies without sticking your approaches close.
Putting (Slow) Bermuda Greens -
Putting on greens this slow (likely 11 on the stimpmeter) requires a certain touch. Being able to trust yourself to be aggressive enough when hitting the putts here is key. Those that have played the past two renewals know what to expect, no matter what the conditions. Debutants may need a while to figure them out and start slower.
Driving Accuracy -
In 2019 the field hit the fairway 54% on average, and in 2020 that lowered further to 49%. It is evident that fairways are difficult to hit here, as the weather in 2020 could be blamed for being sub-50% but 2019 was calm and it was still just a little above 50% which is low by Tour standards. Considering length isn’t required off the tee, you’ll be better served finding the fairway with less-than-driver to avoid some suspect lies in the rough as you will therefore be able to control your approaches into the greens.
Incoming Form (Last 8 weeks)
Top-10 for adjusted score average and their results.
Hayden Buckley - MC-4-MC-4-8
Harry Hall - MC-33-8
Christiaan Bezuidenhout - 58-3-5
Matthew Fitzpatrick - MC-20-1
Adam Hadwin - MC-45-6
Mito Pereira - 3-31-40
Danny Willett - MC-71-MC-1-21
Nick Watney - 30-2-56
Sahith Theegala - 4-6-47-8-MC
Seamus Power - MC-21
Top-10 for adjusted score average in this event and their results.
Brian Gay - 3-1
David Hearn - 8-8
Ryan Armour - 8-8
Hank Lebioda - 3-16
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - 11 (2020)
Denny McCarthy - 15-4
Kramer Hickock - 15-8
Russell Knox - 11-16
Anirban Lahiri - WD-11
Peter Malnati - 21 (2020)
Adam Hadwin (+3500)
Adam Hadwin has had two top-10’s at the Mayakoba/OHL Classic in his time, which I think correlates really strongly here, and he’s also finished top-10 at the WGC in Mexico, so he plays well in that area.
On top of that, he has finished T6 at Bay Hill where wind can come into play as well, and his win at the Valspar and two top-8 finishes at Colonial suggest he plays better when accuracy is rewarded. That would make sense given he ranks 5th on Tour over the past three months in Total Accuracy, ranking 13th in Driving Accuracy and 17th in Greens in Regulation.
Given the weak field, there is only a handful of players in steady form, and with Hadwin finishing 6th on his last start at the Shriners, 45th at the Sanderson and ending the previous season with top-10’s at the 3M Open and Wyndham Championship, there is a good chance he one to watch this week.
With the combination of his current form and accuracy both off-the-tee and into the greens in recent months, I think Hadwin makes an intriguing prospect here.
I considered Mito Pereira in this spot, given his ridiculous approach numbers and just all-round solid form, but I just gave Hadwin the edge with his efforts in Mexico and form on shorter, windy tracks. I also fully expect Mito to be too short in the betting.
Joseph Bramlett (+5000)
As is the case with my other selections, his current form or lack of doesn’t particularly worry me given the field strength this week, and his efforts in these weaker fields. Bramlett has never quite put together a strong season of consistency at this level in his career, but when the field strength is lacking he tends to perform.
Top-15 finishes at the Byron Nelson (T7), Puerto Rico Open (T9), Barbasol Championship (T11), Barracuda (T12) and the Corales (T13) all attest to the fact he can excel when the big guns are away and I suspect that will be the case here as well.
Despite finishes of T42 and T58 to start the season, Bramlett ranked 7th and 8th those weeks in SG Approach, so his iron play has been more than good enough to contend, especially at this level, his putter has just been ice cold. Hopefully, the slower greens will give him a chance to be more aggressive rather than tentative, and allow him to hole more putts.
Top-18 finishes at both Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines are further evidence he can play well at courses next to the sea and in tough conditions and those results are in much better company than this.
I fully expect Bramlett to prove again that he is near the top of these sort of fields in terms of ball-striking and ability.
Nick Hardy (+6600)
A Korn Ferry Tour graduate, Nick Hardy has had a solid start to the season, finishing T36 and T26 in his first two events. In those starts he’s also ranked 14th and 18th in SG Approach, ranking him as the 5th best player in this field in SG Approach in that span.
Further confidence stems from his T14 finish at the Sony Open earlier this year, which included a second-round 63 and a pair of 66’s over the weekend. He sat just two strokes outside the top-7 at the end of that week, which was clearly impressive.
He’s made a decent amount of cuts at this level in his limited starts over the years, and the next natural progression is for him to get himself inside the top-10.
Despite not winning on the Korn Ferry Tour yet, he’s had ten top-10 finishes over the past two years, and given the field strength here, the competition isn’t much stronger. With his T3 finish in the Bahamas his best finish on the Korn Ferry and his effort in Hawaii, another island visit may just yield his best finish on the PGA Tour to date.
Brian Stuard (+9000)
By rights, this event should be perfect for Brian Stuard, yet in two starts he’s finished 51-MC. Before missing the cut last year though, he sat 15th after Round 1, and I am hoping that may be a springboard to further success here.
No.2 on Tour in Driving Accuracy in the past three months, Stuard clearly hits enough fairways and further investigation shows he missed the cut by just two strokes last time out, and on the number the start prior. The Fortinet saw him shoot an opening-round 77 but he rallied with a 68 in round two as well, so there’s some light there.
So why, without course or current form do I think Stuard is worth another look? Well, his correlative form on the majority of courses identified is exceptional. Stuard has two runner-up finishes at the Mayakoba/OHL Classic, four top-8 finishes at the Sony Open, a 4th at the Puerto Rico Open, and two top-15 finishes at the RSM/McGladrey Classic.
On paper, this should be a perfect course for him, and he will hope to regain the form he showed at the end of last season, that saw him finish inside the top-15 of four of his last five events.
Brian Gay (+12500)
On course and correlative form alone, Brian Gay should be considered. 1st and 3rd here in two starts and multiple wins at other similar events, Gay clearly likes this style of golf.
He did withdraw last time out after 54-holes at the Shriners but unless it was serious, in which case I assume he wouldn’t be here, he should be good to go after a couple of weeks off.
His current form does not worry me given the lack of depth to the field and his lack of suitability to other courses, and I see no reason he cannot finish in and around the top-5 again for a third year running.
Play this one with caution, because if he is short in the betting as you would expect him to be with 1st and 3rd place finishes, then he may well be best left alone but his current run of missed cuts and his withdrawal may just be enough to keep him at a respectable price.
The Field - Bermuda Championship
Johnson, Richard S.
Potter, Jr., Ted
van der Walt, Dawie
Van Pelt, Bo