Read the details for betting on the line: Butterfield Bermuda Championship
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Butterfield Bermuda Championship 2023: Coastal Properties
The Butterfield Bermuda Championship is the penultimate event in the seven-tournament FedExCup Fall Championship Series. Last week, the PGA TOUR broke records at Tiger’s Course in Mexico, and now they’re heading across the continental United States to another coastal course, Port Royal Golf Course. The host venue is located on the island of Bermuda, and many will remember the PGA Grand Slam of golf. The four major winners played a season that finished Port Royal’s money grab from 2009 to 2014.
When Brian Gay is your lockout bet for the week, you’re struggling to build a deep field. Of the 132 players in the field, only 11 are ranked in the top 100 in the OWGR. I’ll say this much, with the exception of Adam Scott, those here are going to be focused on their FedEx Cup points. There is still plenty up for grabs as the “Next Ten” (51-60) will participate in two marquee events next season (Pebble Beach, Riviera), and those in the top 125 will earn their own TOUR card for 2024.
The field is vying for just over $6.5 million ($1.17 million debut). The winner gets 500 points and a trip to the Masters Tournament. As we saw last week in Cabo, having a top 10 player at this stage can secure your placement for next year. Three of the four former champions are present. Last year, Seamus Power won on 19 under par. The wind was calm enough to allow the stadium to get some scoring done. That’s the key to this week’s weather. If the wind stays in the mid-teens, these guys could score and reach as high as under par.
There is a high probability of a storm on Sunday, and if so, get as much points done by Saturday as possible. Then wait for Sunday like Lucas Herbert did in 2021 to win. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70s all four days, and if rain comes, it will be significant on Sunday. Across the four editions of Butterfield, the average pre-tournament odds of winning are +9000. Once again, Jay will not come out on top of the odds board!
The Port Royal Golf Course has always been a stern test of wedge accuracy and Bermuda grass placement. PRGC is short by PGA Tour standards. With a par of 71, the scorecard extends to just 6,828 yards.
- Eight of the par 4s measured less than 415 yards.
- The average par 4 is only 402 yards!
- All three levels can be reached by 5 and have a flying rate above 35%.
- The long par 3s (8, 13, 16) are the three most difficult holes for par on the course.
- Holes 13-16 play seven-tenths (.69) of a shot over par, the toughest stretch on the course.
The first seven holes are where most of the scoring takes place. They are oriented away from the water and are somewhat protected from the elements. If a player wants to go down, he must start immediately. Overall, the course design will make you dizzy. No two holes play in the same direction consecutively. So, on every hole, on every shot, you are constantly controlling the wind and the lie. Eleven holes have a significant elevation change to incorporate into your decision making. Off the wind, Port Royal has some interesting challenges that will catch your attention.
- Each green complex is full of bunkers. They are all eighteen.
- All 14 shots face bunkers as well.
- Seven holes contain water, and again the enclosed stretch of holes 14-18 are all unprotected from the wind.
Although Port Royal is a tough test in the wind, you can score here especially in the opening half. You’ll need to round up about two dozen birds to reach the mid-teens on Sunday afternoon. Birdie or better statistics and creating chances are important. When he was calm, Brendon Todd won here with a 24-under total. It is a beautiful mixture of heaven and pain. Approach shots extend from the mid-20s on the longer rate at 3 seconds to flipping wedges on the short rate at 4 seconds. It is this balance coupled with contact and trajectory control that will define our competitors.
Butterfield Bermuda Championship 2023: Placement – Wedge – Bermuda Triangle
Look at the previous champions: Todd, Jay, Herbert and Bauer. Their path to success was ultimately simple. Find the driveway, close it, and turn off the lights. Historically, players have only been able to access 54 percent of the lanes. The average round is 62 percent. The first key to disagreement is solid leadership. Just like Sony in Hawaii or RBC in Hilton Head, I love the good drives I’ve gained on the island. When you miss the lane, how close are your misses. It doesn’t really matter if you’re tall or short, just get him in position to attack those dig sites with your scoring clubs.
Critical approach shots to score are short. Most are distracted by the par 3s over 215 yards and the accessible par 5s. They will need a long iron or two to remain competitive. I focus on the wedge game. Six of the par 4s are under 400 yards. Those are the pitch shots for the second swing. Elite wedge players score at Port Royal. Between all the elevation changes and green quadrants, you have to be precise. I’ve pointed out that all PGA TOUR players are good wedge players, but not all of them are great. Our list below can get the job done from within 125 yards.
The prevailing winds come from the south in PRGC. This means that eight of the holes are played into the wind. At the conclusion of the back nine, players will be tested in a variety of cross and windward conditions. Lane control is not a statistic. You should know who plays well in the wind. Controlling the loft of a 5-iron is not as much of a skill as doing it with your wedge. We know how to score, so, along with a great short game, I want players with spin and trajectory control as well as accuracy with the wedge.
If the winds get weak, there is a pool of sand in Port Royal that can come into play. Unfortunately, it’s not the nice pink beach sand. Rather, it comes in the form of penalty zones around all landing zones. The course contains over forty fairway bunkers and another forty-four from the Greenside Collection. Sand will play a role on Sunday if we get some weather or maybe sooner. These four former champions are also strong short-game players.
With 11 par 4s averaging just over 400 yards, scoring a par 4 is a key analysis to consider. Again, don’t get distracted by the three points. Competitors will make their pars and birdies on the par 5. No. 4 is where the field can differentiate itself with those wedges and putter. Look again at the list of past champions and their contenders. Wearing Bermuda grass is the ultimate skill for Butterfield players. In Mexico, a big deal is made about green size, and the playing surfaces at Port Royal are almost as large. Players must round them out on approach in order to hit these beloved greens.
The average cut in four tournaments is -1.75 under par. Depending on the weather for the first 36 holes, it will likely be double that (-4). As with every round, you’ll need a good start on Thursday and Friday to survive and enjoy the weekend. A strong BoB% performance is needed just like last week. Fourteen holes at Port Royal have a birdie rate of over 15%. With only eight holes having a bogey rate over 15 percent, it’s time to take a dead aim shot. Let’s be honest, when is it not time to stop on the PGA Tour. It just becomes a question of how do you do it? This week, sharpen those wedges, dig some putts, and you won’t fail in Bermuda.
Butterfield Bermuda Championship 2023: Outright winners
Brendon Todd (+2000)
If the Bermuda Triangle created the perfect golfer for this tournament, this would be it Todd. The 2019 winner and tournament record holder (-24) is an amazing putter. Combined with his elite wedge game, and one can quickly see why he excels in short positional courses. Todd’s last tournament was the Fortinet Championship where he had two strokes on approach and over nine strokes with his flat stick finishing well inside the top ten. Brendon also ranked fifth in the field in scoring 4, BoB%, and short game.
Taylor Pendrith (+2500)
In 2021, Pendrith finished fifth at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. I loved him last week in Mexico and he started shooting a slow 72 in the first round. He finished the tournament 18 under par! The bat is hot and so is Pendrith’s ball. Incredibly long, he will have an advantage off the tee and in windy conditions thanks to the speed of the ball. I love this choice in bad weather. In his last five starts, he has three hits against the SG:Total pitch. This fall he placed third at the Shriners and 15th last week.
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