Nate’s Bermuda Championship Betting Card
NATE’S BERMUDA CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING CARD – Well, the end of this very long PGA Tour winds down to a close soon as the Bermuda Championship constitutes the penultimate event on the schedule, with the final event coming next week at the RSM Classic.
Much of the golf handicapping community has been complaining during this funky late season about the lack of ShotTracker data that provides everyone with Strokes Gained data in real time. For these international events, as they bounce around, we’ve been forced to go old school with the lack of any real in-depth data. The old school stats remain (fairway accuracy, GIR, etc) and these players have a pretty serious body of work at this point to give us an indication of how they’ll perform at Port Royal Golf Course.
Speaking of Port Royal Golf Course, it’s no stranger to the professional rotation. There is a pretty specific type of player who excels here in the four iterations we’ve seen of this tournament at this course. Playing at a par-71 and measuring a tad over 6,800 yards, this course is pretty short for these guys. That has tended to open this event up for players who often can’t hang at longer courses (like Brian Gay in 2020).
The fairways are going to look like hallways compared to the wide open fields of short grass the players were faced with last week in Mexico. The greens tend to be fairly accessible (in part because players have wedge in more often than not) and they run rather slow on the stimpmeter coming in somewhere around 10.5.
With Seamus Power, Lucas Herbert, Brian Gay and Brendon Todd as past champions, we can draw a lot of conclusions about what skills are going to be critical to compete here. Distance isn’t a factor, as most of those guys aren’t considered bombers. This will probably come down to a mix of accuracy off the tee and, more importantly, the ability to score with a wedge in their hand will be key. Hitting it close with a wedge and making the putt seems to be the most reliable formula here with so many short par 4s on the card
Butterfield Bermuda Championship Picks
Doug Ghim +3000
I’m a glutton for punishment. I just cannot reconcile his ball-striking numbers with the shocking lack of high finishes this season. Ghim is 117th in the current FedEx Cup points standing, so he’s still sweating a little bit as he tries to maintain his full exemption via finishing in the top-125.
How are you 5th on Tour in ball-striking, and fail to notch a single top-10 finish in a season? That’s probably a question Doug Ghim is asking himself often as he grinds through these final events. He’s managed a half-dozen top-20s, but nothing more.
If golf were played with a paint can-sized hole, he’d probably be a multiple winner — but, alas, he is an absolute liability on the greens.
I can’t look away from the ball striking. He’s 3rd in GIR this season and 11th in driving accuracy. Everything about him from tee-to-green makes me think he can contend here, he just has to get his putter going just a little bit.
He does have a T14 at this course in 2020, so he definitely can play well here, but it’s no sure thing. On ball-striking alone, he’s elite enough in this weaker field to get my money.
Justin Lower +6000
He’s coming off a top-25 at the WWT last week in Mexico and this number is pretty fun. He’s typically pretty reliable with his irons and his putter, but gets dragged down by a driver that’s relatively straight, but not terribly powerful. Those aren’t massive issues here at a course this short. Port Royal seems to play to his strengths while masking some of his flaws.
He’s coming in playing some decent golf. I like these odds for a guys who has finished 8th and 17th in his last two spins around this track. Something seems to make sense for him here. Maybe he can improve on his 8th place finish last season.
Lanto Griffin Top 20 +230
This isn’t the sexiest play, but I like his game here. He’s coming in off three consecutive made cuts, and he’s putted really well lately in tournaments that have ShotTracker data.
He’s a little bit of an oddball handicapping-wise because he’s a weaker iron player than I’d generally lean towards. He’s absolutely good enough off the tee and on the greens to be competitive on this course. He may not have the game to win this, but on a course where the approach shots tend to be easy, he’ll probably still be giving himself plenty of looks at birdie with the hot putter he’s had lately.
You aren’t going to get rich off these odds, but if you’re just wanting a little bit of a sweat that’s a little lower volatility, this is where I’d lean. He’s also +6000 if you’re feeling optimistic about him taking home some hardware this week.