Butterfield Bermuda Championship Overview
We are back to full field events with a cut at the halfway stage this week, following the 2 invitational events that have taken place on the PGA Tour.
It’s not the most inspiring field this week, Denny McCarthy headlines the field, other notable players include Seamus Power, Thomas Detry and Aaron Rai.
Port Royal is almost like having two golf courses in one. The clubhouse, positioned on the course’s highest point, acts as a separating point between the majority of the front nine and the back nine. As you head away from the coast, your tee shot off the first puts you down a sharp elevation shift. As you meander through a beautiful low point, the first seven holes are largely protected from the sea breeze. The majority of the holes are initially guarded by trees, giving the impression of being on a tropical inland golf course, however that soon changes, as you progress up the 9th hole, you begin to appreciate what a unique piece of property you are on. The remainder of the circuit features stunning views of Bermuda’s light-blue ocean and more breezy conditions face the players. The forecast for the weekend play is quite breezy and that could have a big factor in deciding the winner of this event. I have certainly considered good wind players when making my final picks this week and I encourage you to do the same.
The course does a great job of testing your decision making. Robert Trent Jones first designed the course in 1970, and in 2009 it was renovated by Robert Rulewich as part of a $16 million project. A short course by modern day standards but don’t let that trick you into think this is a pushover for the players this week especially if the wind blows as previously mentioned.
There are bunkers staggered in such a way on practically every par 4 or hole 5 that it will make you reconsider your objective and club choices which is why this course does not favour bombers or short players off the tee, it really is one that any type of player can win on. There are numerous landing places surrounded by bunkers, ready to catch your somewhat inaccurate tee shots. Its going to be a game of patience and precision this week for the world’s best players.
Simply said, Port Royal is one of the most visually magnificent courses you will see on your screens this year how demanding it will be depending on the wind.
Let’s break down those key skill sets and reveal those all-important outright picks.
Key Skill Sets Required
- SG T2G – As ever on courses with limited data to reflect upon I want to start my research with T2G performance over the last 24 to 36 rounds. In what’s expected to be a low scoring event I want players on side who are showing confidence with every club in the bag, and there’s no way better way to identify this than T2G performance over recent times.
- SG Driving Accuracy – Looking at the limited data we have access to Driving Accuracy seem to be of significant important , the winners here have consistently hit fairways throughout the course of the week setting up plenty of birdie opportunities with approach shots from the short stuff.
- SG Approach -The single most important start on the PGA Tour is SG approach play. Considering we have very little data to analyze this week it makes sense to make this a key component of our research. I will be considering players who have proven over the last 24 to 36 rounds that iron game is in tiptop shape.
- Par 4 Scoring 350-400 – On a course with a little data to look at it makes sense to consider Par 4 scoring especially from 350-400 yards where we have 6 holes each day. The majority of holes will fall in this category, and we want players on side with a proven track record of dominating the short Par 4’s in what I expect to be a low scoring test.
- Birdie Or Better – In a low scoring event with a low-quality field it’s my preference to consider players who can produce plenty of birdies and can produce a round of 63 or better. This allows for average round to follow or proceed and still be in contention for the title. In these weak events like we face this week I want players onside who play aggressive and attacking golf.
- Putting – Putting will always be a critical factor in low scorning tests like we expect to see this week. I will be considering players with recent Bermuda grass putting stats in their favor along with long-term Bermuda grass putting performance.