2021 Bermuda Championship Best Bets, Odds, Preview: 14 Picks at Port Royal
Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Hadwin (left) and Mito Pereira.
Bermuda Championship Odds
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|Dawie Van Der Walt||+9000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+15000|
|Ted Potter Jr.||+40000|
|Richard S Johnson||+50000|
The field this week at the Bermuda Championship might not be the sexiest, but that just means there’s value to be found for bettors.
The last two winners in Bermuda have gone at +10000 or higher, so there’s money to be won. One of our GolfBet analysts even picked a player with that number as his best outright pick of the week.
Patrick Reed and Matthew Fitzpatrick headline the field, which has a lot of up-and-comers who could be hugely beneficial for bettors when 2022 rolls around. Now’s the time to find your guys when the PGA TOUR season really gets going.
Last week, Rob Bolton picked his second outright winner of the 2021-22 season when Hideki Matsuyama won the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in his native Japan. Matt Vincenzi also has a winner to his name with Max Homa at the Fortinet Championship. That’s three outright winners in five weeks, as well as countless other winners.
Here are the GolfBet team’s best plays for this week in Bermuda.
2021 Bermuda Championship Betting Picks
Adam Hadwin (+3500)
Jason Sobel: With a share of sixth place in his most recent start at the Shriners Children’s Open — and three top-10s in his last seven — Hadwin is in better form coming into this one than previous winners Brendon Todd or Brian Gay were, but the profile still fits: A talented player seeking a bit of career resurrection against a field of competitors which shouldn’t be confused for any of the season’s elite entry lists. Hadwin also is not as short off the tee as the prior winners, but he does tend to play some of his better golf on shorter tracks.
If there’s one source of worry, it’s that many of Hadwin’s best previous results have occurred in dome-like conditions, but I’m still going to bank on a little breeze hardly hurting a hearty Canadian who should be primed for a big week.
Kramer Hickok (+10000)
Matt Vincenzi: Many will remember Kramer Hickok’s epic eight-hole playoff with Harris English back in June at the Travelers Championship. Since that crushing defeat, Hickok has fallen out of form and missed three of his next five cuts. However, there is reason to believe that Port Royal Golf Club could be a course where he can figure it out.
At last year’s Bermuda Championship, Hickok finished eighth, which was the best finish of his career to that point. In retrospect, it makes a great deal of sense that the 29-year-old would play well at Port Royal. The course plays quite penal from the rough, and one of the biggest strengths of Kramer’s is his driving accuracy, as evidenced by his ranking of fifth in the field for fairways gained. Also, Bermuda grass has been far and away Hickok’s best-putting surface to this point in his career.
In his past 36 rounds, Hickok ranks third in the field on courses that feature Bermuda grass and are under 7,200 yards. It also helps that the former Texas Longhorn ranks ninth in the field in Strokes Gained: Total in extremely windy conditions. His skill in that department could loom large this week as we are expected to get winds north of 20 mph.
With a win this week, Hickok may finally be able to have his name mentioned without someone attaching “Jordan Spieth’s former roommate” to it.
Adam Hadwin (+3500)
Josh Perry: Hadwin was sixth in his last start at the Shriners and was good everywhere but off the tee. He fits that Todd/Gay mold of guys who are good with their irons and short game but don’t really hit it a mile.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1100)
Rob Bolton: For the last four tournaments, I’ve constrained my pick to win to one golfer. It’s why the sharp-eyed, loyal readers among you have seen me grouped only in the outrights.
After the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season, which was my formal foray in the betting space, I gravitated toward the logic that since there’s only one winner in a tournament, I should offer only one outright. Otherwise, I’m guaranteed to select at least one golfer who didn’t win, and to me, that defeats the purpose. (Selfishly, I also wanted the possibility to have a perfect week, and I did with a 3-for-3 at the Shriners. That kind of thing fuels the learning process and pads the confidence.)
The moral of the matter is that my work is splashed all over the Fantasy page at PGATOUR.com, so if you wanted to invest in anyone for any reason, the analysis there could influence your decisions. Here, you’re getting only my Best Bet. Make sense?
Since streamlining, my last three outrights have gone 1st-2nd-1st. Of course, all that means to us is that they’ve gone win-lost-win, but you also know that there’s a little pride that goes into coming close, not to mention the thrill and the sweat at the finish line. Anecdotally, I hit on five or six winners per season on average, but that’s been outside the betting space. I like my odds here better.
Shifting our attention to the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, I’d shake my head and give grace to the golf gods if my little heater keeps up on the island.
It’s like this: Before we lay a bet, we must ask ourselves, are we going to bet? (PSA: If you’re not asking that question every time out, then there are support staffers standing by on the other end of a toll-free phone call.) Sitting out this week isn’t a bad idea, so I’ll limit my unit to the favorite as a compromise.
Fitzpatrick talked about how welcome he feels on the island. Sure, he’s a tournament debutant, but Bermuda is a British Territory and he’s rested and fresh off an impressive victory at challenging Valderrama. He should feel good!
I also dig that he emphasized the value of putting FedExCup points on the board. He was going to play in Houston in two weeks, but he swapped starts because Port Royal is a better fit and he wanted a longer break in advance of the DP World Tour Championship in three weeks.
Adam Hadwin (+3500)
Landon Silinsky: Hadwin is one of the few veterans who has a legit chance to win this week.
Most people will flock to the new shiny toys from the Korn Ferry Tour as there are not many household names to bet on at the top of the board. However, Hadwin is coming in off a T-6 his last time out at the Shriners and his ball-striking has been dialed in of late. He ranks 21st in this field in SG: Ball-Striking across his past eight rounds to go along with his usual great putting.
With no elite names in the field this week, Hadwin will have as good a chance as any to take home his second career PGA TOUR title.
Cameron Percy (+12500)
Jason Sobel: Todd won from 80/1 two years ago and Gay was 200/1 last year, so there’s certainly hope for a player with a bigger price this week.
Enter Percy, who like those previous winners is a veteran pro and isn’t going to overpower a course, instead relying on accuracy. I didn’t list the Australian in my original preview piece this week, but he’s grown on me as the week has progressed, with made cuts in eight consecutive starts and top-10s over the past year at comp courses in Puerto Rico and Puntacana. In 426 career OWGR-sanctioned events, Percy owns exactly one victory — it came on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2014.
Expecting another this week could be asking a lot, but I do think he’s a valuable sleeper play for props, matchups and DFS — and yes, I’ll have an outright ticket, as well.
David Hearn (+10000)
Matt Vincenzi: As we saw last year with Gay’s victory, Port Royal Golf Club is a course that certain golfers have played well in both previous editions regardless of current form. With back to back eighth-place finishes at the event, David Hearn is absolutely one of those golfers.
The 42-year-old has shown a propensity to play very well at coastal resort-style tracks. In addition to his two excellent showings in Bermuda, he has a 13th at Corales (Puntacana) and 25th at the Puerto Rico Open.
Course form aside, Hearn is also a strong statistical fit. He is an excellent putter on Bermuda grass, ranking 20th in the field in that category. In his past 24 rounds, he also ranks 16th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 14th in Fairways Gained.
Hearn has been incredibly close to a TOUR victory, having lost in a playoff in both 2013 and ‘15. If there was ever a place to get it done, Port Royal Golf Club would be an obvious fit.
Max McGreevy (+15000)
Josh Perry: McGreevy is another guy who didn’t necessarily bomb it on the KFT the last couple years, but he hit a lot of greens and putted well. The shorter courses were also the ones where he tended to pop up on the leaderboard.
He hasn’t done anything yet on the PGA Tour in two starts, but he has had a good week with both the approach and short game, so the game is there, but it’s about getting it to click all at once.
Hank Lebioda (+5000)
Landon Silinsky: Lebioda has been out of form for a little while now but had been playing the best golf of his career. He has played this event both times it’s been held and finished T-16 and T-3 respectively, so clearly he likes the weather down in Bermuda.
If we take a longer view, Lebioda ranks fourth in this field in Strokes Gained: Total across his past 48 rounds. He ranks behind just Matt Fitzpatrick, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Seamus Power in that department, all three of which sit at the top of the betting market on the week.
Greyson Sigg — Top 5 (+1200)
Jason Sobel: Take a guess what kind of grass they have in Bermuda. Come on, think extra hard about it.
Ah, there ya go, it’s … Bermuda. So it only makes sense that we target some Bermuda specialists this week.
I was a big fan of Sigg’s game on the KFT, and I’ve been waiting for a chance to use him on a course just like this one. Maybe it’s the UGA connection, but it feels like Sigg owns some Kevin Kisner-type vibes, that a guy who’s a solid ball-striker and fierce competitor could be a solid comp moving forward.
Early on this season, we’ve already seen KFT grads Mito Pereira and Hayden Buckley cash top-five tickets. I think Sigg will be the next to do it this week.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat — Top 5 (+1400)
Matt Vincenzi: After a very difficult few years while recovering from injury, Kiradech Aphibarnrat is starting to show some signs of returning to form. When he is playing at his best, a coastal Bermuda track is the ideal spot for Kiradech as he has shown he is prone to strong performances on similar style courses. He finished 11th at this event last season despite being in pretty horrific form overall.
While his most recent PGA TOUR starts have not been fruitful, the same cannot be said for his most recent start on the European Tour at the BMW PGA Championship back in September. The native of Thailand finished in second place just one shot behind winner Billy Horschel and had a real chance to win until the very last hole.
Two of Aphibarnrat’s biggest strengths are his ability to find the fairway and his ability to catch a hot putter on Bermudagrass. In his past five starts, he has gained 1.4 strokes per round on the field in “Fairways Gained” and gains an average of 0.65 strokes per round on Bermudagrass.
Although he is wildly inconsistent, when Aphibarnrat has it going in a particular week, he has shown that he can get himself into contention.
Pendrith, McCarthy and Lipsky all to make the cut (+160)
Rob Bolton: Several months ago, a colleague asked if there’s ever been an occasion when all 15 in my Power Rankings cashed in an event with a cut. I didn’t know off the top of my head, and when I went back 2-3 years looking for the last, I didn’t find it. There have been instances when all of the top 10 or top 12 have delivered, and I have a faint recollection of an uncanny experience talking about how one time it occurred, but it’s not the kind of minutiae that I monitor.
I open with that because the Bermuda Championship presents as a logical tournament for it to happen, and Pendrith (15th), McCarthy (13th) and Lipsky (ninth) all are in my Power Rankings.
As of Tuesday, the field stood at 127, so at least one-half (65) will survive the 36-hole cut, and more than 50 either didn’t finish inside the top 150 of the FedEx Cup last season, needed a sponsor exemption to compete, gained entry via open qualifying or are burning a start on a medical extension.
Pendrith and Lipsky weren’t PGA TOUR members in 2020-21, but I’m not including the fully exempt via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals in that subset. All things considered, all of the grads sits inside the top half of the talent in the field.
BONUS: If you don’t like the parlay, consider the prop worth (-160) that there won’t be a hole-in-one.
There wasn’t an ace in the first two editions of the tournament for which wind of the primary challenge. Three of Port Royal’s par 3s are longer than 200 yards, and each has ranked inside the six toughest holes on the course in both stagings.
So, essentially you’ll be holding your breath as the field plays the par-3 third hole measuring just 148 yards. After ranking as the 18th-easiest par 3 (of 206) during the 2018-19 season, it slotted third-easiest (of 165) in 2020-21. As for frequency of 1s on easy par 3s, neither of the two easiest par 3s last season surrendered one, and there was exactly one ace on only five of the 16 easiest.
Guido Migliozzi (+115) over Hayden Buckley
Jason Sobel: I like Buckley’s game, I really do. He was hot at the end of the last Korn Ferry season and has continued that strong play into his rookie season in the big leagues, posting a pair of top-10s in his first two starts.
However, much like an overachieving NFL team through the season’s first few weeks, the price here has gotten a bit out of hand in a hurry. Migliozzi is well on his way to being a top-50 player. His OWGR number (79) is more than half that of Buckley (160). He’s won twice on the European Tour and has posted three runners-up this season. He finished T-4 at the U.S. Open.
You get the picture: This guy is already a very accomplished player — and here he is at plus-money against a player fresh off the KFT. Again, this isn’t some anti-Buckley sentiment, because I like his game and think he can have another solid week, but there’s way too much value in the better talent here this week.
Mito Pereira (+100) over Christian Bezuidenhout
Matt Vincenzi: Pereira has come on strong to begin his 2021 season, with three top-six finishes in his first six starts. A prolific winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, Mito knows what it takes to go low and win in a birdie fest. Additionally, the Chilean rates out beautifully for Port Royal Golf Club and ranks first in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, seventh in Fairways Gained and fourth in Birdie or Better.
While Bezuidenhout is talented and in pretty good form, I don’t love the fit for Port Royal Golf Club. He sometimes struggles with finding the fairway, and ranks 40th in fairways gained in this weak field. He also struggles with long par 3s which does not bode well for a course that features three of the most difficult par 3s on TOUR.