2021 Bermuda Championship Betting Stock Report: Christiaan Bezuidenhout Enters Red-Hot
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Christiaan Bezuidenhout
For just the third time, the PGA Tour will stop in Bermuda for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. The field this week is lacking in big names, with many having just played overseas in the ZOZO Championship in Japan.
Nevertheless, there is a very interesting board for bettors to peruse, with players jockeying for FedEx Cup points throughout the fall swing.
The uneven travel required by recent weeks on TOUR has made it difficult for a hot player to keep momentum going, but there are still plenty of names rising and falling heading to Bermuda.
There may not be a hotter player in this week’s field than Christiaan Bezuidenhout. The South African ranks in the top five globally in Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Approach over the last three months. He’s striping the ball on to greens and finding the cup with his flat stick.
In his last two starts, he’s earned top five finishes on the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour and Korn Ferry Tour Championship. This week could give him the chance to showcase his game on the PGA Tour.
Adam Hadwin enters this week having last played at the Shriners Children’s Open, where he finished T6. Hadwin has three top 10s in his last seven starts, thought he also has three missed cuts in that stretch. If he can find some consistency, Hadwin could be a factor this fall.
This week is also a chance for Nick Watney to keep his recent form rolling. He had fallen to rock bottom in the golf world, missing 18 consecutive cuts throughout 2020 and 2021. Those were dark days for a man with five lifetime wins on the PGA Tour.
Since that stretch, Watney has made seven of eight cuts, including a T2 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Whether he recovered from injury or simply found something in his game, Watney has been able to turn back the clock and produce some positive results.
Generally, doing a stock watch like this would be very dependent of the leaderboard at the last PGA Tour event. That’s not the case this week, with the Tour hopping from the ZOZO Championship in Japan all the way to Bermuda this week.
By my count, there are just five players making the bold scheduling decision of playing in back-to-back tournaments across the globe this week. If they stay committed to the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, it is a tall task to perform after traveling halfway around the world, as compared to their opponents who are freshly arriving in Bermuda this week.
Remember, last week was a no-cut event, so it’s not like these players could have travelled back to the Western Hemisphere on Saturday. This would be a Sunday or Monday flight from Japan to the Americas, with competition beginning Thursday. All five also finished T48 or worse at the ZOZO, so it’s not like they are trying to ride a hot streak here.
Garrick Higgo, a winner on TOUR last season, is the most notable name of these five players, currently listed at +5000 to win this week. In Japan, Higgo finished tied for the second worst score of the week at +14 and he missed the cut in the three tournaments he played prior to the ZOZO. He was a hot name last summer but has clearly cooled off.
Peter Malnati will also be making the trip around the world. He’d been playing better golf of late, though that seems to have changed. A bottom five finish in Japan, with only one round in the 60s, after a string of mediocre showings in recent events should signal he’s cooled off.
Similarly, Sepp Straka had been playing well, dating back to his hot start at the Olympics. His form looks to have turned for the worse, with a T66 finish in Japan. Straka hasn’t made a cut since August.
Rounding out the group of globetrotters are two more long shots: Brandon Hagy and Matthew NeSmith. Hagy hasn’t finished in the top 50 of a full field event since July and NeSmith has been inconsistent throughout the fall series. Although none of these five names might have been on your radar as outright picks, there’s value in hunting them down in matchup or missed cut props.