2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship Odds, Picks & Preview: Akshay Bhatia & Aaron Rai Fit Port Royal Golf Course
Via Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Akshay Bhatia of the United States lines up a putt on the 11th green during the second round of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at OSU GC – Scarlet Course on August 26, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Butterfield Bermuda Championship begins Thursday at Port Royal Golf Course.
- With few elite players in the field, there's value farther down the odds board this week.
- Matt Vincenzi breaks down his top course fits below, including a play on Akshay Bhatia.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship odds via bet365
|Erik van Rooyen||+6000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+50000|
|Willie Mack III||+100000|
The PGA TOUR heads to Southampton, Bermuda this week to play the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course.
Port Royal Golf Club is a 6,828-yard, par-71 layout featuring Bermudagrass greens designed by Robert Trent Jones. This is the fourth edition of the tournament and marks the third time it will be the primary TOUR stop for the week (after being an alternate event).
The Bermuda Championship field is relatively weak but will feature some interesting names on TOUR such as Garrick Higgo, Thomas Detry, John Daly, Seamus Power and Lucas Glover.
Bermuda Championship Odds
Past Winners at The Bermuda Championship
- 2021: Lucas Herbert (-15)
- 2020: Brian Gay (-15)
- 2019: Brendon Todd (-24)
Let’s take a look at several metrics for Port Royal Golf Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.
Strokes Gained: Approach
The weaker the field, the more I tend to rely on statistics. Strokes Gained: Approach is a great way to measure current form and shows who is the most dialed in with their irons.
Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:
- Adam Schenk (+19.8) (+4500)
- Mark Hubbard (+18.4) (+2500)
- Chesson Hadley (+14.4) (+6000)
- Ben Griffin (+13.4) (+8000)
- Erik Van Rooyen (+11.1) (+6000)
The rough at Port Royal Golf Club can actually be quite unforgiving, so it will be important to target accurate golfers. As evidenced by both Brendon Todd and Brian Gay winning here, distance off the tee won’t be much of a factor.
Total Fairways Gained in past 24 rounds:
- Ryan Armour (+37.9) (+8000)
- Aaron Rai (+37.7) (+3500)
- Vaughn Taylor (+26.1) (+20000)
- David Lingmerth (+25.8) (+20000)
- Lucas Glover (+22.8) (+8000)
Strokes Gained Putting: Bermudagrass
This is an event that could turn into a putting contest. If the majority of the field is hitting greens in regulation, it might come down to whoever can heat up with the putter. Bermudagrass specialists will have the best chance to do just that at Port Royal.
Total Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass) in past 24 rounds:
- Martin Trainer (+28.0) (+30000)
- Brian Gay (+24.6) (+20000)
- Johnson Wagner (+19.9) (+50000)
- Ben Taylor (+19.7) (+7000)
- Thomas Detry (+12.4) (+1800)
Birdies or Better Gained
In 2019, we saw the winner of this event at 24-under par. The past two years, extreme winds made scoring difficult. Regardless of the weather this time around, the winner will likely have plenty of birdies.
Total Birdie or Better Gained in past 24 rounds:
- Ben Griffin (+17.9) (+7000)
- Justin Lower (+16.2) (+3000)
- Seung-yul Noh (+15.0) (+15000)
- Matthias Schmid (+9.8) (+11000)
- Thomas Detry (+9.4) (+1800)
Strokes Gained: Short Game
The first three editions of the tournament have been dominated by the players who have the best short games on TOUR. An added emphasis on who’s the best around the green and putting should help narrow down the player pool.
Total Strokes Gained: Short Game in past 24 rounds:
- Seung-yul Noh (+24.0) (+25000)
- Brian Gay (+23.1) (+10000)
- Ricky Barnes (+21.7) (+10000)
- Scott Piercy (+18.2) (+6500)
- Stephan Jaeger (+17.7) (+3000)
Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.
These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%); Fairways Gained (21%); SG: Putting bermudagrass (21%); Birdies or better gained (21%) and SG: Short Game (12%)
- Adam Long (+4000)
- Scott Brown (+13000)
- Stephan Jaeger (+3000)
- Seonghyeon Kim (+3000)
- Denny McCarthy (+1400)
- Chesson Hadley(+6000)
- Thomas Detry (+1800)
- Michael Gligic (+6000)
- Aaron Rai (+3500)
- Peter Malnati (+8000)
Butterfield Bermuda Championship Best Bets
Aaron Rai +3500 (DraftKings):
Aaron Rai has had a pretty strong start to his 2022-2023 season. He’s finished 20th and 36th in his first two starters and managed to gain 7.0 strokes on approach at The Shriners Children’s Open. He also tied for fifth at last month’s Italian Open on the DP World Tour.
Rai excels at hitting fairways and ranks third in the field in Fairways Gained over his past 24 rounds. Combining his precision off the tee with his recent strong iron play (sixth in approach), he should be the perfect combination for Port Royal Golf Club.
With four wins on the DP World Tour, he’s a player who knows how to win and is one of the better players in this weak field.
Chesson Hadley +7000 (BetRivers):
Chesson Hadley had a strong season in 2021-2022, and he’s off to a nice start this season as well. He finished 37th in a pretty strong Shriner’s field and more importantly gained 3.0 strokes on approach.
Hadley played this event in 2020 and was impressive, finishing in 16th place. He ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach in his past 24 rounds and is the type of player who can get scorching hot on Bermudagrass greens. He’s gained more than 7.0 strokes with the putter seven times in his career, and all seven of those performances came on Bermudagrass greens.
In an event where the best putters have risen to the top, I’ll take the guy who has an enormously high ceiling in that department.
Scott Piercy +9000 (BetRivers)
Scott Piercy had a commanding lead at the 3M Open before a devastating Sunday collapse. As painful as it was to watch, he played some excellent golf to get himself into contention over the first three rounds of the event.
Piercy played Port Royal Golf Club back in 2020 and had a strong performance, finishing in 14th place. It’s no surprise that he played well at the course since he has a strong short game (fourth in the field in the past 24 rounds) and can make birdies in bunches (10th in the field in Birdie or Better past 24 rounds).
Piercy also has some success on similar courses in the past. He won the 2015 Barbasol Open at RTJ Trail (Grand National), which was a Robert Trent Jones design as well. He also has a second-place finish at the Sony Open, which is another coastal resort type of course.
He’s hard to trust when he gets in contention, but he’s a better player in this field than the odds suggest.
Akshay Bhatia +25000 (DraftKings)
While he had an up and down season last year on the Korn Ferry Tour, I still believe Akshay Bhatia is a future star. Still just 20 years old, the North Carolina native won the 2019 Jones Cup, was the top ranked junior in the country and was the first high-schooler ever to become a member of the winning United States Walker Cup team in 2019.
He managed to win his first start on the KFT last year at the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay. His ability to win on a coastal resort course that can play pretty difficult should aid him in his efforts to contend in Bermuda.