Butterfield Bermuda Championship: In-depth PGA Tour preview with strokes gained data, players to watch and more

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It’s officially that time of year for golf fans. The game’s stars are on vacation and the venues are, let’s just say mediocre compared to other PGA Tour stops throughout the season. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t win some money at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship this week.

Last season, Brian Gay broke a winless drought going back to 2013. The then 48-year-old beat Wyndham Clark in a playoff to kick off a year that saw several over-40 players hoist a trophy.

But on the bright side this week, we’re in Bermuda. The weather should be beautiful, the vibes should be right, let’s a have week.

Golf course

  • Port Royal GC

  • Par 71

  • 6,828 yards

  • Robert Trent Jones design

  • Bermuda greens

Weather

Day

Conditions

Percent chance of rain

Wind & Direction

Tuesday

Showers

90 percent

25 MPH (SSW)

Wednesday

AM Thunderstorms/Wind

72 percent

28 MPH (WSW)

Thursday

PM Showers/Wind

39 percent

26 MPH (W)

Friday

Mostly Cloudy

12 percent

14 MPH (W)

Saturday

Scattered Thunderstorms

57 percent

16 MPH (SSW)

Sunday

Thunderstorms

82 percent

18 MPH (SW)

Key stats

Driving accuracy is going to be incredibly important for everyone in the field looking to make a run at the title. The rough around this track can be pretty tough to get out of, so target accurate players.

Some players love Bermuda greens, some hate ’em. This week, you have to love them. The grain can make putting a nightmare, so targeting players who putt well on these kinds of surfaces will be a great place to start.

Data Golf information

Course Fit (compares golf courses based off the degree to which different golfer attributes — such as driving distance — predict who performs well at each course – DataGolf): 1. LaCantera GC, 2. PGA West (Palmer course), 3. The Concession Golf Club

Trending (among the players in the field): 1. Hayden Buckley (last 3 starts: MC, T-4, T-8), 2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (T-58 (Korn Ferry Tour), 3 (KFT), 5 (Euro Tour)), 3. Seamus Power (T-31, MC, T-21)

Percent chance to win (based on course history, fit, trending, etc.): 1. Matthew Fitzpatrick (6.2 percent), 2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (4 percent), 3. Seamus Power (3.6 percent)

Betting odds

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds a full list.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1200)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+1500)

Patrick Reed (+2000)

Mito Pereira (+2000)

Seamus Power (+3000)

Adam Hadwin (+3000)

Chad Ramey (+3000)

Hayden Buckley (+3000)

Daniel Willett (+4000)

Russell Know (+4000)

Players to watch

Matthew Fitzpatrick: I hate highlighting the betting favorite, but it’s hard not to love Fitzpatrick this week. At the impossible Valderrama a few weeks ago in Spain, Fitzpatrick took home the trophy. Despite his continued success on the European Tour, he’s yet to win on the PGA Tour.

This golf course has broken winless droughts in two straight seasons, so Bermuda may be the perfect place for Fitzpatrick to finally break down the door.

The Englishman hit 68.37% of fairways last season, ranking 17th on Tour. On the Bermuda greens at Bay Hill, Fitzpatrick has finished inside the top 10 in three straight appearances at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Data Golf likes Concession as a course comparison this week, and at the WGC Workday Championship last season (played at Concession), Fitzy finished T-11.

Last thing, if it blows like it’s projected to, I like Fitz even more. He rises to the occasion in the worst conditions.

Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters
Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters

Matthew Fitzpatrick of England poses with the trophy after winning The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club Valderrama on October 17, 2021 in Cadiz, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Hank Lebioda: Lebioda is having a rough start to the new season, with MCs at the Fortinet Championship and Shriners Children’s Open (despite being under par in both events before missing the weekend). Quick note on missed cuts: Todd missed four of five cuts leading up to his win here a few years ago.

The key for Lebioda this week will be finding fairways, as he’s only hit 50% so far this season. However, he ranked inside the top 50 last year on Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach, so if he finds the short grass he should be able to capitalize.

He’s on my list, primarily, due to course history. Back in 2019, he finished T-3, and last season grabbed a top 20 (T-16).

+5000 to win.

Hank Lebioda hits his tee shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament. (Photo: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)

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