It’s that time of the year again as the calendar starts to wind down to the end of 2021. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to make their mark on the PGA Tour to step up and grab the brass ring.
The 2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship will be held this week in, of course, Bermuda at the Port Royal Golf Course.
Now while the tournament is being held in this little slice of paradise, it’s going to be anything but business as usual for the PGA Tour players on hand. This is one of a handful of events during the year where no-names or those fringe players get the chance to step up.
The reason? Lack of star power.
If you’re looking for a star-studded field to back at the betting windows or on your mobile app, this isn’t the week. Not by a longshot.
It’s holiday time for a majority of those in the top 50 of the world rankings. In fact, just three in that category are taking part: Patrick Reed (24), Matthew Fitzpatrick (26) and Christiaan Bezuuindenhout (43). Many of the top Tour players won’t make their next appearance until early in 2022.
So that opens the floodgates for those hoping to move into that category to make hay while the big boys relax in the sun without their golf clubs.
Brian Gay, the winner here last year, snapped an eight-year winless drought. Let’s see who might be the next one to snap a winless drought…or win for the first time.
Odds To Win The 2021 Bermuda Championship by FanDuel
- Matthew Fitzpatrick +1000
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout +1400
- Patrick Reed +1800
- Mito Pereira +2000
- Seamus Power +2200
- Danny Willett +2700
- Hayden Buckley +2700
- Adam Hadwin +3100
More Questions Than Answers
This is one of those weeks where putting up names of the whole field on a dartboard and throwing a couple of darts to pick the winner might be the best plan of attack.
The tournament is that wide open.
We aren’t sure who’s coming in hot. And we have no reason to feel more than a dozen players have been in the hunt before and can handle the pressure of a PGA Tour event down the stretch on Sunday.
With that in mind, there are a couple of players who do stick out as possibilities…without having to throw those darts.
Keep An Eye On Last Year
We know…we talked about snapping a winless drought or winning for the first time. But what we are going to concentrate on this time is a repeat winner.
We’re going to give Gay, at an impressive +8000, a chance to repeat. The PGA Tour hasn’t had a titleholder defend his crown since 2019 when Brooks Koepka went back-to-back at the PGA Championship. Since 2011, 11 players have successfully defended a title including Koepka twice as he also went back-to-back at the 2017-2018 U.S. Opens.
With the limited star power in this week’s event, there’s certainly the chance Gay can join the group.
Gay finished strong last year as he carded a final round 64 to get into the playoff and then birdied the first hole for the win.
He’s not coming in on a roll as he’s started the 2021-2022 wraparound season with a missed cut and a WD.
But this field is so wide open that a few days in paradise and fond memories of hoisting the trophy last year can do wonders for anyone’s game and mindset.
And that includes a player like Gay who comes in this week at No. 382 in the world rankings.
Longshots Galore…Picking One No Easy Task
If bettors look down the sports betting list, two things stick out: One, there are a lot of huge betting numbers to be had…if your pick happens to come in. And two, there are more than a couple of names on the list that even hard-core bettors haven’t heard of and that’s troubling for the fact that as the old quote goes, ‘On any given day…”
With that in mind, we’re going to check out Ryan Armour at +5000. Sure, it’s another long shot but like in horseracing, if you’re in the field, you’ve got a chance.
Armour was T-8 last year but dropped six spots in the final round despite the fact he carded a closing 69.
The reason we like Armour is because he seems to play solid every time he’s gotten the chance to tee it up on the PGA Tour. Granted, that’s not been as often as he’d like, but if they give you the chance to play, it’s weeks like this that can turn a player’s life upside down…and in a great way.
And Then There’s The ‘X’ Factor
Sometimes you just can’t overlook the obvious.
This week that obvious pick is one of the top-ranked players in the field, Patrick Reed at +1800.
But, here’s the problem with this pick: Reed is in one of those states of mind right now that this week can either be great for him and he wins or he slams the trunk on Friday after a missed cut.
He wasn’t picked for the Ryder Cup team and that had to hurt. He’s also had two starts in this wraparound season, both of them in Vegas. He missed the cut at the Shriners event and was 68th in the CJ Cup outing (where there was no cut).
Which Reed will show up this week in Bermuda? That’s the million-dollar question. Or, in this case, the $720,000 question which is the winner’s share this week.
Like we said earlier, it’s a wide-open field in a little slice of paradise so why not look at the guy who is looking down on the rest of the field…at least rankings-wise.