Steve Bamford Golf Tips

Steve Bamford's Bermuda Championship Tips 2020

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Congratulations if you were on-board Patrick Cantlay at 28/1 last week. I couldn’t get to him when it came to my selections, but a final round 67 at Shadow Creek provided the momentum he needed for a challenge at Sherwood Country Club. Whilst Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm faltered on Sunday, Cantlay in the second-to-last group shot -8 across the first 15 holes to have enough of a cushion. Justin Thomas made it 6 of the last 7 tournaments where this column had a 36-hole or 54-hole leader. And yes none have converted yet! Thankfully Russell Henley at 45/1 scored a full each-way return to cover the week. He’s a serious tournament winner in the waiting, when he catches a solid week with the putter.

This week we move from California to the North Atlantic for the Bermuda Championship. It’s been promoted from an alternate event to a full PGA Tour event, offering up 500 FedEx Cup points, a full 2-year exemption, an invite to the 2021 Masters and a $4 million prize fund. So for those flying into Bermuda this week, all have the opportunity to grab a PGA Tour victory and, more importantly, full playing privileges until the close of season 2022/23, as Hudson Swafford did at the recent Corales Championship.

Before we talk the Bermuda Championship, the number of new visitors to Golf Betting System is increasing by the week, with The Masters the small matter of 2 weeks away. Welcome to you all and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published Tuesday) the Golf Betting Show on YouTube and our hugely popular private group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

paddy power Bermuda Championship – Featured Bookmaker:

Paddy Power are attacking this week’s Bermuda Championship and are offering a record-breaking 8 places each-way at 1/5 odds. 2019 saw them at 7 places each-way at 1/5 odds. That’s incredible value! If you haven’t already got a Paddy Power account then new customers can access a £/€20 risk-free bet which is refunded in CASH if it loses. 18+, T&Cs apply.

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✅ Paddy’s most popular new customer offer for Golf Betting System visitors
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship, US Open & Masters

Paddy Power New Customer Offer: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.

Course Guide: The tiny island of Bermuda has the biggest concentration of golf courses on the planet, with 7 courses packed into 21 square miles. The Bermuda Championship takes places at Port Royal Golf Course which has seen some high-level professional golf played upon it. This course hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 2009-2014, organised by the PGA of America, where the 4 reigning Major champions came here to compete in October. And 12 months ago the inaugural Bermuda Championship, which was an alternate event running beside the WGC-HSBC Champions, saw Brendon Todd triumph.

Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda: Designer: Robert Trent Jones 1970, with Roger Rulewich renovation 2009; Course Type: Coastal, Resort; Par: 71; Length: 6,828 yards; Holes with Water Hazards: 4; Bermuda; Rough: Bermuda with Zoysiagrass 2″; Greens: 6,000 sq.ft average TifEagle Bermudagrass; Tournament Stimpmeter 11ft.Scoring Average: 69.83 (-1.17), Difficulty Rank 28 of 41 courses.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Trent Jones designs include:

Trent Jones

  • Bellerive – 2018 PGA Championship
  • Hazeltine – 2009 PGA Championship
  • Firestone South – WGC Bridgestone Invitational
  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Club – 2015 Congressional Loans National
  • Highlands Course, Atlanta Athletic Club – 2011 PGA Championship
  • Valderrama – 2002 – 2008 Volvo Masters, 2010-11 Andalucía Masters, 2016 Open de Espana, 2017 – 2020 Andalucía Valderrama Masters

Course Overview: Port Royal Golf Course is a short Par 71 set on the Atlantic coastline of Bermuda. It has a 36/35 split, with the front 9 featuring a couple of reachable par-5s. The course reminds me a little of El Camaleon in Mexico, which we’ll be visiting in December for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, in the aspect that both are short and have contrasting elements to the course. Other players in the inaugural Bermuda Championship last year mentioned Plantation Course on Maui as a correlating course, not for length but purely for the undulations involved across the course. A tree-less Harbour Town was Boo Weekley’s assessment.

Here at Port Royal, the first 6 holes are played away from the coastline, protected partially against the wind, set in a low point. Most of the holes are guarded by trees earlier on, and it gives the appearance of a tropical inland golf course. With a genuine par-5 (2nd hole) and what in effect is a long par-4 (517 yards) playing as a par-5 (7th hole), this is the section of the course where scoring is essential, especially as there are 3 attackable par-4s as well. From the 7th green onwards through the 10th hole, the course opens out onto the coast, with no protection from the wind. This again is the case across the closing 5-hole stretch of the 14th through the 18th.

The back 9 has a couple of stretching par-3s (13th and 16th) both measuring 235 yards, with the 17th par-5 at 501 yards being a huge eagle opportunity if you can avoid the fairway bunkers and water all the way down the left-hand side.

From an overall perspective, players here mention huge elevation changes across the course and a number of isolated tee boxes. The course itself features Bermudagrass throughout and TifEagle Bermudagrass greens. When the PGA Grand Slam of Golf came here, the course also featured rough which was described as penal enough to cause problems with approach shots in terms of distance control. Jim Furyk describes this course back at the 2014 Grand Slam as not being about power; instead it’s a test where both course and wind management are critical.

And Jim was proved right when the PGA Tour visited here for the first time in 2019. The likes of Brendon Todd and Brian Gay mixed it with longer hitters such as Harry Higgs and Scottie Scheffler at the top of the leaderboard. All shapes and sizes can compete here, with Brendon and Scottie both firing course record 62s. With receptive greens and little rough, Todd won this by 4 shots at -24/260, but as ever with coastal golf, if the wind blows here, as forecast, the track gets tougher.

Winners: 2019: Brendon Todd (-24).

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are Charley Hoffman, Henrik Stenson, Brian Stuard, Scott Piercy, Pat Perez, Emiliano Grillo, Kelly Kraft, Luke List, Ryan Armour and Peter Malnati.

Recent Player Skill Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Tour Championship and Andalucía Masters, which includes PGA Tour and European Tour events. Rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Driving Accuracy: 1) Brendon Todd; 2) Johnson Wagner; 3) Ryan Armour / David Hearn / Henrik Stenson; 6) Vaughn Taylor; 7) Padraig Harrington; 8) Arjun Atwal; 9) Scott Piercy; 10) Chris Baker; 11) Bo Van Pelt / Tim Wilkinson; 13) Denny McCarthy / Seamus Power; 15) Ben Martin; 16) Brian Stuard; 17) Henrik Norlander / Kyle Stanley; 19) Brice Garnett; 20) Michael Gellerman; 21) Kramer Hickok; 22) Fabian Gomez / Harold Varner III; 24) Stewart Cink; 25) Rob Oppenheim.
  • Greens in Regulation: 1) Emiliano Grillo; 2) Cameron Percy; 3) Mark Anderson; 4) Justin Suh / Henrik Stenson; 6) Russell Knox / Patrick Rodgers; 8) Jason Dufner; 9) Ricky Barnes / Camilo Villegas; 11) Will Zalatoris; 12) Doc Redman / Bo Van Pelt; 14) Brandon Hagy; 15) Padraig Harrington; 16) Wesley Bryan / David Hearn; 18) Lucas Bjerregaard / Nelson Ledesma / Kristoffer Ventura; 21) Aaron Wise; 22) Pat Perez / Nick Watney; 24) Stewart Cink / Chase Seiffert.
  • Scrambling: 1) Doc Redman; 2) Doug Ghim; 3) Pat Perez / Henrik Stenson / Will Zalatoris; 6) Hank Lebioda; 7) Brendon Todd; 8) Fabian Gomez; 9) David Hearn; 10) Jonathan Byrd; 11) Padraig Harrington / Tim Wilkinson; 13) Bill Haas / Matt Jones / Anirban Lahiri / Brian Stuard; 17) Michael Gligic / Charley Hoffman; 19) Adam Schenk; 20) Denny McCarthy / Scott Stallings; 22) Maverick McNealy; 23) Ben Martin; 24) Wyndham Clark / Tyler McCumber.
  • Putting Average (Putts per GIR): 1) Wesley Bryan; 2) Harold Varner III; 3) Peter Malnati; 4) Tommy Gainey / Ben Taylor; 6) Cameron Tringale; 7) Ricky Barnes; 8) Rhein Gibson / Kristoffer Ventura; 10) Scott Harrington / Brendon Todd; 12) Anirban Lahiri; 13) Justin Suh; 14) Rafa Cabrera Bello; 15) Bronson Burgoon; 16) 16) Kelly Kraft; 17) Johnson Wagner; 18) Beau Hossler; 19) Cameron Percy; 20) Scott Piercy; 21) Andrew Putnam; 22) Danny Willett; 23) Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Padraig Harrington / Roger Sloan / Sepp Straka / Brian Stuard / D.J. Trahan.

Recent Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Tour Championship and Andalucía Masters, which includes PGA Tour and European Tour events. Players rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Padraig Harrington / Will Zalatoris; 3) Luke List; 4) Ryan Brehm; 5) Rasmus Hojgaard / Sepp Straka; 7) Michael Gligic; 8) Nelson Ledesma / Doc Redman; 10) Beau Hossler; 11) Patrick Rodgers; 12) Wyndham Clark / Kristoffer Ventura; 14) Scott Piercy; 15) Jason Dufner; 16) Johnson Wagner; 17) Charley Hoffman / Henrik Norlander; 19) Michael Gellerman / Tyler McCumber; 21) Vincent Whaley; 22) Chris Baker; 23) Jamie Lovemark; 24) Emiliano Grillo; 25) Wesley Bryan.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Ricky Barnes; 2) Nelson Ledesma / Justin Suh; 4) Ryan Blaum; 5) Doug Ghim; 6) Cameron Percy; 7) Mark Anderson / Emiliano Grillo / Will Zalatoris; 10) Scott Stallings; 11) Doc Redman; 12) D.J. Trahan; 13) Wesley Bryan;  14) Brendon Todd; 15) Henrik Stenson; 16) Harold Varner III; 17) Peter Malnati; 18) Russell Knox; 19) Scott Piercy / Camilo Villegas; 21) Rob Oppenheim; 22) Stewart Cink / Brian Stuard; 24) Troy Merritt; 25) Ryan Brehm.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Doug Ghim; 2) Rhein Gibson; 3) Adam Schenk; 4) Fabian Gomez; 5) Anirban Lahiri; 6) Hank Lebioda; 7) Joseph Bramlett; 8) Beau Hossler / Camilo Villegas; 10) Stewart Cink / Bo Hoag; 12) Josh Teater; 13) Wyndham Clark / D.J. Trahan; 15) Padraig Harrington / Michael Kim / George McNeill / Peter Uihlein / Kristoffer Ventura; 20) Wes Roach; 21) Danny Willett; 22) Ricky Barnes / Brandon Hagy / Jamie Lovemark; 25) Kevin Tway.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Nelson Ledesma; 2) Doug Ghim; 3) Ricky Barnes; 4) Justin Suh; 5) Padraig Harrington; 6) Doc Redman; 7) D.J. Trahan; 8) Will Zalatoris; 9) Mark Anderson; 10) Josh Teater / Harold Varner III; 12) Emiliano Grillo; 13) Sepp Straka; 14) Camilo Villegas; 15) Roger Sloan; 16) Wesley Bryan; 17) Ryan Brehm; 18) Pat Perez / Kristoffer Ventura; 20) Anirban Lahiri; 21) Adam Schenk; 22) Luke List; 23) Stewart Cink; 24) Rasmus Hojgaard / Kevin Tway.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Ben Taylor / Brendon Todd; 3) Peter Malnati; 4) Justin Suh; 5) Kristoffer Ventura; 6) Michael Gligic / Denny McCarthy; 8) Rhein Gibson / Cameron Tringale; 10) David Hearn; 11) Zack Sucher; 12) Andrew Putnam; 13) Johnson Wagner; 14) Brice Garnett; 15) Harold Varner III; 16) Rafa Cabrera Bello; 17) Danny Willett; 18) Hank Lebioda; 19) Stewart Cink; 20) Ryan Blaum / Cameron Percy; 22) Matt Jones; 23) Lucas Bjerregaard / Wesley Bryan; 25) Doug Ghim.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Justin Suh; 2) Doug Ghim; 3) Harold Varner III; 4) Ricky Barnes / Nelson Ledesma; 6) Peter Malnati; 7) Michael Gligic; 8) Kristoffer Ventura; 9) Padraig Harrington / Will Zalatoris; 11) Wesley Bryan; 12) Emiliano Grillo; 13) Doc Redman / Sepp Straka; 15) D.J. Trahan; 16) Ben Taylor / Brendon Todd; 18) Anirban Lahiri; 19) Cameron Tringale; 20) Roger Sloan; 21) David Hearn; 22) Aaron Baddeley / Stewart Cink / Beau Hossler; 25) Adam Schenk.

Winners & Prices: 2019: Todd 100/1. For a full summary of winner’s odds on the PGA Tour since 2010 click here.

Historical Weather:

  • 2019: Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 77. Wind E 12-22 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 78. Wind SE 10-18 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high of 79. Wind ESE 10-16 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 78. Wind NW 5-10 mph.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Southampton, Bermuda, is here. As you would expect with a tropical island in the north Atlantic, precipitation can be a feature here in Bermuda with tropical storms. And if forecasts are to be believed then the course should receive quite a deluge of rain on Monday, so I’m expecting cut in the fairways and receptive greens. The latter is almost assured on the PGA Tour these days, but with 25mph to 30mph south-westerly winds set for Friday and 20-25 mph winds forecast for the weekend’s play, expect soft greens. Temperatures will be a pleasant 23-25 degrees Celsius throughout.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of Bermuda winner Brendon Todd gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2019, Brendon Todd (-24). 303 yards (51st), 69.6% fairways (4th), 76.4% greens in regulation (10th), 82.4 % scrambling (4th), 1.55 putts per GIR (3rd).

So let’s take a view from players as to how the Port Royal Golf Course sets up and what skill sets the course favours:

Brendon Todd: I mean, this golf course is good for me. It’s one of the shorter ones we play on the Tour and it forces everybody to hit the ball with the same clubs off the tee because there’s cross bunkers in certain places. The good thing about that for me is, I’m hitting the same clubs into the greens as everybody else and for some reason that tends to work out well in my favour. So the course is good for me, for my game, and I’ve been swinging well. These greens are grainy, they’re a little bit slow, so you’re always kind of guessing whether it’s two balls or three balls, how hard to hit it. I think everybody’s battling it a little bit, but it’s also why the scores are low, it helps the ball stop close to the hole and you can ram a few in.”

Rob Oppenheim: “A lot of hills, for sure. You know, the wind makes this course, completely changes the course. I got here Monday, played and it was a complete different wind, so this course is very dictated by the wind direction and how much wind. So today it was, I think, the easier wind. It wasn’t up as much as it was the last two days, so you can see there’s some pretty good scores out there. And the greens are in great shape, so I  think it’s definitely, they’re receptive as well, so if you’re in the fairway, you can attack it.

Brian Gay: “It reminds me actually, walking around, kind of walking around Maui is what it reminds me of.”

Martin Kaymer: “There are a couple very difficult holes where you can really screw up, where you can make big numbers. When you take 16, for example. But I think when you play on that grass, that Bermuda grass, it’s very important to hit good tee shots. It’s very difficult to judge distances from the first cut, from the rough, so I think the key is really to hit as many fairways as possible. But again, tee shots and then give yourself as many chances as possible. The wind, we all know, is going to be a factor. Playing on an island, it’s not a big surprise. We all have done that in the past, we all know how that works.

Yeah, when you’re standing on that 10th tee box, you know the next four or five holes are going to be difficult, because there are some tricky tee shots, a lot of elevations as well, especially when you’re standing on the 11th fairway and you have to hit it down to the green. It’s very difficult to judge the yardage or to judge the wind more and therefore to judge the yardage. So the back nine, that’s definitely more challenging than the front nine. The first six, seven holes, they’re important that you take advantage of them, that you make at least two or three birdies. That helps for the back nine.”

Jim Furyk: “Not at all. 17th is very reachable for me. The 7th is an iron shot for me in for a second shot. The only hole that I might give up ground on, is No. 2. But, I just played the fives really poorly. I drove it bad on 7, I did hit a bad drive there. A bad second shot on 17. I hit a good bunker shot, missed the putt. Hit a bad wedge into No. 2. I had it laid up perfect. No, I didn’t take advantage of the 5’s, but it’s not really the yardage. Two of them are very, very short. They’re long par-4s, really. Then the second hole is not going to be reachable for me unless it gets real downwind. But, I need to do a little better job with my wedge game. It’s not a power, this golf course, power has nothing to do with playing well on this golf course. I realized those three are all very long, but they’re also very good at scoring. Bubba can hit a lot of shots and work it into the wind. Rory’s obviously able to do that, being the No. 1 player in the world. And Martin is a good ball-striker. So, the power isn’t part of it, but they can move the ball better than I did today.

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for Bermuda Championship winners:

  • 2019 – Brendon Todd: Round 1: 25th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the winners of the Bermuda Championship and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2019 – Brendon Todd: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 2 back.

Incoming form of winners:

  • Brendon Todd: 28th Houston/MC Shriners/MC Safeway/MC Sanderson Farms.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2019. For full first round leader stats click here.

  • 2019 – Scheffler -9/61 – AM Wave –  35/1

For the record, here’s the breakdown of Bermudagrass PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 4 – Bill Haas.
  • 3 – Brian Gay, Henrik Stenson.
  • 2 – Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Matt Every, Fabian Gomez, Scott Piercy.
  • 1 – Ryan Armour, Aaron Baddeley, Wesley Bryan, Jonathan Byrd, Tommy Gainey, Branden Grace, Padraig Harrington, Max Homa, Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Pat Perez, John Senden, Scott Stallings, Robert Streb, Brian Stuard, Brendon Todd, D.J. Trahan, Jhonattan Vegas, Nick Watney, Aaron Wise.

We only have one renewal of the Bermuda Championship to work from and that was played in very scoring-friendly conditions. What was apparent is that Port Royal does not discriminate. Long bombers such as Harry Higgs and Scottie Scheffler both led through points of the tournament, with Brian Gay and Brendon Todd their nearest pursuers. In the end a beautiful final round of 62 from Brendon Todd, decided the tournament. He was ranked 525th in the OWGR and his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour was at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic.

With no Strokes Gained Data, we have to work from the traditional statistics available. 6 of the top 10 finishers ranked in the top 10 for Driving Accuracy, and that’s a rarity on the PGA Tour. Todd, Gay (finished T3) and Lebioda (finished T3) ranked in the top 5 for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), Intriguingly of the players who finished in the each-way places (top 7) last year, 4 of them, namely Gay (40/1), Higgs (60/1) and 2 favourites Scheffler and Wise (both 20/1) ranked in the top 20 of my 8-week Putting Average (Putts per GIR) tracker that week.

My selections are as follows:

Justin Suh 1.5pts EW 40/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

Whilst the precocious talent of Will Zalatoris heads the market, I’m backing another hugely talented youngster: the ex-World Number 1 amateur Justin Suh who’s making waves as a professional.

An 8-time winner from 2017 through early 2019, that’s plenty more than the likes of Hovland, Morikawa and Wolff. Suh’s victories include the 2017 St Mary’s Invitational played at Poppy Hills Golf Club, Pebble Beach and the 2018 Amer Ari Invitational played at Waikoloa Beach Kings’ Course described as a Scottish links-style layout (in Hawaii!).

So Justin is already a winner of high-class amateur tournaments by the coast, and since the Covid resumption, the 23 year-old Californian has started to make waves in the professional ranks. 3 top-10 finishes on the PGA Latinoamerica Tour, 3 outings on the PGA Tour have generated 21st at the Barracuda Championship, 14th at the Corales Championship and 8th last time out at the Shriners Open, which featured a star-studded field.

He’s upwardly mobile and this youngster undoubtedly has talent as his 8-week tracker numbers highlight in abundance. In this field, he ranks 4th for Greens in Regulation and 13th for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), plus from a Strokes Gained perspective he ranks 2nd for Approach, 4th for Tee to Green, 4th for Putting and 1st for Strokes Gained Total. Playing here on the basis of his top 10 in Las Vegas, Suh is motivated to keep the momentum moving forward and at the price, I am more than happy to back him in this strength of field. RESULT: MC

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Peter Malnati 1.5pts EW 40/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

Peter Malnati is hot property right now and is playing some of the very best golf of his career.

An amazing putter, Malnati has hit one of those spots where the tee-to-green game has clicked. 9th (Sanderson Farms) and 7th (Shriners Open) for Strokes Gained on Approach, Peter as usual has putted lights-out, ranking 6th, 2nd and 26th for Strokes Gained Putting on his 3 recorded outings in season 2020/21 so far. And my initial thought, after 2nd and 5th place finishes in his last 2 outings, was that he’ll disappear into oblivion this week, but you know I’m not so sure. Remember Peter is a PGA Tour winner –  the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship – and back then he went 1st-10th-MC-6th. In the rare periods when he’s driving the ball straight and hitting his approaches well, Malnati is a definite handful.

And on the quiet, Peter plays very well by the coast. 6th (2016) at Kapalua, 12th (2020) at Waialae, 11th (2020) at Pebble Beach, 16th (2019) at Harbour Town, plus 15th (2014) and 10th (2015) at El Camaleon. If he was to win this week on his Bermuda Championship debut, it would be a true dagger to the heart, on the basis he’s so damn obvious right now. 6th in this field for Strokes Gained Total – effectively current form over the last 8 weeks, I like his chances on the TifEagle Bermudagrass greens of  Port Royal. RESULT: T21

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Henrik Norlander 1.5pts EW 40/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

Henrik Norlander has been playing some outstanding golf in 2020 and has undoubtedly powered many a DraftKings Fantasy Golf team. But I think he’s a decent betting proposition this week at a tournament which features Bermudagrass greens and is on the coast – 2 aspects Henrik clearly loves.

Up over 100 spots in the Official Golf Rankings so far over the past 11 months, the Swede has finished 5th at the RSM Classic, 9th at the Sony Open, 25th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, 12th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, 6th at The Memorial, 23rd at the 3M Open and 4th at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The 33 year-old is a bit of a late developer in terms of top-level golf, but the Augusta, Georgia educated and residing Swede has been stellar from tee to green for a while. Very much a steady tee-to-green man, Norlander already sits in the top 30 for Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation, and he was 8th and 13th for the same marks last season. The key is to try and work out when he putts half decently.

Now when you look at most of Norlander’s best efforts since his promotion to the PGA Tour in 2013, they tend to come on Bermudagrass greens. 2nd at Sea Island in 2016 saw him shoot -17/265 and lose in a 5 man play off to Mackenzie Hughes. And 3 of his last 4 top-10 finishes have come on Bermudagrass, again at Sea Island (5th), Waialae (9th) and the Country Club of Jackson (4th).

28th here last year when arriving off form of 45-MC-MC-MC-MC, I’d suggest the Swede will be arriving on Bermuda with masses more confidence. 4th at Sanderson Farms included a final round 65 which was tied-2nd best round on Sunday and on his last outing he shot 67-65 to sit 17th and 4 off the lead after 36 holes. Birdie-fests aren’t Norlander’s jam in my view, but plenty of wind this week and a mid-teen kind of winning total will be right up his street. RESULT: MC

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Scott Piercy 1pt EW 70/1 (5EW, 1/4) with bet365

12 months ago, both Scottie Scheffler (top 5 finish) and runner-up Harry Higgs landed on Bermuda, hitting the driver beautifully and making their fair share of putts. Both of those guys were rookies, but I see definite similarities with Scott Piercy who last time out in Las Vegas at the Shriners Open played some lovely golf. 1 Eagle and 21 Birdies with just 5 Bogeys was good enough for 19th spot and under the surface he’s been playing some okay golf.

An opening round 65 at TPC Boston saw Piercy 20th at halfway, where he finished 29th in a ‘Mini Major’ and he’s 4 across his last 5 in terms of cuts made. 1st for Strokes Gained on Approach and 7th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green at TPC Summerlin last time out, in this field Scott ranks 9th for Driving Accuracy, 20th for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), 14th for SG Off the Tee, 19th for SG on Approach and 26th for SG Tee to Green.

But like Brendon Todd last year, Piercy is an experienced sort, who seems to be finding form. A 4-time PGA Tour winner, 2 of which have been on Bermudagrass greens, Scott has a coastal golf record which appeals. 2nd at Waialae (2015) a course where he has earned over $1 million, 10th at Pebble Beach (2019), 3rd at Harbour Town (2019), plus 4th and 6th (2016 and 2018) at El Camaleon, Piercy has experience is abundance. And from a motivation perspective wins at the 2011 Reno Tahoe Open and the 2015 Barbasol Championship came at alternate events – which the Bermuda Championship effectively is.

With plenty of wind in the forecast, Scott also ranks 5th in this field on our wind play variable in this week’s Predictor Model. RESULT: T14

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Wesley Bryan 1pt EW 90/1 (5EW, 1/4) with bet365

Wesley Bryan is playing off of a Major Medical Extension and has earned 58 FedEx Cup points so far across his 2 season starts at the Safeway Open and Sanderson Farms Championship. That leaves another 224 points required across 15 further events to gain full PGA Tour status (282 points was 125th on the 2018-19 FedEx Cup points list). So Bryan is undoubtedly both focussed and in a hurry to get his card locked-up as quickly as possible.

12th last time out at the Country Club of Jackson was his best finish on the Tour since 12th at the 2018 St Jude Classic, powered by a Saturday 66 and Sunday 68. Indeed his weekend score of 134 was beaten only by Sergio Garcia and Peter Malnati, who finished 1st and 2nd at the Sanderson Farms Championship. So the Augusta, Georgia resident will hit Bermuda with undoubted momentum and I’m certain he’ll love the short coastal track, which features TifEagle Bermudagrass greens. Check Bryan’s record and his best performances have all been on shorter Par 70 or Par 71 set-ups and he loves TifEagle greens. His rookie PGA Tour season included 4th at PGA National, 7th at Copperhead and his superb win on the Atlantic coast at Harbour Town, point to the fact that this short-game specialist will love the challenge of Port Royal.

Statistically in this field across my 8-week trackers, he ranks very nicely for his price this week. 16th for Greens in Regulation and 1st for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), from a Strokes Gained perspective he also ranks 13th for Approach, 16th for Tee to Green, 23rd for Putting and 11th for Strokes Gained Total. RESULT: MC

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bet365 New Customer Offer: Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code SPORT100 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 17:00GMT 26.10.20 but naturally subject to fluctuation.fpre