Butterfield Bermuda Championship: Best Bets, Daily Fantasy Golf Picks, Course Key Stats, and Win Simulations
A week after a stellar field with a no-cut setup, the PGA Tour's fall season swings more toward the usual suspects for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course.
Let's dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Port Royal Golf Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 6,828 (short: ~500 yards longer than the average par 71)
Fairway Width: 2.8 fairway acre/1,000 yard ratio (narrow; PGA average is 4.2)
Average Green Size: 6,000 (average: 98% of PGA Tour average)
Green Type: Bermuda
Past 5 Winning Scores: -15, -15, -24
Past 5 Cut Lines: E, +1, -2
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (emphasis on Driving Accuracy), Strokes Gained: Putting, Birdie or Better, Adjusted Strokes Gained (to account for international players without PGA Tour samples)
Heavy winds have kept the winning scores and overall scoring down from what we saw initially for this event, which took a -24 score to get the win. Last year, there was actually a five-minute delay due to the wind.
We don't know exactly what leads to scoring here due to a lack of ShotLink data, but we do at least know that the short course and narrower-than-average fairways lead to a de-emphasis on driving distance. That said, golfers who finish well here either excel in fairways hit that week -- or gain distance. So, that's why I'm going strokes gained: off the tee.
The winner last year, Lucas Herbert, ranked 59th in greens in regulation, though, so it's possible to putt the lights out here and get a win, but the long-term sample is good for those who can simply hit the greens in regulation.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
The best strokes gained averages among golfers with at least two of three starts include:
- Brian Gay (+2.98: 3rd, 1st, 12th)
- Russell Knox (+2.07: 11th, 16th, 12th)
- Peter Malnati (+2.02: 21st, 7th)
- Kramer Hickok (+1.90: 15th, 8th, 30th)
- David Hearn (+1.90: 8th, 8th, 39th)
- Denny McCarthy (+1.82: 15th, 4th, 39th)
- Hank Lebioda (+1.70: 3rd, 16th, cut)
- Seamus Power (+1.32: 31st, 37th, 12th)
- Ryan Armour (+1.32: 8th, 8th, 67th)
The only past winner in the field is Brian Gay (2021 season).
Win Simulations for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds this week at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship
The two favorites -- Denny McCarthy and Seamus Power -- are close to fair values. My model has McCarthy at 17/1 instead of 16/1 and Power at 21/1 instead of 20/1. I don't mind starting the card with either of them and would likely just lean McCarthy.
The best top-10 bets are McCarthy (+230), Adam Long (+490), and Ben Griffin (+1200).
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship
All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Denny McCarthy (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | Golf betting odds: +1600) - The favorite in my simulation model, McCarthy has a pretty noticeable edge on the rest of the field based on the simulations, though it's not nearly as certain as we see with some favorites. He's in the 5% to 6% range; last week, Rory McIlroy was in the 13% range. Still, McCarthy won't be at a distance disadvantage at this course, given the setup, and he's the best golfer in the field in strokes gained: approach through putting. He's used that to make all three cuts here and has two straight top-15 results at this course.
Mark Hubbard ($11,600 | +2400) - Mark Hubbard is really good at golf but just isn't a long hitter (102nd in distance over the past 50 rounds even against this field). But he ranks seventh in strokes gained: ball-striking despite that lack of distance, primarily because he's seventh in strokes gained: approach. Hubbard is a plus in accuracy (1.4% over the field average in his past 50 rounds), and he has some decent win equity in the model, as well.
Others to Consider:
Thomas Detry ($11,700 | +1600) - Long off the tee (9th) and a great putter (6th); that's an upside combo at a course that can be overpowered.
Aaron Rai ($10,400 | +2800) - Hyper accurate (1st) and 15th in ball-striking; T20 at Shriner's and T36 at ZOZO this season.
Robby Shelton ($10,200 | +3300) - Ranks 16th in approach, 5th around the green, and 13th in putting; 21st, 61st, and 15th to start the season.
Adam Long ($10,000 | +5000) - With a balanced build, we can get some pretty interesting names in our lineups this week. That would include, for me, Adam Long. Long is ninth in total strokes gained average over the past 50 rounds. He's putting really well, but that's sort of his game. He also is one of the more accurate drivers (13th) in the field, and a lack of distance (103rd) will negatively impact a lot of ball-striking stats over the long-term. He's ultimately 15th in strokes gained: approach despite the length problems.
Chesson Hadley ($9,600 | +6000) - Hadley's game is predicated on two key stats: strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: putting. Those are the two stats in which you can gain the most strokes in a week, so it's a high-upside combination. Unfortunately for Hadley, he has been on the wrong end of variance to start the season (cut, cut, T37). However, that comes with great iron play in two of those starts, and with the distance angle this week (that can help but isn't a must), he should be more neutral off the tee and thus get a boost elsewhere.
Others to Consider:
Will Gordon ($9,900 | +4200) - Three top-fives (including a win) in final five Korn Ferry events last year; T36, T30, T44 with good ball-striking on PGA Tour this season.
Michael Gligic ($9,500 | +6000) - Missed two of three cuts this year but had bad putting; T53 and T11 at Port Royal in his career.
Doug Ghim ($9,300 | +6500) - 30th in T2G and 11th in accuracy; should be a good fit for him; T14 here last year.
Sam Ryder ($8,800 | +5500) - I like Sam Ryder often, and I'll be there this week. He's 11th in approach and 28th in putting over the past 50 rounds, and that comes with 31st-ranked accuracy off the tee. Ryder has gained strokes from approach play in four straight events, yet those haven't led to any top-25s. Put that level of ball-striking in a field like this, and it should lead to better results.
Nate Lashley ($8,500 | +9500) - Lashley doesn't excel at any particular stat (aside from sitting 15th in accuracy), but he's the only golfer to rank top-40 in both strokes gained: ball-striking and strokes gained: short-game. That's a pretty tame cutoff, but the point here is that there isn't a lot of balance in this field; it's more specialists. Lashley's all-around game has some appeal as a risk/reward option at $8,500.
Others to Consider:
Ryan Armour ($8,800 | +6500) - Put him on the menu when accuracy off the tee can work (2nd); 53rd in T2G the past 50 rounds.
Austin Cook ($8,000 | +12000) - Is 122nd in distance but 36th in accuracy; ultimately, he's 13th in strokes gained: approach through putting.