After being spoiled with top-flight fields for the last two weeks at the ZOZO and CJ Cup, it would be natural to cringe a bit when you checked the pricing on DraftKings and FanDuel. We go from the top players in the world to a field lead by Brendon Todd at $11,100 on DK. It will definitely be an interesting week to see how players build in an uncertain field, and names at the top we are used to seeing in the middle at best.
Our team of experts has done a great job putting together the below previews and they will go a long way to helping you prepare for this week.
I, for one, am happy to be back to a traditional event with a cut, add to it some potential weather, and despite the field we may be able to find an edge this week in Bermuda. My biggest key this week will be finding ball strikers as those will be the players that hold up the best in the anticipated high winds, and Brendon Todd has shown us the key to Port Royal Golf Course, is fairways and greens.
Doc Redman ($10,400 DK/$10,900 FD)
I will be dropping down to Doc Redman to start a majority of my lineups this week. He will be a popular choice but for me he is one of my favorite plays up top. His ball striking in elite, and he has rounded that into form over his last several events where he has gained strokes in each of his last three events both off the tee and on approach. Redman also shows a tendency to putt better on the bermudagrass surfaces he will see in this event.
I like to target Doc in lower scoring events like we should see this week if the weather doesn’t completely blow things up, and he has shown the ability to contend in those setups. To me, it’s just matter of time before this young player breaks through for his first win on TOUR and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it happens in an event like this.
Emiliano Grillo ($10,100 DK/$11,400 FD)
My strategy this week will be to build with two of the top players, and try to grab the value guys as some will inevitably be in contention in this type of field. Emiliano Grillo will be my second player at the top end. He’s been in great form, and really close to breaking through for another win. He finished 3rd this summer at the 3M, and more recently he went into final rounds at both the Safeway and Corales within a couple shots of the lead before he struggling on Sunday.
We all know the issue for Grillo is on the greens and I don’t have any stat that is going to make you more comfortable with that, but the guy is simply elite with his ball striking and I think this could be a week where he can win by simply being average with his putter. I’ll take that chance and hope that maybe the wind may help blow some putts in for Emiliano this week.
Henrik Norlander ($8,900 DK/$10,600 FD)
If Brendon Todd provided the formula of fairways and greens last year, then Henrik Norlander would be a natural follow from that standpoint. SInce the return from the COVID break, Norlander ranks 2nd in the field in both fairways and greens gained over that time frame. He really is a bit of a mirror image to Todd’s game where he is short but straight off the tee, and has shown to be a really strong putter on bermuda greens.
Norlander has been absolutely boom or bust to start the new season with two missed cuts, and a 4th. He finished just 58th his last time out at the Shriners, but it was great to see his ball striking come into form where he gained three strokes on the field. He’s the epitome of a GPP play with his up and down nature, but the combo of improving form and a course that seems to fit has me buying into Norlander this week, especially on DraftKings.
Pat Perez ($8,000 DK/$10,000 FD)
Another fit for my ball striking formula this week is Pat Perez. He comes in showing great form with his tee-to-green play, but having missed a couple of cuts being lost with the flat stick. In his last two events, he’s lost more than seven strokes on the greens causing him to miss both cuts despite gaining nearly 5 strokes in those tee-to-green. Perez also had some good results to lean on prior to those Friday trunk slams as he finished 6th at Safeway and 21st in Corales.
Overall it’s been a good start to the new season for Pat Perez and I expect his ball striking to be able to carry him through this week. Add to it that he’s a much better putter on bermudagrass greens, and we may find him in contention this weekend at Port Royal GC.
Anirban Lahiri ($7,400 DK/$8,900 FD)
It was a longer break for Anirban Lahiri than most other TOUR golfers as he was in India unable to play when the PGA TOUR restarted back in June. His break ended up lasting more than 5 months, when he finally returned to tournament golf in mid-August as the Wyndham Championship. Following that event, he returned again at the start of the new season making the cut at the Safeway, then getting in contention over the weekend and ultimately finishing 6th at Corales.
Lahiri was one of the early interviews today, and noted that he really likes this course, having played it last year before being forced into an injury withdrawal during the third round. He commented that the setup is one that is familiar to him and some of the grass surfaces he feels most comfortable. He also noted that he considers himself a strong wind player, and I am going to buy into what he is selling in all aspects. We know Lahiri has the talent and he’s shown good form, so I’ll take plenty of shares at prices where the options are starting to get uncomfortable.
Branden Grace ($6,900 DK/$9,300 FD)
As I mentioned above, we are getting into price levels where you just have to close your eyes and click. I really don’t have much I can sell you on here with Branden Grace other than that when he is on, he should be a fit for this course. He is also quite a bit more accomplished than everyone else around him, especially on DraftKings.
He doesn’t come in with much form having missed his last three cuts between the PGA and European Tours, but his pedigree has me willing to take a chance. He’s a player that has been in contention in multiple majors, and bigger tournaments. Grace also has a track record of navigating well in wind, which I think can be a great value this weekend. I’m taking a gut play that he finds a way to put it together enough this week to pay off this low price tag.
Chris Baker ($6,500 DK/$8,700 FD)
My final pick is a similar play to Henrik Norlander, as Chris Baker fits the same mold of short and straight with an ability to hit greens. Baker ranks 4th in fairways and 17th in greens in this field since the restart, and has shown he is a strong ball striker since the end of last season. He closed the season with four consecutive events where he gained strokes on the fields both off the tee and on approach, which culminated in his best finish of the year with a 20th at Wyndham.
I am simply looking for a cut maker at this price for the Bermuda Championship and the numbers I outlined above show the best stability in a completely unstable range. I’ll be finishing with Baker in a bunch of my builds that involve multiple top end players with the hope he finds the weekend and does enough to help round out those lineups.