Following on from trying to pinpoint the winner of this week’s event in Bermuda, it’s time to look at those players who perhaps don’t appeal as outright bets but who offer value as high-finishing options.
The big names in this field, of which there are only a few, really ought to give it a good shot, with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Patrick Reed, the only top-30 players in the line-up, likely to go close, but unfortunately, they offer little value outside of the outright market. The former rates as a +150 chance for a top 10 finish, while Reed can be had at a little over +230. Mito Pereira, who’s already been put up as the best bet to win this thing, catches the eye +260 for a top ten finish, though the value still lies elsewhere.
Who has Port Royal form in the book?
Before we get into the markets, let’s have a look at those who’ve done well at this venue before. 202 victor Brian Gay is the only previous winner in the field, and he also performed well here back in 2019, finishing third, so it’s probably fair to say that this a track that suits the Texan. Elsewhere, we have David Hearn, who played his way steadily to an eighth-place finish both in 2019 and 2020, so it would be little surprise if he was to feature prominently once more. Ryan Armour did the same, while Hank Lebioda and Kramer Hickok have both finished inside the top 20 in each of the two renewals of the Bermuda Championship.
Interestingly, there are only seven players in the field that have finished inside the top ten at this event before, and those are Brian Gay, Hank Lebioda, Kramer Hickok, Ryan Armour, David Hearn, Denny McCarthy, and Fabian Gomez.
Top 10 Finish
Russell Knox – 1 Unit @ +450
For me, at the current odds, there are three players that stand out as excellent top-ten bets, all of whom hail from the UK.
The first of which is Scotland’s Russell Knox, who has delivered a couple of reasonable efforts since the new season began, the best of which being a T29 finish at the Sanderson Farms, where he was only a couple of mishaps away from seriously challenging inside the top ten.
There’s plenty to like about Knox here, as this is a course where he’s twice played well, finishing 11th and 16th in his two appearances at Port Royal, while he also has a host of other promising finishes on similar coastal tracks, including Pebble Beach and Waialae. Such form bodes well, especially with the lack of top-tier talent in this field.
Danny Willett – 1 Unit @ +450
Second up is Danny Willett, who has gone through something of a renaissance period during the early weeks of the new season. A recent winner in Scotland on the European Tour, the Englishman delivered a pleasing display at the Shriner’s earlier this month, posting four sub-70 scores to finish in a tie for 21st at -14.
This will be Willett’s second appearance at the Bermuda Championship, and even though his first was somewhat underwhelming, finishing 55th, there’s reason to believe that he should be suited to the test. As each of the last two winners has shown, scrambling is important. Willett scrambled well at the Shriners, and though it’s early days, of those involved here, he ranks as the sixth-best scrambler on tour this season. The fact that only two players in this field have gained more strokes around the green this term also bodes well.
Arriving here off the back of a win and a T21 finish, Willett is clearly in a good place with his golf right now and, like Knox, the former Masters’ winner has a great opportunity to challenge at the top of a leaderboard that will contain very few big names.
Harry Hall – 1 Unit @ +650
Finally, Harry Hall gets the top-ten nod at what appears to be a generous +650. The 24-year-old may not be a name on everybody’s lips, mainly because he’s yet to play much golf at the highest level having been ticking along on the Korn Ferry Tour, where last season he ranked 21st in scoring average, not to mention 10th with the flatstick.
PGA Tour fans got a glimpse of what the youngster can do recently when he finished T8 at the Shriners. In Vegas, he posted four rounds of 68 or better and proved that he can tussle with some of the biggest names in the sport. His efforts at the Shriners mean that Harry Hall currently ranks as the 19th best player on the PGA Tour in terms of strokes gained: around the green, the fifth best for strokes gained: putting, and the fourth-best when it comes to strokes gained: total. Such numbers tell us that the man from Hayle, England is no back number in an event containing very few of the golfing elite.