Next on the PGA TOUR schedule is the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, which will be played at Port Royal Golf Course (par 71, 6,828 yards, Bermuda greens) in South Hampton, Bermuda. This track has been the home of the Bermuda Championship ever since the event debuted in 2019. All four of the winners at Port Royal have shot 15-under or better, and the defending champion of this tournament is Seamus Power, who finished 19-under a year ago, but will unfortunately not be defending his title this week due to a hip injury.
Port Royal is a very short par 71 that is home to large Bermuda greens, 87 bunkers and water in play on seven holes. The course’s biggest defense is the coastal winds, but with a very calm and pleasant forecast for this week’s Bermuda Championship, we should see ideal scoring conditions and some very low numbers. Any length of player can contend at Port Royal, and catching fire with both your irons and flat stick is essential if you want to win at this course, with three of the four victors at this venue finishing the event top-15 in both GIR and putts per round.
Additionally, we need to be prioritizing elite par-4 players, with all four of the champions at Port Royal ranking top-five in par-4 efficiency during their wins. Specifically, six of the 11 par 4s at this par 71 fall between 350-400 yards, making golfers who are efficient on this length of hole great targets. Of the four players to win the Bermuda Championship, only one didn’t lead their field or finish runner-up in efficiency on the 350-400-yard par-4s of Port Royal.
Only two of the top 50 ranked golfers in the world are making the trip to Bermuda this week, but this is an important tournament, with the Bermuda Championship being the second to last event of the 2022-23 season. Following next week’s RSM Classic, only the top 125 players in FedEx Cup Fall standings will earn their PGA TOUR cards for the 2024 season beginning in January, so targeting golfers hovering around the bubble is a sharp strategy.
This is a slightly limited field of 132 players, but there will still be a standard top-65 and ties cut following the first 36 holes. Below, I dive into four of my favorite DraftKings value plays for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship that all cost less than $7.5K.
Patton Kizzire ($7,400) – Kizzire shined at the World Wide Technologies Championship last week, carding a T15 finish, marking his third made cut in his last four starts. The veteran impressively posted a nine-under 63 during the third round – which was one stroke shy of tying the lowest score for the week – and finished the tournament sixth in greens found and eighth in par-4 efficiency.
This will be Kizzire’s debut at Port Royal, but he should be very motivated to contend this week, with him sitting in 126th in the FedEx Cup Fall standings - as noted above, only the top 125 after next week will earn their PGA TOUR cards for next season. More importantly, Kizzire has a true knack for birdie-fests at tropical courses and is a sensational match for Port Royal. The 37-year-old has won twice on the PGA TOUR, first finishing 19-under at the 2017 OHL Classic in Mexico and then 17-under at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Russell Knox ($7,300) – Knox boasts one of the best course resumes at Port Royal, never missing a cut in four appearances at the par 71, including three finishes inside the top 16. Returning to Bermuda in convincing form this week, the Scottish professional is a safe bet to advance through cut, and has top-20 upside if his putter can come alive on these Bermuda greens at Port Royal that he knows very well.
Knox has made nine of his last 12 cuts – including three finishes inside the top 33 - and ranks second in SG: Approach and eighth in 350-400-yard par-4 efficiency over his past 24 rounds, setting him up perfectly for his return to Port Royal. To put a cherry on top, Knox should be highly motivated to produce a quality finish this weekend, with him sitting 143rd in the FedEx Cup Fall standings.
Austin Smotherman ($7,300) – Sitting 130th in the FedEx Cup Fall standings, Smotherman is another golfer who needs to close out the fall swing strong if he wants to earn his full-time status for next season, and is a terrific target this week. The 29-year-old finished T23rd at last year’s Bermuda Championship and returns to Port Royal on the heels of a T23 at the World Technologies Championship. During this finish, Smotherman shot under par in all four of his rounds, including a eight-under 64 on Sunday, which marks his lowest score on the PGA TOUR since April.
Smotherman has now finished T35th or better in three of his past five starts and ranks eighth in BOB% over his last 24 rounds. The elite birdie maker should thrive at the scoreable Port Royal and is a steal at this low salary.
Kelly Kraft ($7,200) – Kraft missed the weekend in his lone start at Port Royal three years ago, but is in far better form now and needs to be attacked at this cheap price tag. The course manager has made six cuts in a row, with have of these finishes being top-33 results. In fact, Kelly has only failed to make the cut twice in his past 11 starts.
Ranking 11th in SG: Approach and second in 350-450-yard par-4 efficiency across his last 24 rounds, Kraft fits Port Royal like a glove and should at the minimum make the cut this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.