Seamus Power, Erik van Rooyen, Charley Hoffman and 2019 champion Brian Gay will be among the notables reviewed in Draws and Fades.
This is the fourth edition of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Port Royal Golf Course has been its only host. It’s situated on the western perimeter of the British territory. Like most (all?) things in Bermuda, it can’t hide from the wind, so that’s the primary defense on the par 71.
When Port Royal debuted in 2019, there was barely a sea breeze in the final round, but the wind machine has been flipped on since, and it will again be as you’d expect in these climes at this time of the year. Sustained winds up to 20 mph at times are forecast. With an elevated chance for rain and even boomers, this projects to be the toughest edition for scoring. In other words, the elements are going to allow par to have value at Port Royal.
Scoring averages of the last two editions have straddled both sides of par by a quarter-stroke. Last year’s checked in at 70.764. Objectively, lower ball flights keep intended flight paths below the invisible challenge, but Port Royal still is short enough that drivers are luxuries, not necessities. At just 6,828 yards, with greens average in size and putting surfaces rolling no longer than 10½ feet on the Stimpmeter (in fair conditions), the target to contend still is double digits under par.
ShotLink isn’t utilized on the island, so as was the norm before lasers were introduced to PGA TOUR a generation ago, only two holes in opposite directions are used to measure distance off the tee in this tournament – the par 5 second and the par-4 12th. Last year’s field average among all measured drives of 268.3 yards was the shortest among all courses all season. Even on a short, exposed track, that’s the wind acting as a wall. For the sake of historical comparison, it opened at an average of 306.7 yards in primarily pristine conditions in 2019.
If you want to try to have a laugh at the cost of a neighbor, ask what type of grass blankets Port Royal. Yucks aside, the rough isn’t entirely bermuda, in fact; it blends with zoysia. Just as it has been throughout the brief history of this competition, the longest of it is two inches.
Bermuda is situated one hour ahead of Eastern Time in the United States, so adjust your monitoring of the tournament accordingly.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Draws & Fades
WEDNESDAY: Pick ‘Em Preview
SUNDAY: Medical Extensions, Qualifiers, Reshuffle
* – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.