DFS Dish: Butterfield Bermuda Championship

DFS Dish: Butterfield Bermuda Championship
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Most of the superstars are on the sidelines or playing overseas this week but the DFS show goes on as the PGA Tour travels to Southampton for the Bermuda Championship, at Port Royal Golf Course.

We have four years of this course hosting the event so there is course history we can lean on this week when making our DFS selections. However, there are always new faces seeing the course for the first or second time, so let’s take a peek at some course-fit stats to see who might take an instant liking to the coastal layout.

Short-Course Stars

Port Royal Golf Course is just 6,828 yards from the tips. That is more than 400 yards shorter than the average length of a course on the PGA Tour.

“There’s a lot of shorter holes where if you drive it well, you can have wedges and even some chip shots in.” -Russell Knox in 2019

“It’s one of the shorter ones we play on the Tour and it forces everybody to hit the ball with the same clubs off the tee because there’s cross bunkers and hazards in certain places.” -Brendon Todd in 2019

When playing on shorter tracks, it removes some of the distance advantage while also shifting the approach-shot emphasis to the wedge bucket.

Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round when playing on short courses, over the last two years:

  • Adam Scott
  • Brendon Todd
  • Alex Noren
  • Mark Hubbard
  • Taylor Pendrith
  • Lucas Herbert
  • Thomas Detry
  • Lucas Glover
  • Alex Smalley
  • Martin Laird
  • Ben Griffin
  • Davis Riley
  • Luke List
  • Troy Merritt
  • Kevin Yu

We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:

  • Chris Baker
  • Peter Kuest
  • Kevin Yu
  • Ryan Moore
  • Kelly Kraft
  • Martin Laird
  • Satoshi Kodaira
  • Mark Hubbard
  • Taylor Pendrith
  • Ryan Gerard
  • Lucas Glover
  • Andrew Novak
  • Brendon Todd
  • Peter Malnati
  • Harry Hall

Overlap List: Names that show up on both lists include Brendon Todd, Mark Hubbard, Taylor Pendrith, Lucas Glover, Martin Laird, and Kevin Yu.

As you may notice from the list, most of these names are good drivers but not all of them get it done in the same manner. To succeed on short courses you are likely a straight shooter who capitalizes on your wedge play and short game or you are a masher who can become more accurate by using less club on some of the tee boxes while also capitalizing with distance when the weather or course allows for it.

Past Champ Todd with a no-pressure stroll

The straight shooter finished 47th in the FedExCup standings this season. So, he had no need to play in the fall but this will be his second start of the series. His other one resulted in a solo sixth finish at the Fortinet Championship. The fact that he’s showing up this week tells us that he either likes the sponsor or likes the course. Given he’s a past champ at Port Royal, we know he likes the layout. He joins Lucas Glover as the only two golfers in the field this week who finished Top 50 in the FedExCup this season, so both of them are just free-wheeling this week in Bermuda.

Pendrith’s got his groove back

The big-hitting Canadian was one of the most consistent week-to-week performers in 2022 but couldn’t replicate that in 2023. Pendrith settled for finishes outside of the top 40 in 20 of his 27 regular season starts. He’s flipped a switch in recent weeks though, securing a T-3 finish in Las Vegas and followed that up with a T-15 last week in Mexico. You wouldn’t expect his distance to be heavily rewarded at a short track but as you can see from the overlap list above, short setups have been very kind to him. That includes a T-5 finish here in his only previous attempt (2021).

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