Bermuda Championship 2020 picks: Why this former U.S. Amateur winner will earn his first pro win
After a good old-fashioned cold streak, our expert panel (Brandon Gdula specifically) got us back on the board at the Zozo Championship. Gdula gave out Patrick Cantlay at 30-1 in our Zozo column, and if you happened to tail him, we hope you celebrated accordingly on Sunday evening.
This week, we'll look to keep it rolling at the Bermuda Championship, which, judging by how the early portion of this season has gone, is primed to produce another longshot winner. Will Zalatoris and Brendon Todd are the favorites, but there is much better value as you make your way down the betting board.
Read on to see who we like this week at the Bermuda Championship.
Bermuda Championship 2020 picks: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions (Odds from DraftKings)
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Denny McCarthy (35-1) — Seems like he’s hitting it better and better, and we know he’s one of the best putters in the world, as the stats attest. That’s a big recipé for success at a short course where you’ll need to make a bunch of birdies.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Russell Knox (55-1) — His driver has been problematic, unfortunate for a guy who used to be an automatic fairway finder, but the irons have come alive again. He’s 10th in approach in the field over the past three months and his lack of distance off the tee won’t be a concern at such a short course. Plus, Scottish players in the wind is always welcome.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Harold Varner III (20-1) — Varner popped in my win simulations this week but can be bet at much better odds than either of the two co-favorites in Will Zalatoris and Brendon Todd. Varner leads this field in strokes gained/tee to green and is second in both strokes gained/off the tee and strokes gained/approach over the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour, according to FantasyNational.com. He’s not a good Bermuda putter, which is a concern, but he is trending up overall on the greens. If he keeps that going, he should contend.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Doc Redman (28-1) — In a field where many golfers are looking for their first victory, Redman feels the closest. He’s an excellent ball-striker, ranking inside the top 30 in strokes gained/off-the-tee and strokes gained/approach this season. Also, he’s notched T-3 finishes at both the Safeway Open and the Wyndham Championship. His game is maturing rapidly, and he keeps putting himself in position to find success. This could be the week he breaks through and hoists the trophy on Sunday evening.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Harold Varner III (20-1) — We launched a new “Spicy Takes/Spicy Nuggets” segment on our “Be Right” podcast (just begging for a Wendy’s sponsorship, just saying). HV3 winning by a couple strokes was my hot take, and to be honest, it’s not really that spicy. HV3’s ball-striking stats are so elite—Gdula already outlined them in his write-up—it’s just a matter of: A) putting and B) executing in the clutch. He’s been close a couple times, and I honestly think against this field, this could be HV3’s time.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Doc Redman (28-1) — I don't like anyone under 50-1 this week and fully expect a mega longshot to win. But if I had to bet one of these guys at the top, it's Redman, who has already knocked on the door a few times in the last year and a half. This could be a good breakthrough spot for him.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Doc Redman (28-1) — I could go on and on about why I like Redman this week, but I’ll keep it brief. He ranks third in strokes gained/tee-to-green and second for Opportunities Gained (how many opportunities he has inside 15 feet) over the past two months, per FantasyNational.com. Those two recent T-3s were also in much stronger fields. Usually his putting is a concern, but he gains strokes/putting on Bermuda greens long term.
Results from last season: Golf Digest's betting panel predicted 14 winners correctly last season, and collectively on outright winners, top-10 bets and matchups won and lost, our panel went up 225.30 units (the equivalent of being up $2,253 if you wagered $10 on all of our bets) last season. Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel correctly picked Patrick Cantlay last week at the Zozo Championship (30-1), giving our panel two outright winners this year, with Christopher Powers nailing Bryson DeChambeau (28-1) at the U.S. Open. Be sure to check this column every week for picks from the hottest betting panel in golf!
Be sure to subscribe to Golf Digest's new betting podcast, Be Right, for a weekly breakdown of our experts' picks, the sharpest analysis in golf gambling. We had Josh Perry of The Action Network this week, who gave his best bets for the Bermuda Championship, and also gave some early bets for this week's European Tour event.
Bermuda Championship 2020 picks: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win (odds from DraftKings)
Caddie: Tyler McCumber (55-1) — He was impressive at the Corales, and this course should similarly suit his eye. His off-the-tee game is really strong, and he can get his putter going like he did on some similar Bermuda greens at Puntacana.
Mayo: Cameron Percy (90-1) — The Aussie has gained 2.4 strokes or more with his irons in six of his past eight starts, and posted his best finishes of the year in Dominican Republic a few weeks ago. He makes birdies at an incredibly high rate and this deep of odds seems like a value for a player Top 20 in T2G, Approach, and Ball striking over the past 50 rounds.
Gdula: Max Homa (70-1) — I love Max Homa this week. He’s 18th in this field in strokes gained/ tee to green because he’s such a good ball-striker (10thh in strokes gained/off the tee and 27th in strokes gained/approach). He’s not super accurate, and he’s also not the best Bermuda putter, but he’s about field average in each, which keeps him viable considering the tier he’s in with the ball-striking.
Gehman: Patrick Rodgers (66-1) — I’m willing to forgive Rodgers for his consecutive missed cuts at the Sanderson and Shriners. He was abysmal with the putter, losing 6.87 strokes on the greens at the Shriners and another 2.71 at the Sanderson. Per the RickRunGood.com golf database, Rodgers had gained strokes putting in each of his previous six starts prior to those events. Now with a few weeks off to figure out the stroke, I suspect Rodgers gets back to his long-term baseline as a positive putter.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Rasmus Hojgaard (45-1) — This is on the borderline of ‘longshot’ territory, but Josh Perry of The Action Network talked me into this bet on our “Be Right” podcast this week, so I’m sharing it with you. Hojgaard’s ranked 74th in the world, the fifth-highest ranked player in this field. The 19-year-old has also won multiple times on the European Tour, so he’s capable of hoisting this trophy, too.
Powers, Golf Digest: Wesley Bryan (50-1) — The former trick shot artist has quietly played some great golf since June, collecting three top 25s in his last five starts, including a T-12 at Sanderson. He's gained strokes on approach in six straight starts, and he finally got the putter rolling at Sanderson, gaining 5.1 strokes on the greens. Unfortunately, he hasn't had a top 10 since 2017, so he hasn't quite felt the back-nine heat on a Sunday in very long time. But his iron prowess makes him worth a sprinkle at this number.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Camilo Villegas (225-1) — Villegas’ strong approach game on short courses make him ideal for Port Royal. Statistically, he might fit the model for success better than anybody this week, ranking first in strokes gained/tee-to-green and sixth in Opportunities Gained over the past two months, per FantasyNational.com. The only reason he hasn’t posted a top-10 finish recently is poor putting, so if he can get it just lukewarm this week he can easily finish in the top 10.
Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)
Caddie: Patrick Rodgers (66-1) — The high odds might be inviting in this field, but how could you be confident in him winning—he’s so hit or miss week to week?
Mayo: Brendon Todd (14-1) — Love the Toddfather, but this short of a price is just too small in a wide open field like this. If I won’t back Justin Thomas at these numbers in limited field event, you won’t catch me with Todd in a full field at the same number.
Gdula: Emiliano Grillo (25-1) — Grillo has made seven straight cuts, and the irons have been a positive in all of those. He’s one of the best ball-strikers in this particular field. He’s also one of the worst putters, particularly on any surface that isn’t bentgrass. They’re on Bermuda this week. Grillo’s a pretty easy fade for me.
Gehman: Harold Varner III (20-1) — I’m actually a big fan of Varner and his game, which is why I don’t want to bet him at 20-1. My belief is that he’s such a good ball-striker and that he’s been building scar tissue from some recent Sunday failures that he’s going to break out and win soon. Since I’m so high on him, I can’t justify betting him at 20-1 when I think he possesses the skills to win an event that boasts a deeper field. Varner’s first victory could very easily happen when he’s 50-1 or 66-1, and he’s not three-times as likely to win the Bermuda Championship as he is a hypothetical event in a few weeks from now.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Brendon Todd (14-1) — The circumstances are a lot different than they were last year. Todd’s already earned redemption with multiple tour wins, and you know his sights will really be on the Masters in two weeks. There’s not that motivation he had a year ago to complete his comeback. There are a bunch of players I’d rather spend my money on.
Powers, Golf Digest: Brendon Todd (14-1) — Couldn't agree more with everything Steve said, not to mention Todd just hasn't played well of late either. He finished 52nd at the CJ Cup and 47th at Zozo, and lost strokes in every major category except putting in both of those weeks. Does that sound like a dude you want to bet at 14-1?
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Brendon Todd (14-1) — Last year’s winner has lost his Midas touch of late. He comes into this event ranked 77th in this weak field for strokes gained/tee-to-green over the past two months and 73rd for Opportunities Gained. It’s clear to see why his past two finishes have both been outside of the top 45.
Bermuda Championship 2020 picks: Matchups
Caddie: Harold Varner III (-125) over Emiliano Grillo (DraftKings) — It’s an interesting matchup—both these guys have been hitting it great recently. I just really think this could be a great week for HV3 on a ball-striker’s course, and I trust his putter a little more than Grillo’s.
Mayo: Jason Dufner (+105) over Joseph Bramlett (DraftKings) — Basically, any course which minimizes Duf Daddy’s worst skill (distance) and takes away from Bramlett’s biggest strength (distance) seems like a mismatch.
Gdula: Denny McCarthy (-118) over Charley Hoffman (BOOK) — McCarthy used to be someone I viewed just as a great putter, but he’s seemingly figured out a few things with the irons, gaining strokes from approach play in five of his past seven events. That usually implies negative regression could be coming, but even if he can flirt with the field average, he has a huge advantage with the putter. Hoffman’s ball-striking hasn’t been pristine, so there’s more upside with Denny here.
Gehman: Adam Schenk (-110) over Peter Malnati (DraftKings) — This is a battle of contrasting styles. On one hand, Schenk is the owner of a 10-event consecutive cut streak, the longest active streak in this field. On the other is Malnati, who has back-to-back top-five finishes heading into this event. But he has missed the cut in nine of his past 17 events. When you only have to beat one other golfer in a matchup, I’d prefer the more consistent golfer with the higher floor. That’s clearly Schenk, who is also coming off a T-27 finish at the Shriners.
Hennessey: Will Zalatoris (-120) over Brendon Todd (Bet365) — I love finding a matchup fading a guy I’m low on for the week, and this week that’s Brendon Todd. Will Zalatoris has also been so consistent—finishing in the top 20 in 16 of his past 18 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour. There’s a reason why he’s the favorite here. Take this one to the bank.
Powers: Henrik Norlander (+100) over Maverick McNealy (DraftKings) — Simply put, Norlander is just a better all-around player, and thus someone you can rely on in a matchup. McNealy has to have a lights out week with the putter just to sniff the top 15. No thanks.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Charley Hoffman (-110) over Cameron Tringale (Betway) — Tringale is entering this tournament with some horrific form stats. He ranks outside of the top 50 in strokes gained/tee-to-green and Opportunities Gained over the past two months, and he also ranks way low in FanShare’s course-suitability ranking. Hoffman on the other hand has three top-15 finishes in his past five events.
Matchup Results from the Zozo: Gdula: 1 for 1 (Patrick Cantlay (+100) over Viktor Hovland); Powers: 1 for 1 (Webb Simpson (-110) over Tyrrell Hatton); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Patrick Reed (-118) over Daniel Berger); Caddie: 0 for 1; Mayo: 0 for 1; Gehman: 0 for 1; Hennessey: no bet (picked against Adam Scott, who never teed off after testing positive with covid).
Matchup Results this season: Alldrick: 7 for 7 (up 6.22 units); Hennessey: 5 for 6 (up 3.37 units); Gdula: 4 for 7 (up 0.86 units); Mayo: 4 for 7 (up 0.77 units); Powers: 2-2-3 (down 1.09 units); Gehman: 2 for 7 (down 3.18 units); Caddie: 2 for 7 (down 3.27 units).
Bermuda Championship 2020 picks: Top 10 (odds from FanDuel Sportsbook)
Caddie: Henrik Norlander (+430) — I was in the same group as him recently, and I really like what I saw. He doesn’t miss many shots, and he recently had another top 10, so these are good odds in a weak field.
Mayo: Camilo Villegas (+1600) — Camilo led the Sanderson farms tee-to-green, then gained three strokes on approach despite missing the cut at the Shriners. The putter has been ice cold, but been back on Bermuda greens should help. Plus, it’d be a great story. Who doesn’t love those?
Gdula: Kyle Stanley (+900) — This week feels wide open because it’s a short track, and every golfer can be in the mix. Stanley is someone who always gets bumped up when there’s no distance prerequisite because he’s such an accurate driver. He’s 100th in putting over the past 50 rounds, and the splits aren’t any better on Bermuda over a larger sample. That said, he’s 20th in strokes gained/tee to green in this field over the past 50, per Fantasy National.
Gehman: Will Zalatoris (+140) — The story for Zalatoris has been told countless times over the past few months. He dominated on the Korn Ferry Tour and has been playing to earn temporary membership status on the PGA Tour, and he’s just a handful of points away. Zalatoris, without status, is the favorite to win this week and he should be. In his four events this season, he’s finished inside the top 8 on three separate occasions. He has now finished in the top 20 in 16 of his past 18 events between the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Luke List (+380) — I’ve already put an outright bet down on List, and like I did with Cam Smith last week (successfully, I might add), I’m backing it up with a List top-10 bet this week, too. He’s a pure ball-striker who can play in the wind (remember his playoff loss to Justin Thomas at PGA National a few years ago). I like these odds.
Powers, Golf Digest: Ollie Schniederjans (+1300) — It's hard to believe, but this is Ollie's first PGA Tour start since ... wait for it ... LAST year's Bermuda Championship. The former amateur standout from Georgia Tech has yet to fully live up to expectations, but perhaps his good run on the Korn Ferry Tour last season can get him going again. In his last eight KFT events, Schniederjans picked up four top 8s, and finished the season second in birdie average and 11th in scoring average. He can go low, and he should be highly motivated this week.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Scott Piercy (+500) — Piercy is slowly starting to find a good bit of decent form. He has made four cuts in his past five starts, including a 19th last time out. His stats paint an even better picture: He ranks 15th for Opportunities Gained and seventh in strokes gained/tee-to-green over the past two months. His strong off the tee and approach game make him perfect for a short course like this.
Top 10 results from the Zozo: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Cameron Smith +500); Everybody else: 0 for 1 (aside from Alldrick, who took Scott, a WD before the tourney).
Top 10 results from this season: Gehman: 1 for 7 (up 0.5 units); Hennessey: 1 for 7 (down 1 unit); Tour caddie: 2 for 7 (down 1.95 units); Alldrick: 0 for 6 (down 6 units); Mayo, Gdula, Powers: 0 for 7 (down 7 units each).
One and Done pick
Gehman: Rasmus Hojgaard — Will Zalatoris is objectively the best One & Done play in a field where you’re unlikely to use any of these golfers again, but let me provide an “outside the box” option. Hojgaard resides primarily on the European Tour, where he’s flashed brilliance. He had a four-tournament stretch last season that resulted in a victory, a runner-up finish, a third-place finish and T-6 finish. He’s cooled off a bit recently, but at only 18 years old, you can’t blame him for a bit of inconsistency. He has plenty of raw talent with big upside in a field strength that will resemble many of his European Tour events.
Previous weeks: Safeway Open: Joel Dahmen; U.S. Open: Jon Rahm; Corales: Denny McCarthy. Sanderson: Sebastian Munoz. Shriners: Matthew Wolff. CJ Cup: Xander Schauffele. Zozo: Bubba Watson.
Hennessey: Doc Redman — Also tempted to take Zalatoris, but I think we’ll be seeing a lot of him in lesser fields once he locks up his special temporary membership this week, so I’ll wait maybe for the RSM to take him. Redman is someone I’m willing to take here. You could go HV3, too, but I feel like Redman has less volatility in his range of outcomes. I’m betting them both to win.
Previous weeks: Safeway Open: Phil Mickelson; U.S. Open: Hideki Matsuyama; Corales: Adam Long. Sanderson: Sam Burns. Shriners: Harris English. CJ Cup: Kevin Na. Zozo: Joaquin Niemann.
Powers: Denny McCarthy — The best putter on the planet has been playing well of late, and weeks like this one are his best chance at a breakthrough victory.
Previous weeks: Safeway Open: Brendan Steele; U.S. Open: Louis Oosthuizen; Corales: Adam Long. Sanderson: Sam Burns. Shriners: Jason Kokrak. CJ Cup: Daniel Berger. Zozo: Joaquin Niemann.
By The Numbers:
Courtesy of Rick Gehman of RickRunGood.com:
6,828 — The yardage for Port Royal Golf Club, site of the old PGA Grand Slam of Golf. It’s the longest course on the island of Bermuda but the second shortest course on the PGA Tour schedule.
+1150 — The winning odds for Will Zalatoris. This is the second time this season that he’s been the favorite in an event on a TOUR that he does not have status.
1 — The number of golfers in the Bermuda Championship field who played the ZOZO Championship last week. Brendon Todd, the defending champion, is the only golfer.
500 — The number of FedEx Cup points awarded to the winner. This event was elevated to full FedEx Cup status and will also earn the winner an invite to the 2021 Masters.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio. Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 fantasy sports-writers association Golf Writer of the Year *(congrats, Brandon!)*. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.