I do not think I would be out of order to describe golf as a frustrating game, not just with club in hand hacking my way around what were once quite beautiful courses (until I got there), but also from a betting perspective.
How many times so far have we narrowly missed out on a return this season, and last week was no exception with “Beef” tying for seventh spot – while the bookmakers paid out on the first six – bloody typical. I cannot mention often enough that this is a fun article – it is meant to give you something to read about and enjoy, agree with or argue against profusely, bet or not bet – as long as they pay out on the first six home in what is in effect a 160 runner “race” the odds will always be stacked against us, but that doesn’t mean for a second we won’t keep on trying.
This week we head back across the water for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship from Port Royal Golf Course, a coastal course (hard not to be on Bermuda to be fair), par 71 weighing in at 6828 yards in total. Expect the cameras on the first two days to be focussed on the front seven holes which are protected from the wind and include a reachable par 5 second hole and a very short par 5 (by their standards) seventh at just 517 yards, after which they are more open to the elements, and the weather may well make life that little bit more difficult.
As an add on, the $6.5 million in prize money is well worth trousering I am sure, but more importantly, the winner this weekend gets 500 FedEx points, a full two-year exemption, and an invitation to both the 2022 Tournament of Champions and the Masters, so there is a lot more at stake. All the golfers here are undoubtedly a million times better than I will ever be, but which one will have the bottle to hold their nerve close home with so much more at stake here, I wonder?
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around – and make sure you only partake non-runner no bet – covid has seen last minute withdrawals all season and we don’t want to be throwing money away. DO shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value, and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here as cast in stone as they differ by the minute and Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Adam Hadwin 30/1 William Hill top 8 places (38.0 Betfair)
Interestingly, the 33 year-old Canadian has never played here before, but now it has full PGA Tour status he has added it to his list of events for this year. He has never been a big hitter off the tee and can come unstuck at some of the monster courses, coming in with a mid-iron while others are using wedges, but this short course looks sure to suit him an awful lot more which is why he makes my top three picks this week. In the entire field only Patrick Reed rates hotter with his putter recently, and if he can keep his cool when the pressure starts to mount, I can see a bold effort here at a decent price.
1pt Each Way Ryan Armour 45/1 William Hill top 8 places (60.0 Betfair)
There aren’t really any course specialists here (sadly), but your man from Ohio has played here twice and hit eighth spot both times – I would take that with his current price and the each way terms as noted above. Better still, he has a PGA Tour success on his CV which suggests he won’t down tools when the going gets tough, though he is another where a lack of length off the tee has seen him have to hone his short game and putting more than most to ever get on to the leaderboard in the modern game. He can scramble and save shots with the best of them, and had a career best season with four top-eight finishes now that he sensible targets courses like this where length is perhaps not quite as important as accuracy.
1pt each way Hayden Buckley 45/1 William Hill top 8 places (40.0 Betfair) I am not trying to be ageist by any means, but to my surprise Hayden is the only golfer in his twenties on my shortlist. He is at the start of what I think could be a very promising career and has shown plenty of promise already this season with an eighth in the Shriners Open and a fourth in the Sanderson Farms this season, and if you include events off the PGA roster his recent form reads 2 ,26, 7, made cut, 4, made cut, 4, and 8 which is pretty impressive in comparison to the rest of this field, and if he can continue his rise through the ranks we have a player with potential trading at a pretty attractive price.