The First Look: Butterfield Bermuda Championship
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Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
Lucas Herbert earns first PGA TOUR title at Bermuda
The PGA TOUR starts a two-event stretch away from the continental U.S. with the fourth Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Plenty of PGA TOUR winners, major champions, and a past FedExCup winner lead the field.
FIELD NOTES: Notable recent TOUR winners including Seamus Power, Garrick Higgo and Chad Ramey are teeing it up… Past FedExCup champion Bill Haas is also part of the field… Fan-favourite Harry Higgs, who finished runner-up at the inaugural Butterfield Bermuda Championship in 2019, is back in action… Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald along with Presidents Cup International Team vice captain Camilo Villegas will play… past Butterfield Bermuda winner Brian Gay is back… John Daly is in on a sponsor’s exemption… Other sponsor’s exemptions include Akshay Bhatia (who won on the Korn Ferry Tour in the Bahamas earlier in the year), Aaron Jarvis (who had a remarkable journey from the Cayman Islands to qualify for the Masters), and Willie Mack III who recently earned Korn Ferry Tour membership via Second Stage … Polish star, and DP World Tour winner, Adrian Meronk, is in the field on an exemption. Meronk is making his third PGA TOUR start after playing the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open Championship this summer… The Monday Qualifier already occurred, with Aaron Baddeley, Chandler Blanchet, Clay Feagler, and John VanDerLaan earning their way in… Three Bermudians – Michael Sims, Jarryd Dillas, and Nicholas Jones – landed spots in their home country’s TOUR event via a local qualifier.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Port Royal GC in Southampton, Bermuda, par 71, 6,828 yards. Port Royal is the longest course on Bermuda but with unpredictable weather, elevation changes, and a sea-side setting, it still demands straight driving and a solid tee-to-green effort. The course hosted the Grand Slam of Golf from 2009 to 2014 and this marks the fourth year the PGA TOUR has hosted an event there.
STORYLINES: While there isn’t the same kind of stats-keeping in Bermuda as at other TOUR events, look for a solid putter to have success at Port Royal GC. Only three golfers who were part of the top 10 were outside the top 15 in Putts per Round for the week. And last year’s defending champion, Brian Gay, was No.1 for the week in that statistic… Willie Mack III is looking to keep some solid momentum going in Bermuda. He just earned Korn Ferry Tour status for the first time via his Second Stage site on Oct. 21 as well as winning the Butterfield Bermuda APGA title in a playoff… The Butterfield Bermuda Championship presents a solid opportunity for Korn Ferry Tour grads to earn valuable early-season FedExCup points. This is the third year the Bermuda event is offering full FedExCup points, including 500 to the winner… The championship has helped raise over $1.1 million for local charities… What kind of winner will we have this year? The first two winners of the Bermuda Championship were slump-busting efforts (Brendon Todd hadn’t won in five years, while Brian Gay’s came seven years after his previous TOUR title) while Herbert won his maiden TOUR title last year.
72-HOLE RECORD: 260, Brendon Todd (2019)
18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Taylor Pendrith (2nd Round, 2021)
LAST TIME: Lucas Herbert captured his first PGA TOUR title after holding on in the final round with a 2-under 69 in blustery conditions to win by one. Herbert, the Australian, had captured the Irish Open on the DP World Tour earlier in the year and won on TOUR in his third start as a full-fledged member. The wind and rain that blew in off the Atlantic Ocean were as fierce as predicted in the final round and the tee times were moved up. Play was stopped briefly at one point with players remaining on the course. Herbert held off a hard-charging Patrick Reed, who made birdie on four of his final six holes. Reed finished tied for second at 14 under, one-shot back of Herbert’s winning total, along with Danny Lee. Patrick Rodgers finished fourth, while Scott Stallings’ incredible 9-under 62 in the final round left him in a tie for fifth with 54-hole leader Taylor Pendrith, who dipped down the board after a final-round 76.
HOW TO FOLLOW:
Television: Thursday-Sunday, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)