Quick look at the Bermuda Championship
October 30, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
Bermuda Championship preview
The PGA TOUR gets its first look at the adventurous island of Bermuda as we gear up for the first-ever Bermuda Championship. Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton will host an eclectic field of rookies, veterans and everything in between looking to take advantage while others are away in China at the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions. The course might sound familiar to a few … it hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf between the major winners from 2009-14. The intrigue is enormous at alternate-field events … will we see a career resurgence like we did with Graeme McDowell (Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship) last season or a new rookie emerge like we did with Collin Morikawa (Barracuda Championship)?
The par-3 235 yard 16th is a visual pleasure and will be an intense test coming down the stretch if played to its full yardage. The tee shot calls for a shot across the ocean to a green perched high above the water on its own peninsular. The Atlantic Ocean guards the left but bunkers around the green mean you can’t rely on bailing out. Wind will certainly be a factor.
Dry weather will continue through the weekend as high pressure settles across the area. Temperatures will be seasonal with afternoon highs in the upper 70s each day. Winds will be gusty again on Thursday and then subside a bit each day forward.
For the latest weather news from Southampton, Bermuda check out PGATOUR.COM’s Weather Hub.
SOUND CHECKWe are very proud and excited to have such a strong field for the inaugural Bermuda Championship. The field is full of talented young players mixed with PGA TOUR veterans and local competitors. We feel the Bermuda Championship will be a tremendous event for the fans and Bermuda.
BY THE NUMBERS
17 – Number of PGA TOUR rookies (of 21 total) in the field this week. Of those only Scott Harrington and Scottie Scheffler have top-10s so far.
768 – The number of PGA TOUR starts Davis Love III will have once he sends his first shot away. Love III has made 9,373 career birdies, the most on the PGA TOUR since 1980.
2nd – The best result for Alex Noren previously on the PGA TOUR. The 10-time European Tour winner is making first start of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR season looking to better his playoff loss to Jason Day at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open. He has seven top-10s in 70 career starts on the PGA TOUR.
15 – The age of Kenny Leseur, a Bermuda native in the field via a sponsor’s exemption. Read more about him and four other locals below.
Hometown favorites: There are five Bermuda natives in the field. They are Daniel Augustus IV, Jarryd Dillas, Kenny Leseur, Dwayne Pearman and Michael Sims. Leseur is a 15-year-old amateur who attends the International Junior Golf Academy in Howey in the Hills, Florida. Is looking to be the fourth youngest player to make a cut on the PGA TOUR. Augusta IV turned pro in 2010 after playing Division II golf at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia in his senior year and has won mini tour events in Florida. Sims is 40 and turned pro in 2002. He has five top-10 finishes in 111 Korn Ferry Tour starts and won the local Bermuda Open at Port Royal. Once shot a 59 – at the 2012 Southern Open on the eGolf Professional Tour. Pearman is 56 and turned pro in 1986. He is a legend of local golf on the island having win the Bermuda Open twice, the Bermuda PGA Matchplay four times and the Bermuda PGA Championship 13 times. He has also competed in three World Cups for Bermuda. Dillas is a 34-year-old amateur who previously won the Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play and Match Play titles and has played collegiately at the University of Rhode Island and Columbus State University.
Funk family affair: Eight-time PGA TOUR winner and former PLAYERS champion Fred Funk will tee it up in his first regular TOUR event since the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii. A regular on PGA TOUR Champions, Funk has the proud honor of joining his son Taylor in the field this week. Taylor plays on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, making one cut from seven starts this season. He is a former standout college player from the University of Texas.
Nicklaus' first start in 16 years: Gary Nicklaus – the 50-year-old son of Jack Nicklaus – joins the field in Bermuda. Nicklaus joined PGA TOUR Champions this season with a T29 at the Dicks Sporting Goods Open his best result from nine starts but it has been over 16 years since the last of his 122 starts on the PGA TOUR. In those starts his lone top-10 came when famously losing a playoff to Phil Mickelson at the 2000 BellSouth Classic. Tied for the lead through 54 holes the pair were sent out for sudden death after rain forced the cancelation of the final round. Nicklaus found bunker trouble on the par-3 used for the playoff and Mickelson buried an 18-foot birdie to end it.