Find Me a 100 Winner: Port Royal perfect for G-Mac

Golfer Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell - one of three outsiders recommended in Bermuda

There's only been two editions of the Bermuda Championship but both renewals were won by huge outsiders so our man's picked out a trio of likely candidates to make in three-in-a-row...

"McDowell will relish the blustery conditions that have been predicted and he’s my strongest fancy of the three.

With no European Tour action this week, the Bermuda Championship is our only option but given the first two editions were won by Brendon Todd at 150.0149/1 and Brian Gay at 330.0329/1, it's not a bad tournament to focus on.

In what really is a weak field, thanks largely to Bermuda's COVID laws differing so much from America's, some of the outsiders are a lot shorter than I was hoping for this week but it's understandable given the weakness of the market leaders and the field size.

My understanding is that anyone not vaccinated needs to isolate for eight weeks so the field is made up entirely of players that have had their jabs. There have been a plethora of withdrawals from the event and no sooner had they entered, as many as ten alternates had to immediately withdraw as they hadn't been inoculated either, so we've finished up with a small field of just 128 and a realisation that plenty of PGA Tour pros haven't bothered to get vaccinated.

As highlighted in the preview, most of the market leaders are playing at Port Royal for the first time and none of them make much appeal but it's not been easy to whittle it down to three for the column.

PORT ROYAL BERMUDA 2021 2.jpg

Although we've only had two previous editions, some very clear patterns are already emerging and with course correlations as clear as day (see preview) identifying the type of players likely to flourish hasn't been too hard. For example, both winners have been veterans of the PGA Tour, both have thrived at exposed coastal tracks, and both have previously won the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

The same names have been tipped up all over the place and they've been understandably well-backed but getting down to three has still been tricky.

The likes of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Brian Stuard and Kurt Kitayama have had to be eliminated on account of their price being below three-figures and I can't quite press go on either Vaughn Taylor or Austin Cook. Both were carefully considered but they've both been so well-backed that I'm reluctantly swerving them.

Port Royal perfect for G-Mac

Nothing's quite clicking for Graeme McDowell at present but there are definitely signs he's close. He putted nicely three starts ago at the BMW PGA Championship, ranked first for Strokes Gained on Approach in the Dutch Open in his penultimate start and he ranked fourth for Driving Accuracy at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last time out.

He didn't threaten the judge on any of those three starts but it's something to build on and he looks a perfect fit for Port Royal given his four previous PGA Tour titles have all come at coastal tracks.

His first success on American soil was in the US Open in 2010 at the Pebble Beach links and he's followed that with victories in the RBC Heritage, the Mayakoba Golf Classic (won by the first two winners of this event) and the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.

He'll relish the blustery conditions that have been predicted and he's my strongest fancy of the three.

Back 2 u Graeme McDowell @ 110.0109/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Back-to-back Brian a no-brainer bet

Although he'd hardly been setting the world alight, Brian Gay had at least made the weekend on each of his four previous starts when he finished third in the inaugural edition of the Bermuda Championship two years ago and that was sparkling form compared to last year's lead up form.

Gay came into last year's edition on the back of four straight missed cuts and since finishing third in 2019, he'd missed 15 of 20, so the fact that he appears woefully out of form this year is pretty much irrelevant.

He clearly loves the place and is something of a no-brainer selection at 150.0149/1.

Brian Gay wins in Bermuda.jpg

Back 1 ½ u Brian Gay @ 150.0149/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Set-up looks sure to suit Spaun

Having graduated to the PGA Tour following victory at the News Sentinel Open on the Korn Ferry Tour five years ago, J.J Spaun looked highly likely to break through on the PGA Tour. He finished inside the top-four in five events over the next two seasons but a PGA Tour victory illuded him and he's lost his way over the last couple of years.

There have been signs of life this year and this place looks ideal for him. He led the Byron Nelson after round one back in May and he finished second at the Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour in August.

This is Spaun's first visit to Port Royal but his runners-up finish in the RSM Classic in 2017 and his third at the Mayakoba a year later suggest the venue will suit him nicely.

Back 1u JJ Spaun @ 200.0199/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Anyone wanting to back someone at an even bigger price, may want to look at Fabian Gomez or Johnston Wagner. Both are woefully out of form, but this is an ideal test for them.

I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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