Bermuda Championship First-Round Leader Tips: Pick Padraig to shine

Ireland's Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington can make a fast start

The PGA Tour heads to Bermuda this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way FRL picks for Port Royal Golf Course...

"Last time at the Scottish Championship Harrington ranked 1st for Greens In Regulation so there are some good signs. He started with a 66 there to sit fourth after 18 holes."

Back Padraig Harrington each-way @ 75/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Port Royal Golf Course: We've seen some rain in the build-up but Thursday should be clear with temperatures locked in for all of the golfing day at around the 75-78 degree mark. The wind picks up steadily too, meaning the later starters have it a little tougher although nothing too dramatic (5mph in the morning and 10mph in the afternoon).

FRL history at Port Royal Golf Course

2019
62 Scottie Scheffler
63 Wes Roach
64 Bo Hoag, Russell Knox, Rob Oppenheim

Strategy

A full field and just one year of course form. This should be easy then! Potentially, the weather could have given us a big break as it can get really challenging. However, it does slightly favour the morning wave so I'll pick three with early tee-times.

Harrington can make hay from early start

Well, I say just one year of course form...

This course also staged the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 2009 to 2014, a mini 36-hole event that brought together that year's major winners.

Ah, you say, Harrington's majors came in 2007 and 2008 (two). That's correct but he appeared in the 2012 event here as an alternate and 'doing a Denmark Euro 92' walked off with the first prize.

He opened with a 66 that week when claiming his first win of any kind for two years so it has some happy memories for him.

But what of the 2020 Harrington? The good news is that he appears to be having one of his upticks in form. That's shown by finishes of T9 (Scottish Open) and T14 (Scottish Championship) in two of his last three starts. In between he made the top 40 at Wentworth.

Last time at the Scottish Championship he ranked 1st for Greens In Regulation so there are some good signs.

He started with a 66 there to sit fourth after 18 holes while it wasn't that long ago that he took R1 leader honours at the 2019 Irish Open.

As those two events remind us, put the double Open champion somewhere near the sea and he comes alive.

He heads out in the very first group (Tee No.1) at 07:35 so let's hope Harrington makes hay early.

Look to Lahiri

My second morning starter - 07:45 from No. 1 - is Anirban Lahiri.

The Indian showed up strongly in a coastal setting only last month when finishing tied sixth at the Corales Puntacana event in the Dominican Republic.

Either side he's taken T36 (Safeway Open) and T37 (Sanderson Farms) and in the latter he fired a first-round 66 to end the opening lap in seventh spot.

That was an exact repeat of what he did at this course last year - R1 66 for tied seventh - although he had to pull out in round three due to injury.

Talking in Tuesday's press conference, he said: "I put a lot of work in during the lockdown. Spending extended time with my coach back in India made a huge difference and that's beginning to show. I trust my game a lot more, I'm hitting my irons a lot better."

A big fan of bermuda grass, Lahiri really enjoyed this week's course last year and can hopefully hit the ground running again.

Take him at 60/1.

Tom can turn it on in round one

Finally, I'll have a punt on Tom Lewis at 55/1.

He's had something of a dip since a brilliant 61-66 finish gave him second place at the prestigious WGC-St.Jude Invitational in August.

However, his first-round scoring has been decent and three times in six subsequent starts he's opened with a 67.

In Vegas last time, Lewis started 67-67-65 to sit 19th after 54 holes before fading on Sunday but there were hints that he's about to take flight again.

Lewis has been the first-round leader in two of his last 18 worldwide starts (Honda Classic and Turkish Airlines Open) and as a double winner of the Portugal Masters he likes resort golf.

He'll begin his bid from No. 10 at 08:25.

Dave's First Round Leader P/L

Staked: £840
Returned: £445.35
P/L: -£394.65

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