We head out into the blue ocean again this week for another stop on the PGA Tour’s “Island” circuit. The Bermuda Championship joins other illustrious island stops like the Corales Championship and the Puerto Rico Open in its second go-around on the PGA schedule. Last year, the event was won by Brendon Todd, who used the win to catapult himself back into full-time tour status and reinvigorate a career that seemed all but dead at the time. That type of veteran grinder story has become all too common at these softer, yet somehow tricky resort stops, as we’ve now seen the likes of Hudson Swafford, Graeme McDowell, Brice Garnett and Richy Werenski all triumph in similar type of events over the past three years. So we’ve got some digging to do for our fantasy golf lineups and PGA DFS picks for this week.
Like most of these stops, the course has a lot to do with these kinds of winners continuing to prevail. Port Royal Golf Club is a short, 6,820-yard par 71 that features three short par 5’s, and its only real defense lies in whether or not the wind off the ocean is angry that day or not. Last year, the sea was not angry and scores were low, with Todd, ranking 51st in driving distance, blitzing the course with a 62 in the final round and winning by four shots. This year things could be a little different, as winds of up to or more than 20 mph are expected to wreak havoc all weekend. It could be a wind-filled and even rain-filled event set with stoppages, so buckle up. It seems variance will be at an all-time high here.
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Port Royal GC Stats and Info
• Par 71, 6,820 yards (traditional par 71 with three par 5’s, all under 560 yards); TifEagle Bermuda greens
• Runs along the ocean for five or six holes and features lightly tree-lined fairways in many inland parts
• Greens in regulation here last season was slightly higher than the tour average, but fairways-hit rate was lower (5-10% lower than the average). Though, lack of rough meant players weren’t overly penalized for being offline
• Todd ranked fourth in driving accuracy and 10th in greens in regulation, so much like we see every year at the RBC Heritage, accurate players generally tend to stack up better than power players by week’s end
The greens at Port Royal GC are listed as TifEagle Bermuda, which makes them similar to the type of Bermuda greens we see to the RBC Heritage. Here’s a more general look at some of the best and worst Bermuda putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these; they aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.
Positive Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
1. Kiradech Aphibarnrat:+38 on Bermuda, -15 on all other surfaces
2. Henrik Norlander: +12 on Bermuda, -1 on all other surfaces
3. Adam Schenk: +15 on Bermuda, +5 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost
Negative Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
1. Danny Willett: -13 on Bermuda, +16 on all other surfaces
2. Maverick McNealy: +11 on Bermuda, +32 on all other surfaces
3. Bronson Burgoon: -3 on Bermuda, +12 on all other surfaces
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Fantasy Golf: PGA DFS Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel | Bermuda Championship
Will Zalatoris: Grades: A+, Values: C, B
We have a pretty unique situation on our hands here this week with Zalatoris. On top of him not even being a full-time PGA Tour member, he’s ranking out as the model’s best play on the board by one of the widest margins we’ve ever seen. Zalatoris’ pure points projection is a full 6.7 points higher than second runner Brendon Todd, who is actually at a higher price than Zalatoris on DraftKings. While the projection is mouth-watering, it’s also worth noting that the 24-year-old is projecting with some of the heaviest ownership we’ve ever seen too, as he’s projected to carry 40% ownership on DraftKings as of writing.
From a recent form perspective, there’s not much reason to get people off the up-and-comer here, as he rebounded from a missed cut at the Sanderson Farms event quickly — which was likely due to fatigue from a busy schedule — to post a fifth-place finish at the Shriners, where he gained 8.4 strokes tee to green. The variance will be high this week with the short course and windy setting, but it’s still looking like a good time to load up on Zalatoris here, who is busting out at the top of the projections.
• Four top-10 finishes over his last five starts, has gained over six strokes ball striking in two of last three starts with shot-tracker stats
• Has only finished outside the top 20 once in 14 pro starts now since the beginning of June
• Ranks first in the Awesemo fantasy golf model for points projection for this week’s event
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 40% | FanDuel: 45.5%
Awesemo’s fantasy golf Expert PGA Player Grades love Will Zalatoris this week, and he grades out as the best overall player in the Bermuda Championship field. There is some variation in the lines across sportsbooks, so use OddsShopper to take advantage of this possible money-making player prop. Click on the image for more OddsShopper options.
*Betting odds as of Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 8:30 a.m. EST
Pat Perez: Grades: B, Values: B
If you’re looking for a slightly less chalky player who also projects well this week, Perez is a good target. The veteran has missed two cuts in a row coming into this week, but neither were egregious misses. He actually shot rounds of 69 and 68 at the Shriners, where he gained 1.5 strokes on his approaches but simply couldn’t make a putt. Perez is the exact sort of veteran player who should be licking his chops for this shorter challenge, as he can’t really compete anymore at long venues due to his lack of explosiveness off the tee. He comes in ranked seventh in shots gained around the green and 27th in approaches over the last 50 rounds and seems likely to rebound big time against this weaker field.
Perez almost always flashes at the shorter venue that hosts the Sony Open, has a win at the shorter Mayakoba Classic track in Mexico and has also won off continent before when he took down the now defunct CIMB Classic over in Malaysia in 2018 — the last year of that event. From a DraftKings perspective, he has the best points projection of anyone under $8,500 by over a point and the best value score of anyone in the $8,000 range period. With pretty flat ownership levels, Perez projects out as someone you should be targeting here for both value and to keep ownership levels sane in big GPPs if you’re also targeting Zalatoris.
• Seventh in shots gained around the green stats over his last 50 rounds
• Has two career wins in last five years at events outside the U.S.
• Has only lost strokes on his approaches twice in his last 10 starts and hasn’t lost more than one stroke in a start on the PGA since last January
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 11.1% | FanDuel: 7.9%
Low-Owned GPP Flier
Oppenheim is the type of veteran player who you almost expect to make some noise at an event like this. The 40-year-old is coming in under the radar this week, projecting at well under 10% ownership on both major sites, but he brings in better form than most players in his price range. Oppenheim has now made three of his last four cuts on tour since the fall swing began, and while he’s not secured a top 10 yet, all of his made cuts have yielded decent results inside the top 40. His last outing was his best of the fall, where he gained 4.1 strokes on his approaches and shot rounds of 65 and 64 to land a 27th at the Shriners.
The veteran has been trending for even longer than the last month, though, as he went off in the final pairing at the Wyndham Championship; a round of 62 launched him into contention for his first win. He’ll be seeing Bermuda for the second time too, as he landed a solid 24th at this week’s venue last season. His long-term form doesn’t read very well, so I doubt he’s popping off the page in anyone’s model this week. That should keep ownership down enough to make him a great low-owned pivot in this range for GPP lineups.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: : DraftKings: 6.8% | FanDuel: 7.9%
DraftKings Top Three Under Five
I am targeting three players here that I ultimately think will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. We’re searching for boom-or-bust players here with an almost 100% focus on upside.
Kelly Kraft ($6,600)
• Coming back from a major medical injury layoff, has made four professional starts now and displayed solid ball striking in his two events
• Likes the “island” events, as he has two top fives at the Corales stop in Punta Cana and was 14ththere last month, ranking fourth in greens in regulation
• Good iron player, and best results have come at similar seaside venues to the one we’re getting here
Rhein Gibson ($6,300)
• Solid birdie maker who has played well many a time in island settings like the one we’re getting here on both the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour
• Solid scrambler who could be useful if the wind gets up and was 21st his last time out in Corales (his best ever finish on tour); also posted a 27th earlier in the season in Puerto Rico
• Good GPP punt for a player who tends to show up well in these weaker events and found a bit of confidence in his last start
Ollie Schniederjans ($6,200)
• Second on the Korn Ferry Tour in Birdie Average on the season.
• He misses the cut there a lot more than Zalatoris does, but he actually has five top 10s on that tour as well
• His best results on the PGA have come at stops like the RSM Classic, The RBC Heritage and the Wyndham — all great corollaries for this week’s fantasy golf stop
• If he gets through the weekend, his birdie rate might put you over the top in a GPP
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