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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Butterfield Bermuda Championship (2023)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Oct 26, 2022
Denny McCarthy

The PGA Tour will head to the warm, tropical climate of Bermuda at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda. It will be the first of four consecutive tournaments with a full field and the traditional cut line enforced after the first two rounds. It’s the fourth year that the Butterfield Bermuda Championship will be played at Port Royal, providing beautiful scenery and a short course that utilizes the surrounding winds to create an ever-changing difficulty with approaching the greens.

Rory McIlroy, fresh off of winning the FedExCup in August, won at the C.J. Cup in Congaree last weekend, beating Kurt Kitayama by one stroke (-17) to earn his first win of the 2023 PGA season. McIlroy was one of my six recommended players to add to DFS lineups last week. My other five recommended players fared nicely as well. Sam Burns finished T7 (-11), while Taylor Montgomery (T13/-9), Matt Fitzpatrick (T13/-9), Cameron Young (T23/-6), and Emiliano Grillo (T45/-1) nearly all finished inside of the top 25. Grillo struggled the most, going under par on Friday but failing to get red on his scorecard in the other three rounds of the cut-free event. Overall, it was a great weekend that should’ve launched your DFS lineups into the green for a nice cashout if you tailed my picks.

The Bermuda Championship is a stark difference, eliminating most of the sand found at Congaree in exchange for changing wind patterns and drop-offs into the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s take a look at my favorite players to target in DFS lineups this weekend ahead of the fourth annual Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal GC.

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Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Lucas Herbert (-15)
  • 2021 – Brian Gay (-15)
  • 2020 – Brendon Todd (-24)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Driving Accuracy
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Strokes Gained: Putting

Course Overview

Port Royal was initially designed back in 1970 by Robert Trent Jones, but a 2009 renovation by Roger Rulewhich has the modern course running as a par 71 at 6,828 yards. It’s one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour circuit, but it runs along the western coastline of Bermuda, making it susceptible to frequent high wind gusts. It’s these gusts that prevent players from consistently producing -20-under-par scorecards. Three par 5s and four par 3s provide some variance, including two par 5s on the front nine, which is typically reversed. The final three holes provide visual beauty but counter it with undulating greens, uphill fairways, and ocean drop-offs.

The greens are comprised of Bermuda grass and are average in terms of size and circumference. The Stimpmeter measures the putting velocity of these greens, which run a paltry 10.5 feet, which is nearly two feet shorter than the Tour standard. Bermuda grass combines with zoysiagrass in two-inch rough, creating manageable recovery shots from errant tee shots. The wind will be the players’ biggest obstacle, so accuracy should be emphasized over distance.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings 

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Denny McCarthy ($10,400)
The betting favorite to win the fourth Bermuda Championship is Denny McCarthy. The 29-year-old native of Maryland has competed in the previous three events at Port Royal, finishing T15, T4, and T39. McCarthy has not been spectacular this season, playing in four events and only managing one T25 finish, but he has plenty of experience at Port Royal and is always capable of getting his irons and putter going. Invest in McCarthy despite the high salary and watch the points pile up.

Russell Knox ($9,200)
Russell Knox has performed even better than McCarthy at Port Royal, posting previous finishes of T11, T16, and T12. The 37-year-old native of Scotland is ranked inside the top 50 this season in total strokes gained, meaning that his irons are dialed in. Growing up and playing on links courses, which challenge with coastal winds, gives Knox a leg up on the rest of the field. Knox also has a good putter and nice sand save percentages, meaning he can recover from an errant tee shot. Plug Knox into lineups with confidence.

Brandon Wu ($8,400)
One of the up-and-coming players on the PGA Tour is 25-year-old Brandon Wu. The Californian has yet to produce a T25 finish in four events this season, but his irons are performing nicely and they will be needed during Port Royal’s shortened, wind-driven course. Wu has only competed here once, which produced a T34 finish in 2022. He’s a good salary-saving option but there is some risk baked into Wu’s cheap salary, as he is not as experienced as other players in this tournament, while struggling to convert greens in regulation. A streaky putter and good irons should keep Wu afloat and hovering near a T25 finish once Sunday arrives.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel 

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Mark Hubbard ($11,600)
33-year-old Mark Hubbard is off to a fantastic start. He has produced two T25 finishes, including a T5 finish at Sanderson Farms, utilizing excellent irons and ranking 44th in strokes gained putting. Hubbard is one of the best in terms of sand save percentage, ranked 23rd, which will be a huge asset at Port Royal. Hubbard’s previous two appearances here netted T41 and T22 finishes, showing that he’s steadily improving at a uniquely designed course. Pay up and plug Hubbard into DFS lineups as a foundational piece.

Aaron Rai ($10,400)
Englishman Aaron Rai has been piecing together a nice string of finishes during the early part of the 2022 PGA season. The 27-year-old is another player with experience playing in windy environments, which will be an asset when building DFS lineups. Rai’s putter is ranked 48th in strokes gained, while he possesses finesse approaching the green. Accuracy and touch will be paramount at Port Royal, where Rai has only drawn a T62 finish beforehand. It’s a risk, but I like his skillset on this course based on recent momentum.

Will Gordon ($9,900)
Will Gordon is one of the best salary-saving prospects available on this DFS slate. The 26-year-old native of North Carolina has yet to produce a T25 finish but he’s steadily delivering red scorecards, utilizing a 72 percent greens in regulation conversion and averaging 4.5 birdies per round. Gordon produced a T34 finish during his only previous appearance at Port Royal in 2020, but his short game and irons could easily lead him to his first T25 finish of the season. At under $10,000, Gordon is worth adding to FanDuel lineups.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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