The PGA Tour heads to sunny, windy Bermuda this weekend for the 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship at the beautiful Port Royal Golf Course. Although the name might sound fun, this is going to be one of the weakest fields of the entire season. I mean, Denny McCarthy is the favorite to win the tournament. Denny McCarthy!
But we don’t take bye weeks here at Sportscasting. Let’s try to nail some predictions and make this dull tournament at least a little more fun.
2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship Predictions
Luke Norris: Patrick Rodgers
While Patrick Rodgers won 11 times while at Stanford, tying a record set by Tiger Woods, the Indiana native hasn’t had quite the pro career that Tiger has. Since turning pro in 2014, the past Ben Hogan Award winner has one Korn Ferry Tour victory to his name but zero on the PGA Tour. But I like his chances this week.
The world’s 222nd-ranked player finished solo fourth at Port Royal a year ago and is coming off a T-16 finish a couple of weeks back at the Zozo Championship, which boasted a much stronger field. Rodgers needs to take full advantage of this weaker bunch to finally notch that life-changing win.
Jack Dougherty: Joseph Bramlett
Joseph Bramlett has gone winless in the first 106 starts of his PGA Tour career, but this is one of the few events on the calendar he has a fighting chance in. The 34-year-old tends to record his best finishes in weaker fields. He’ll have an advantage off the tee this week, as he ranked seventh on Tour last season in driving distance (318.3). That will help him cut through these brutal winds and set up shorter approach shots into par 4s and par 5s.
The putter has always been Bramlett’s downfall, but he gained 0.5 strokes on the greens during his 12th-place finish at the Fortinet Championship earlier this season.
Luke Norris: John Daly
Why the hell not, right? Do I honestly think John Daly, the 2,815th-ranked player in the world, has a shot at winning this golf tournament? Absolutely not. But everyone reading this is hoping the 56-year-old two-time major champ puts on a show. So let’s all ride this wave together while we still can.
Jack Dougherty: Akshay Bhatia
Akshay Bhatia is still working to earn his full-time PGA Tour card, but the young lefty is supremely talented at just 20 years of age. He won the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour earlier this year, and he’ll be playing in similar conditions at Port Royal this week. I think he could sneak into the top 20 and record his best PGA Tour finish to date.
Most likely bust
Luke Norris: Adrian Meronk
There’s a strong chance that most reading this have never heard of Adrian Meronk. And that’s okay. Most casual golf fans and even those who follow the PGA Tour closely might not know him as the 29-year-old spends the vast majority of his time on the DP World Tour.
But the guy can play, as evidenced by the fact that he became the first Polish player to win on the European circuit with a victory at the Irish Open this past July. And that victory is likely why Meronk is one of the favorites this week. He’s simply not one of my favorites in what’s only his fourth PGA Tour start.
Jack Dougherty: Denny McCarthy
If you needed another reminder of how unbelievably weak this field is, World No. 83 Denny McCarthy is the betting favorite to win for what I can only imagine is the first time of his PGA Tour career. This is unfamiliar territory for the 29-year-old, and I don’t think he’ll handle it well.
McCarthy is known for his stellar putting, but he’s lost strokes on the greens in two straight starts. If that cold streak continues, his mediocre ball striking won’t be able to save him in these windy conditions.
Luke Norris: No. 18
The three-hole finishing stretch at Port Royal is absolutely incredible. But as the difficult par-3 16th and the reachable par-5 17th might cancel one another out, I’ll roll with the par-4 18th here. While not terribly long, it plays uphill to a raised putting surface that slopes from front to back and features three tiers. So players will certainly need to control the spin on those short-iron shots into this final green.
Jack Dougherty: No. 16
If you’ve never seen this masterpiece of a golf hole before, do yourself a favor and Google it right now. The 16th at Port Royal seriously might be the most visually stunning par 3 on the PGA Tour.
But players don’t have time to admire the beauty of this hole. The 16th measures more than 230 yards down the hill and winding down the Bermuda coast, and the aqua-colored Atlantic Ocean is waiting to drown any errant tee shots that miss left. Aim right and pray, boys, aim right and pray.
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