Fantasy Golf Bermuda Cruisin
By James Dalthorp III
BEAST DOME NATION.
I don’t know about you, but the reminder of a new season is a welcome change that 2020 is a year that continues to roll on. This week, some will be more prepared than others to roll into a November stretch of golf that offers a unique opportunity for the journeyman and young standouts of the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours to make their mark.
Despite that fact that we have a mindblowing schedule upcoming that includes a rare November Masters Tournaments (CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ON THIS), which is incredibly a few months past when the typical final major of the season is, we’ll be staring down some cool views this week in Bermuda – and it should look a lot like a 2021 PGA Tour combine.
Let’s cut right to the chase. This is not an event that needs to be heavily dissected. Bermuda’s host course is not long at all – and it’s a seaside course with greens that are very choppy and resemble East Coast Bermuda on the surface – and the players who have done well here back up my suspicion there. No reason to leave out last year’s winner, Georgia alum Brendon Todd.
1. WILL ZALATORIS
Much like Viktor Hovland coming into his own this time of year in 2019, I see Will Zalatoris making a name for himself in this coming season. A very high finish in the US Open, the last major, should carry his spirits well into this new season where he will have to earn his spots and can climb the world rankings quickly. This is an event I expect him to contend in.
2. BRENDON TODD
Probably the lock of the week – and it’s hard to debate why Todd wouldn’t win this event. I like to say that I don’t usually pick a defending champion and in this case, I don’t need to defend my decision. His year and his play has not stopped and he is by far the hottest player in the field based on his performance and the competition he’s been playing against. This should feel like a weekend money game to him. He IS house money.
3. KELLY KRAFT
We can’t overlook that there is a young past US Amateur champion in the field – and for whatever reason, Kraft plays well at events like this one. He was T14 a month ago at the Corales event and has been in the top 10 in many smaller events like this one in exotic locations of late. I think he’s also at a period in his career where he should be very comfortable in contention now.
4. KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT
For experience and as a sleeper, Kiradech is a guy who comes alive when least expected and his experience suggests to me that this course should be a good fit for him. Although is recent play might be a question mark for some, I think Kiradech comes alive in situations you least expect him to get hot. His highlights in his career have been at events like this.
5. DENNY MCCARTHY
Last year, I watched quite closely how Denny performed here. It was a breakout event for many rookies. I think McCarthy’s nerves were a little off since it was his first time truly in the spotlight. But he made a ton of birdies and finished T15. He made a ton of putts. And if plays a little smarter tee to green than last year, it is not a stretch that he’ll cruise into the top 10 and maybe better.
6. SHAWN STEFANI
I like the Texans this week – because the overseeded summer Texas courses will resemble the conditions here a bit. Any player in the South can relate to that – but Stefani is a fantastic sleeper. He was T11 last year at this very event and it’s the only time he’s played here. That makes him a deadly sleeper – and he should be refreshed and has had a steady year.
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