With November’s US Masters just two weeks away, the PGA Tour heads to the North Atlantic for the second instalment of the Bermuda Championship.
Located around 640 miles from the North Carolina coast, Port Royal golf course will once again host the tournament.
Low lying and coastal, this resort course can be stunning on a good day but windswept on a bad one.
That said, last year’s inaugural tournament did not cause too many problems for eventual champion Brendon Todd who posted rounds of 63 and 62, en route to completing 72 holes in 24 under par (260).
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, and opened in 1970, Port Royal was upgraded 11 years ago in a project which cost $14.5m.
This was completed ahead of hosting the four-player 36-hole Grand Slam of Golf for six straight years from 2009.
Absence of stars
With most of the PGA Tour’s leading players taking a break, ahead of Augusta National, there are no top-25 ranked pros in the field.
Not the longest of Tour layouts, water is only an issue on five holes, including at the iconic par-three 16th which can be a real handful if the wind blows.
Among those heading to this British Overseas Territory are five top-80 ranked Europeans – Henrik Stenson (54), Danny Willett (56), Tom Lewis (66), Rasmus Hojgaard (74) and Rafa Cabrera-Bello (78).
However, the most in-form golfer among the entry list is 24-year-old Californian Will Zalatoris who stepped seamlessly from the Korn Ferry Tour onto the main PGA Tour during late summer.
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After topping the Korn Ferry standings, albeit in a Covid-ravaged season, he tied-sixth in the US Open before adding two more top-10s on the PGA Tour.
This week’s event, which has a weaker than normal field, will provide Zalatoris with a good chance to further his growing reputation.
However, as the fourth-highest ranked golfer taking part, he may face a little more pressure than normal.
One year older than Zalatoris is the big-hitting Kristoffer Ventura. The Mexican-born Norwegian has enjoyed a solid start to the new PGA Tour season, posting two top-10 finishes from four events.
Opportunity for the oldies?
Almost two decades older than both Zalatoris and Ventura is Charley Hoffman whose form has taken an up-turn in recent weeks.
Hoffman hasn’t won for more than four years but his tie-for-sixth in Mississippi during September was his highest finish in over 18 months.
Check out the latest betting ahead of this week’s Bermuda Championship
And another veteran who has suddenly started playing well again is Stewart Cink, winner at Silverado where he ended an 11-year title-drought.
Finally, in a tournament lacking stars, maybe the coastal breezes will help Padraig Harrington who has travelled back from Europe where two recent outings in Scotland yielded finishes of T-9th and T-14th.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves