What a weekend at the World Wide Technology Championship. What happened with Erik van Rooyen is why we all love sports, because it transcends. If you missed the story, van Rooyen had horrible news dropped on him Tuesday before the start of this weekend’s tournament. The best man at his wedding and college teammate, Jon Trasamar at the University of Minnesota was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He only has 6-10 weeks left according to doctors. Erik, his caddy Alex Gaugert and Jon won the 2014 Big Ten Championship together. Trasamar actually finished 3rd in the individual that year.
The inspired golf that van Rooyen played on Sunday was simply unbelievable to watch. He will not forget that back nine on Sunday anytime soon. Erik shot a 63 on Sunday because of an 8 under performance on the back nine. He finished birdie, birdie, eagle to pass both Matt Kuchar and Camilo Villegas. Kuchar was quoted afterward saying, “at the end of the day you tip your hat and say that’s some awesome playing.” This win means so much for him besides the obvious doing it for his friend but it gives the security of a tour card for the 2024 PGA Tour season. He isn’t forced to play these last few events on the fall schedule to keep himself inside the Top 125. He can actually take time to go home and see his friend and spend time with him. You can’t help but feel good for the man going through a lot in his life and getting a chance to say a proper goodbye to his brother.
This will be the fifth edition of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. These players will once again compete on the Port Royal Golf Club which was designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones. If you’ve ever played one of his courses, you’ll know they are not for the faint of heart. The course features all the typical challenges of playing on an island from the wind to the course size. It measures just 6,828 yards and plays as a Par 71. We will see six holes that run alongside the ocean which means wind will be a major factor this weekend. While distance is nice being a short course, wind control will be vital to success. There are only three par 5s on the course and all of them are reachable in two which will give these players lots of opportunities to go low. It will be very important for these players to hit these fairways and that cannot be overstated. The par 3s will be a challenge as two of them can reach over 230 yards. When you look at the previous winners, none of them would ever be called a bomber off the tee. They all keep the ball on fairways and greens. The greens will not challenge even the average PGA Tour player but the terrific putters will have an added advantage.
The field strength is once again sub-par this weekend. There are just two players inside the Top 50 in the official world golf rankings playing in Bermuda. We’ve got a bunch of players who are typically in the 7K and 6K range sitting at the top of the pricing sheet on DraftKings. The top priced player on DraftKings is Adam Scott, who is making his first trip to this event. He is a terrific player and a major winner but should be priced in the mid-8K range in a typical tournament.
You would expect to see sensational weather in Bermuda and that’s what is in the forecast this weekend. The temperatures will be in the mid-70s throughout the tournament with partly cloudy skies. There will be some winds in the mid-teens but nothing these players haven’t seen before.
This will be an extremely difficult week to predict as we’ve got a bunch of unknowns in the field. Good luck!