The Bermuda Championship was introduced to the PGA Tour in 2019 as an alternative event. The idea was for it to be held at the same time as the WGC-HSBC Champions. While the best in the world compete in Shanghai, the PGA Tour could keep going and provide those who didn’t qualify for the World Golf Championship event with a chance to earn a life-changing win.
The tournament was promoted to full status on the PGA Tour in 2020 when the WGC-HSBC Champions was cancelled for the year. Longer term, the Bermuda Championship will be a popular stop-off for PGA Tour players whether it is held as a fully-fledged PGA Tour tournament or an alternate event.
|2020||Port Royal Golf Course||Brian Gay|
|2019||Port Royal Golf Course||Brendon Todd|
2020: Brian Gay
From the outside, Brian Gay looked like a golfer passing time until he could qualify for the PGA Tour Champions. The 48 year old turned up to Southampton, Bermuda without a win since 2013 and with a run of form that hardly suggested he was capable of ending that barren run. Gay had other ideas though. He earned his right to play at the top level through to 2023 and showed that he retains a whole lot of fire in his belly when he outlasted Wyndham Clark to win the 2020 Bermuda Championship.
That stomach for the fight was evident with the way that Gay finished the tournament. A birdie on the 18th hole on Sunday capped off a final round of 64 and saw him squeeze into a playoff with Clark. It was then time to use his experience, calm down the adrenaline and get himself ready for the playoff. That prep work paid off straight away as a birdie on the first extra hole was enough to secure the win as Clark could only make par.
“Crazy game, you never know what’s going to happen,” Gay said afterwards before thanking his wife and the people around him for convincing him that he could still win. Proving other people wrong helped to make his fifth PGA Tour win that little bit more special.
2019: Brendon Todd
Alternate events are perfect for two types of players. The first is younger potential stars who are looking for a chance to make their PGA Tour breakthrough. The second is older players who are battling away in the quest to return to the levels of the past. Brendon Todd won’t mind anybody saying that he belongs to the latter camp, especially after his hard work with new swing coach Bradley Hughes paid off with victory in the inaugural Bermuda Championship.
Todd was so convinced with the work that he and Hughes had been doing that he announced to his coach that he was going to win again. That belief made a huge difference at Port Royal Golf Course where Todd made the mental shift from trying to hang on a make the cut to pushing for the win. It helped also when he went into the final round two shots off the lead. There was no chance of Todd settling for being happy to be in contention. He was there to win and set about chasing down the lead.
To see the quality of Todd’s play during his final round of -9 was like watching a completely different player from the man who had the full-on yips with his swing. The job now is for Todd to build on this success and kick on to compete at an even higher level.