Brian Gay, the 2020 Butterfield Bermuda Championship winner, will again tee off at Port Royal Golf Course this week as he attempts to become the first multiple winner of one of the island’s signature sporting events.
But as one former victor gets in some course time, last year’s champion Lucas Herbert is taking time away from the action with a family wedding preventing him from defending his crown, which he captured in stunning fashion after coming from four shots back during the final round to land his first PGA tour title.
Also among those not returning this year is Taylor Pendrith, who fired a course record ten-under 61 during the second round in 2021.
The Canadian seemed on course for a maiden PGA win having taken a three-shot advantage over the field into the final round but has withdrawn at the eleventh hour this time around for undisclosed reasons.
Despite those notable absences, a formidable field has taken shape year event, with former world number one and European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald and major champions John Daly and Lucas Glover among those set for action on Thursday.
But they are not the only big names ready to showcase their talents with a host of multiple tour winners in action.
Australian Aaron Baddeley is a four-time winner on the PGA tour with his last victory coming in the 2016 Barbasol Championship. Winner of more than $21 million in prize-money during his two decades as a professional, he finished 36th in his last tournament.
JJ Henry competed for the United States in the 2006 Ryder Cup, halving all three of his matches as his team suffered a 18.5-9.5 defeat at the hands of Europe. He has gone more than seven years without a tour success and missed the cut in five of his nine tour events last season.
Charley Hoffman and Colombian Camilo Villegas both have four wins on the PGA tour to their credit but both are trailing Nick Watney, whose five wins include the 2009 Buick Invitational and the 2011 Cadillac Championship
Newly crowned Butterfield Bermuda APGA champion Willie Mack III will be looking for more success as he steps up a level when he makes his second appearance at Port Royal this month, while Bermuda’s hopes this year are carried by Michael Sims, Nick Jones, Jarryd Dillas and Kim Swan.
Sims, Jones and Dillas secured the three qualifying spots available at the Local Qualifier, while former European Tour player Swan received a sponsor’s exemption.
No local player has made the cut since the tournament’s inception in 2019.
Bermuda’s Camiko Smith joined an exclusive group last year after blazing a bogey-free, six-under 29 on the back nine during the second round to become only the third player to achieve that feat after Americans Scottie Scheffler (2019) and Doc Redman (2020).
The Butterfield Bermuda Championship is again a standalone event with the field competing for a share of $6.5 million in prize money and FedEx Cup points on offer.
Meanwhile, limited general admission tickets remain available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the public having been urged to purchase them at the earliest opportunity. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased on the tournament website with Digicel Business Ocean Club tickets are $250 and can also be purchased online
The Butterfield Bermuda Championship has implemented the PGA TOUR’s Junior Initiative this year which see youngsters 15 and under admitted free to the tournament with a ticketed adult.
However, this does not apply to hospitality spaces, and all spectators over the age of two entering hospitality venues must hold a pre-purchased ticket.