2021 Bermuda Championship scores, grades: Lucas Herbert wins by one to pick up

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Lucas Herbert was the perfect archetype for this week’s Bermuda Championship field. Good player, decent world ranking, solid career to date but no wins on the PGA Tour. He’s no longer the perfect archetype for this field because he is no longer winless on the PGA Tour. He took care of that by winning by one Sunday over Patrick Reed and Danny Lee in just his 20th start on the Tour.

Herbert shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to get to 15 under for the week and stay just clear of Reed and Lee in some dicey weather and final round that got bumped way up in the day because of more wooly weather expected later on in the day. His 2 under number doesn’t sound amazing, but it was nearly three clear of the field average and it was enough to hold off Reed, who shot 65 and Lee, who had a wild second nine with a double, two bogeys and three birdies in his last seven holes.

“I felt like I grinded really well early and I had the right attitude going into the day that it wasn’t going to be easy,” Herbert said. “I don’t think we even hit drivers on the range because (we) just couldn’t hit it, it was just pointless, so you just knew it was going to be one of those days where you had to battle really, really hard. Under par was going to be a great score. I couldn’t go and expect to finish at 20 under par or anything like that, you just had to grind through. Yeah, there was going to be some holes where it was going to die down a little bit and give you a chance, just had to kind of take your chances on those when you did get them.”

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter, Greg DuCharme and Mark Immelman to break down and react to the 2021 Bermuda Championship plus dissect the week’s biggest news in golf. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  

The Australian Herbert, who came in ranked No. 57 in the Official World Golf Rankings, was not flawless in some windy and, at times, nasty weather in Bermuda over the last four days, but he did get up and down in 21 of his 27 opportunities on the week (including six of eight in the final round), which ranked fourth in the field and is extremely useful when you’re trying to win a Tour event in these conditions.

The win for him is his second of the year as he also won the Irish Open back in July on the European Tour. It will move him into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and, according to Golf Channel, it means that he’s joined Jason Day, Adam Scott, Cam Smith and Aaron Baddeley as the only Australians at 25 or younger to win a PGA Tour event in the last two decades.

It also gets him into the Masters for the first time in his career and puts him on a good trajectory to potentially make the Tour Championship in 2022 just one year after he played his postseason golf in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. The archetype for this event’s field graduated out of that into a first-time PGA Tour champ and what should be a very fun 2022.

“I’ve only had two minutes to think about it because I’ve been trying to push it so far out of my mind, but it just opens up so many doors for me,” Herbert said. “It’s just so exciting being able to play out here now, pick a schedule. It’s been tough for the guys out of the Korn Ferry Finals and regular season category earlier this year, we haven’t got a lot of starts. Yeah, to be sort of out of that battle and be able to get into some of these really big events, I’m looking forward to it so much.” Grade: A+

Here are the rest of our grades for the Bermuda Championship.

Patrick Reed (T2): Reed was incredible on Sunday, and his 65 was the second best round of the day to Scott Stallings’ 62. The conditions were the type he loves where he can, as he said, get away from a driving range swing and shape some golf shots. He just had too much ground to make up going into the last round after his first three good (but not amazing) rounds of 68-69-68.

“I had eight penalty shots throughout the week and the big goal coming in today was no penalty shots, no doubles and to give yourself opportunities, looks for birdie,” Reed said. “I felt like I did that really well today and I managed the conditions. The putter got going for me.”

This is a good result for the No. 24 golfer in the world — even in a weaker field — after some struggle this summer and fall and also his first top 10 anywhere since the Memorial in June.

“I think in this tournament in general, I’ve been having issues of … once I got back after being sick is … producing offense,” he said. “I was hitting the ball really well and making some putts, but just kind of burning edges on a 50/50 putt here that can get a round going, or get an up-and-down or don’t quite get an up-and-down when I should. It’s stuff like that that has like been a little soft because I had so much time off on the actual playing side.

“So coming out and producing a lot of offense this week, it definitely gives me the confidence that, hey, we’re back playing and now we’re kind of in play mode rather than so much technique and work mode.” Grade: A

Patrick Rodgers (4th): The mega-talented Rodgers has just four top 10s on the PGA Tour since the start of 2019, and two of them have now come in his last three events, including this week’s Bermuda. He was never necessarily spectacular this week outside of a Friday 64, but he just stayed in the mix and had just one blemish in each round (three bogeys and a double). That’s good news for somebody who has a great pedigree and seemingly enough game to contend at legit events across the PGA Tour. He’s now got some momentum going into 2022. Grade: A

Matt Fitzpatrick (T30): Fitzpatrick faded coming home in an event where I thought he would thrive, but he did give us the quote of the week after Round 1.

“This is the hardest wind I’ve ever played in,” he said on Thursday. “You see winds like this, but normally you don’t play in them. This was the hardest wind I’ve ever played in. I absolutely ripped a drive on 7. People are going to laugh at this because they probably think it’s my normal tee shot, but anyway, I ripped it and it went 245. That’s — I think my season average last year was like 295. Just shows you how strong it is.”

This was not a terrible result from him, but as one of the two golfers in the field ranked inside the OWGR top 50 coming into the week, I was looking for just a bit more. Still, his last three finishes — T20, 1st, T30 — are fairly solid. Grade: B-



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