Brendon Todd made seven straight birdies on the front nine en route to a nine-under 62 and stress-free win at the Bermuda Championship on Sunday.
Todd birdied Nos. 2-8 and turned in 29. He added birdies on 10 and 11 to push him to nine under through 11, and his final birdie came on the 15th. He made a bogey on the par-4 18th hole — his only one of the day — but he had already separated himself. He finished 24 under, four clear of runner-up Harry Higgs.
How things have changed.
“A year ago I was talking to my manager about potentially opening up another business and not sure if I was going to keep playing,” Todd said. “So to turn it around in one year and regain status and then have a big win this like this is just a dream come true and hopefully a springboard to a really long, successful career out here.”
Todd, 34, won the Byron Nelson in 2014, had four top 10s in 2015 but struggled mightily the next few seasons. He battled swing yips and mental hurdles, both of which he pinpoints to the 2015 BMW Championship and a disastrous four-iron that led to a 7 (and plenty of scar tissue). In 2006 he missed 25 of 29 cuts and barely earned $75,000. In 2017 it was eight missed cuts in nine starts, and in 2018 he was six for six in missed cuts on the PGA Tour.
“It didn’t really matter who I worked with because I hadn’t taken enough time off, I think, to like calm my mind and just get away from it and say, OK, what did I do when I did play good?” Todd said. “For some reason I just couldn’t figure out what it was.”
After the 2018 season he hooked up with teacher Bradley Hughes, took time off, worked on drills in his basement and even read a self-help book to cure the yips. In 11 starts last season he mixed in four top 25s and made $252,546, and that helped him get into the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, where he earned his card back. He missed the cut in his first four starts of this season before a tie for 28th at the Houston Open. His next start was in Bermuda. He started Sunday two back but made that up in no time.
“We came to a golf course that none of us have ever seen and I was able to go out there and figure it out and execute the shots and play spectacular golf,” he said. “Always be the first Bermuda champion, so I’m excited.”