While it isn’t an official PGA Tour event, the Hero World Challenge is one of the more interesting golf tournaments on the calendar. It brings together all of the winners of last season’s PGA Tour events, who will compete for a $3,500,000 prize pool!
The tournament gets underway Thursday night from Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas and we have a full preview and betting tips for the action below.
$3,500,000 might not seem like a lot when compared to some of the official PGA Tour events on the calendar, however, when you take into account that just 18 players will be competing in the event this week, it makes the event one of the most lucrative in golf.
Tiger Woods is the official host of the event, with the majority of the proceeds going to his foundation. As you would expect, the reigning Masters champion will be playing in the event, alongside a star-studded field that features a bunch of major winners.
Seven of the top 10 ranked players in the world will tee it up on Thursday in Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods and Xander Schauffele. Alongside them will be 2018 U.S Open Champion Gary Woodland as well as past winners of the Hero World Challenge in Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler.
Note: Dustin Johnson is a late withdrawal from the Hero World Challenge.
The Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas has been the host of the Hero World Challenge since the 2015 season, when it relocated from Isleworth Country Club. The championship course was designed by Ernie Els and combines the best of links and desert features that are commonly found in the Bahamas.
The course plays at just over 7,400 yards as a Par 72, so length and accuracy off the tee will be crucial for players this week. Since relocating to the Albany Golf Course in 2015, strong players off the tee have won the event on every occasion in Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler. I will be targeting that style of player once again this week.
It’s almost impossible to predict a winner when you have this many top line players in the same field, so instead of picking who I like, I’m going to play the process of elimination. Based on pure talent, I think Kevin Kisner is a little bit off the mark here, so I’m happy to rule him out to start with.
These players are talented enough to win, but with the form they are in at the moment, it would be very surprising to see them lifting the trophy on Sunday. Those players are Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Bryson DeChambaeu, who just hasn’t played enough golf recently for me to consider him.
Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Tiger Woods are in the category of ‘not strong enough off the tee’ to win at Albany Golf Club, so once again, I’m happy to rule them out this week.
That leaves me with Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Tony Finau and Gary Woodland. Still an almost impossible task, I am leaning slightly towards the Spaniard Rahm this week, purely for the form he is in at the moment.
Rahm is fresh off a massive win at the at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where he picked up over $4.3 AUD, beating out a talented field that included the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Shane Lowry just to name a few.
Rahm is also the reigning champion at the Hero World Challenge, proving he has got what it takes to win at Albany.
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