The world’s best golfers will return to the Bahamas to battle for glory in the $3.5 million Hero World Challenge from December 2-5. The field will contain just 20 elite players, sixteen of whom sit among the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Henrik Stenson returns as the defending champion, while Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler, and Justin Rose have been awarded tournament exemptions to compete. World number one Jon Rahm is a notable absentee, while Dustin Johnson also misses out, but all the other big names will line up.
Hero World Challenge
December 2nd – 5th at Albany Golf Course
7, 309 yards
Tiger Woods hosts this tournament, which takes place at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas. It was designed by Ernie Els. Albany combines many of the characteristics associated with traditional links and dessert courses, with windswept dunes and water placement hazards. The course is 7,309 yards.
The Hero World Challenge was first held at Albany in 2015. Bubba Watson won that year with a score of 263, which left him -25. The following year, Hideki Matsuyama finished two strokes ahead of Stenson to take the crown with a score of 270.
Rickie Fowler won in 2017 with an identical score, and then Rahm went round in 268 to emerge victorious in 2018. In 2019, Stenson became the third non-US winner in four years when he finished one stroke ahead of Stenson with a score of 270.
Watson, therefore, holds the Albany record of 263, while Fowler’s fourth-round 61 back in 2017 remains the 18-hole record.
The tournament was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but it is now set to return to Albany for the sixth time. You can watch the action on the Golf Channel and NBC.
World number two Collin Morikawa has been installed as the +750 favorite with Bet365 to win this tournament. The 24-year-old American, who won the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Open Championship earlier this year, was victorious at the DP World Tour Championship last week. He will be the top-ranked player at the tournament.
Rory McIlroy, who is down to eighth in the world rankings, is the +800 second favorite, while Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas are both priced at +1000. The big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau, who suffered a chastening defeat to Brooks Koepka in The Match at the weekend, is next in the betting at +1100.
Jordan Spieth and Xander Schaffele are +1200, the in-form Sam Burns is +1400, Scheffler is +1600, Daniel Berger is +1600, and Mexican star Abraham Ancer is +1800. There are lots of intriguing longer shots, including Tony Finau (+2000), Simpson (+2000), Koepka (+2200), Tyrell Hatton (+2500), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2500), Rose (+2800), Harris English (+3000), Patrick Reed (+4000), and Stenson (+5500).
You will get a fifth of the odds if the player you bet on finishes second, third or fourth when you go each way on the winner of this tournament.
Stenson loves playing at Albany. He finished second in this tournament in 2016, he was fourth in 2018, and he won it in 2019. His recent form has been poor, but odds of +5500 on the defending champion look very tempting.
Rose is another player with an excellent record at this tournament. He finished T5 in 2019, third in 2018, and T5 in 2017, so he looks like another interesting option at +2800.
If you want to back one of the favorites, it is hard to look past Morikawa right now, as he has been on fire this year. He sealed the Race to Dubai title and became the first American to finish number one in the European tour last week, and he is calmness personified on the course. He carries a great deal of momentum into this tournament, and he will take some stopping.