Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
The Hero World Challenge | 03 December - 06 December | The Albany
This week 18 of the best players in the world will go head to head at The Albany for the Hero World Challenge. Between this event and the Nedbank Golf Challenge, golf punters are in for a hectic four days and come Monday morning I’m sure most of us will be suffering from sleep deprivation. If we can find a winner or a few place bets the exhaustion will be easier to deal with though, so let’s see what we can do.
Measuring 7,400 yards, the Albany is an Ernie Else designed par 72 which features five par 5’s and five par 3’s, making it a rather unique layout. We don’t see this on the Tour every day and whilst it may not seem to make a huge difference, the reality is that strategically this changes everything. Going low on the par 5’s will be the key to winning but avoiding bogey’s on the par 3’s is almost as important - so keep an eye on those who fare well on both. Keeping it on the fairway is also a must as this links type layout punishes wayward drives and getting out of the rough and sand which lines them. Once on the green things don’t get easier and the putting surface looks as though it will be quick so keep an eye on those who have fared well on slick surfaces throughout the year. In a field like this anyone can win, so finding a victor may prove tough. We’re going to find four players, who we feel have a chance. Let’s hope we get it right.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth: 7/2
Dustin Johnson: 6/1
Justin Rose: 7/1
Bubba Watson: 12/1
Patrick Reed: 12/1
Rickie Fowler (12/1 a win, 24/10 a place)
Last season Fowler finally managed to shake the “most over-rated golfer in the world” label that has plagued him for the past few seasons and a few impressive performances saw him finally walk away with a couple big wins. Be that as it may, he seems to have gone off the boil a bit lately and it is probably for that reason that he’s available at such a big price this week. At this price, I’m willing to throw my hat in the ring and take a chance on Fowler, though, if he comes out and plays his best he may well make light work of this field.
Justin Rose (7/1 a win, 14/10 a place)
I’m not surprised that Justin Rose finds himself near the top of the betting this week as he has a bit of course experience and seems to enjoy these marquee events more than most. He is a bit of a links specialist and generally fares well against stiffer competition. In any other week, I’d say Adam Scott would be a better bet than Rose but he has just flown over from Australia and may struggle to get going this week. I’ll be backing Rose each way.
Brooks Koepka (25/1 a win, 5/1 a place)
Koepka hasn’t been in the best form lately, but he generally does very well on these links type layouts and is certainly worth an each-way bet this week. He finished T10 at St Andrews earlier in the season and also looked comfortable at Pinehurst on his way to a Top Five finish and if those performances are anything to go by the Albany should suit his game perfectly. Sure, he isn't playing as well as he was a few months ago but that could all change this week so I’ll be backing Koepka each way.
Dustin Johnson (6/1 a win, 12/10 a place)
Jordan Spieth looks like he’ll be the man to beat this week, but, he’ll arrive here having flown in from Australia and I reckon the exhaustion may just get the better of him and open the door for an in form Dustin Johnson. Sure, Johnson hasn’t capitalised on the great golf that he’s been playing lately but against this limited field I have the feeling he will go close this week. He’s one of the bigger hitters participating and that will stand him in good stead on the par 5’s. The price is a bit short for my liking, but I’ll take what I can get. Each way is the bet for me.
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