Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA Tour: Hero World Challenge Preview

PGA Tour: Hero World Challenge Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

This week will see an 18 man limited field compete in the Hero World Challenge. Though it is an unofficial event, organizers have managed to assemble a highly competitive line-up comprising 11 of the world’s top 20 players.

US PGA Tour | Hero World Challenge
Albany, New Province, Bahamas
Wednesday 4 November 2019 - Saturday 7 November 2019

This is in many ways a glorified exhibition event that allows the players a final chance for easy money. Tiger Woods has utilized this event - which he hosts - as a vehicle to relaunch his career in seasons past. However, this year will see the King of Golf compete in full bloom. The current Masters champion hosts this week prior to captaining the US President’s Cup side. So it’s fair to say that Woods will be front and centre in the golfing universe for the next two weeks- even more so than usual. 

This event dates back to 1999 and was first played at Greyhawk Country Club. It has undergone various facelifts but found its new home in the Bahamas four years back. This will be the 5th renewal at Albany Golf Club. It’s almost as if the gods were behind this week’s event. It is being hosted By Tiger and played on an Ernie Els design. It’s the perfect amuse-bouche for next week’s dual in Australia. The course is a flat, links-inspired course that is quite exposed. It features dramatic dunes and significant bunkering. Clearly, scrambling could prove hugely important this week. This is also a fairly untraditional par 72, with five par 3’s and five par 5’s. Par 5 scoring generally proves consequential in courses of this nature. It actually was designed with next week’s venue in mind, with Els holding a special place for the Aussie sand-belt challenges. 

Jon Rahm unsurprisingly heads the markets this week, and who would bet against him? The defending champion is currently in red-hot form, having clinched the Race to Dubai title only two weeks ago. Justin Thomas will have something to say about that after his stunning CJ Cup victory. All eyes will be on Woods this week, as 11 of the 12 President’s Cup squad will be in attendance. Dustin Johnson has withdrawn late, which has a slightly ominous feel to it. Watch this space next week to see if we have yet another high profile USA withdrawal. This event will begin on Wednesday, owing to the extended travel time necessary for the long haul to Australia. 

Past Winners
2018: Jon Rahm (-20)
2017: Ricky Fowler (-18)
2016: Hideki Matsuyama (-18)
2015: Bubba Watson (-25)
2014: Jordan Spieth (-26)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Jon Rahm (4/1)
|Justin Thomas (13/2)
Patrick Cantlay (8/1)
Tiger Woods (9/1)
Xander Schauffele (9/1)


Value Bets

Patrick Reed
To Win (18/1), To Place (32/10)

Considering that there’s payment for four places in an 18 man field, you have got to like the chances of the burly American. Reed has competed in this event on three occasions, with finishes of 2nd, 10th and 5th to his name. So there’s certainly a great deal of familiarity and comfort to be gleaned from that. But it’s his recent form that has really sparkled. He finished inside the top 10 in the highly competitive WGC event in China. He followed that up with an excellent tie for 2nd at the DP World Tour Championship. Reed is a totemic figure in American team golf and will be hugely motivated ahead of next week’s President’s Cup. 

Gary Woodland
To Win (18/1), To Place (32/10)

I definitely feel that Gary Woodland reeks value this week. Woodland will be riding high ahead of next week’s President’s Cup. His form understandably nosedived somewhat after his exploits at Pebble Beach. Becoming a Major Champion certainly left some hangover residue. However, his form seems to have turned in recent times. His Asian swing was very encouraging, with a 3rd place finish at the CJ Cup followed by a 5th at the inaugural Zozo Championship. Woodland finished in a creditable 8th last year on debut. Significantly, he also finished the 2018/2019 season in 3rd on par 5 performance. 

The Man to Beat

Ricky Fowler
To Win (14/1), To Place (5/2)

This is just a man who ticks all the right boxes this week. A champion here back in 2017 Fowler has amazing course figures that read 3-3-1. Yes, he hasn’t been in scintillating form of late: his last top 10 came at Royal Portrush in July. But his confidence would have been done the world of good by Tiger selecting him in the wake of Koepka’s withdrawal from next week’s President’s Cup. But Fowler’s last victory came at TPC Scottsdale in this year’s Phoenix Open. The Phoenix Open is often seen as a strong corollary to this event: Gary Woodland has also tasted success in this event last year. 

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