Hero World Challenge betting tips and preview
Venue: Albany, New Providence Island, Bahamas
Date: November 29-December 2, 2018
Course stats: Par 72, 7,302 yards
Purse: $3.5 million (£2.74m)
Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-18)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf – from 6.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf – from 6.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf – from 5pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf – from 4pm
Hero World Challenge preview
The Hero World Challenge takes an interesting twist this year; over the past two renewals, this laid-back tournament in the idyllic setting of New Providence Island has acted as a stage for Tiger Woods to make his comeback, to test his game up against 17 of the world’s best players following lengthy lay-offs from the game.
He’s often done alright, too.
This was the only tournament Woods played in 2016, when he fired a Friday 65 to send the Twittersphere into meltdown. He faded over the weekend but it was a promising return.
Last year was a little more exciting, when Woods opened up with rounds of 69 and 68, at one point hitting the top of the leaderboard, before eventually finishing tied for 9th.
This time around, he enters the tournament off the back of his first PGA Tour win in five years and with his game in sharp condition.
As usual, big names are in the field alongside Woods. Justin Rose is the favourite, closely followed by Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and defending champion Rickie Fowler.
Hero World Challenge betting tips
With no player bigger in price than 40/1, this, as it always has been, can be a tricky event from a betting point of view.
Pretty much anyone in the 18-man field can win, from Rose at the top of the market all the way down to Keegan Bradley at the bottom of the pile.
However, with controversial world ranking points up for grabs, this shouldn’t be seen as just an end-of-season party as it is often made out to be on television.
For Tiger Woods (10/1, 4 places), this is his own tournament and one that means a great deal – he usually donates his prize money to his foundation and I’m positive he’ll be going all out for the win.
We have seen over the past two years that Woods is extremely comfortable on this layout in the Bahamas; fairways are wide, greens are usually on the firm side and plenty of birdies are available.
The majority of the players in the field this week are entering the tournament off a stretch of downtime. For Woods, he has been practising hard in recent weeks for The Match against Phil Mickelson last Friday.
He lost to Lefty on a gimmicky 90-something-yard par-3 play-off hole, but Woods’ game looked sharp on the back-nine after a slow start. He putted poorly, but he appeared to be driving the ball as well as he has in a long time. A few tweaks here and there and he should hold an excellent chance to win on Sunday and, at 10/1, he holds the most appeal of the market leaders.
Bubba Watson (30/1, 4 places) is one of those players that only tends to play well, and indeed win, on a certain type of golf course. Put him on a tight track with difficult greens and he’ll throw his toys out of the pram, but put him on a course that suits his game and he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Clearly the wide fairways here at Albany play into the hands of Watson, who won on his debut here in 2015 and was 6th two years ago, posting rounds of 63 in both years, backing up the point that he loves it here in the Bahamas.
Earlier this month he turned 40 and what a way it would be to celebrate that by winning his 15th professional title.
At 30/1, this proven winner has snuck under the radar and looks a bet.