After a strange week last week that was dictated solely by the constant threat of lightening and South Africa’s developing Covid situation, the Joburg Open was called a result after 2 rounds. With this, our selections Kawamura and Harding missed places by 1 shot. They sat T4 during the 3rd round when the buzzer was sounded to suspend play. Hard luck.
Hero World Challenge Preview
So, this week we move back over to the PGA Tour and the Hero World Challenge and we are off to the Bahamas for a 20 man field, no cut event.
This tournament has been running since 2000 at 3 or 4 different courses, but since 2015 it has found home here at the Albany Course, New Providence in the Bahamas.
5 previous years of course form this means we can look at, lets go into the winners below;
- 2020 – Cancelled due to Covid
- 2019 – Henrik Stenson -18
- 2018 – Jon Rahm -20
- 2017 – Rickie Fowler -18
- 2016 – Hideki Matsuyama -18
- 2015 – Bubba Watson -25
It is very much a birdie fest for the best players on the Tour but depending on the wind that presents itself on this coastline track. Lets have a look at the course in more depth;
About Albany Course
- Par 72
- Just over 7300 yards
- Ernie Els design
- 5 Par 3s
- 8 Par 4s
- 5 Par 5s
- Wide open fairways with wasteland area just off the rough should players miss the short stuff, tough and slick Bermuda grass greens.
A long, relatively straight track that rewards a strong T2G/Approach play and those who favour the unique Bermuda surface. Not many stats are recorded for the previous winners here unfortunately, what I can tell is Driving Accuracy is generally high as the fairways are wide, so a premium is shifted to second shots into the green and the work with the putter on the greens.
Hero World Challenge Betting Odds
This year, the field has been increased to a 20 man field for the first time. 15 of these are in the worlds top 20 and the other 5 consist of the defending champion, invites and major champions from the past year.
Top of the market we have joint favourites and no surprises with Rory McIlroy and Colin Morikawa at 15/2. Colin is coming off a superb victory at the DP World Tour Champs over in Dubai where he stormed thru the top 10 on the back 9 on Sunday to win. Rory was on the losing end of Colin in Dubai where he upncharacteristically fell away over the back 9. Being a winner however this season puts him in great stead going into this week, where previous winners/contenders here are known for showing good form coming into this event.
The next group in the market we have a trio of guys at 10/1 with Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland.
JT and Bryson have been pretty inconsistent the past few months with JT being brilliant from T2G but then strangely clueless on the greens. If he finds this part of the game, he wins. He has that much talent. Bryson is struggling with his distances with his irons, so it is hard to trust a guy that has openly admitted this, especially when he is this short in the market.
The pick of this range however for me is Hovland. An already winner on tour this season at the WWT at Mayakoba. A guy whose games looks better and better every time I see it with a big improvement on his short game. With his length off the tee and direct approach I can see him going well this week.
Working down the odds then, we have Xander and Speith at 12/1, Speith on Bermuda surfaces is always dangerous, just whether his tee game is up to the mark and Xander has 2 good finishes here and has an eye for a no cut event.
2 of my tips come next in the market and the last is an outsider which I will go into but the best of the rest for me is Patrick Reed at 28/1.
Hero World Challenge Betting Tips
Tony Finau – Tipped at 16/1
More of a gut pick this week than a statistical one as Tony’s start to the season hasn’t been great with a T45-T45 and a missed cut, with the putter being cold for those starts.
Finau has had a T10 and a 2nd at this course the last 2 years, is long off the tee and is sharp on his Par 3s so he clearly suits the course.
During the last month, Finau shot a -13 59 at a casual round of golf with Jon Rahm at Silverleaf GC. A track that measures 7300 yards, a par 72, has Bermuda greens and wasteland just off the edges of the rough. Sound familiar? I’m not saying there’s a direct correlation, however the layouts are very similar.
Sam Burns – Tipped at 18/1
Bermuda Burns! When I saw the guy open at these odds in a no cut, small field event, I had to take him.
Okay, he hasn’t played competitively at this course before at this tournament however with his attributes he will be surely suited by the layout.
I mainly chose Burns this week due to his season he is having and the 2 wins he has had previously. Starting with his 2 career wins, they have both come on Bermuda tracks (Copperhead and CC of Jackson) and has been known to play his best stuff on it. His prowess on the Par 5s will also come in handy at this course.
Not only that, his 4 starts this season read 1-T14-T5-T7 and has overall stats of; 15th OTT, 4th APP, 1st T2G, 9th GIR and 4th for Scoring Average. His putting stats aren’t the best, but being back on Bermuda greens I am willing to take that risk on him this week being in the form he has shown.
Justin Rose – Tipped at 28/1
Whenever a golf tournament is played in a unique environment, it always pays dues to look at the residents of the area. Justin Rose lives in the Bahamas and spends his off time here with his family, so is clearly a happy place for him where he can go home after his rounds this week.
His form the last 3 visits here read T5-3-T5 and has a T12 on his last start 2 weeks back. T2G game is as consistent as ever and always has a good record on Bermuda surfaces as seen at Augusta National for the Masters. Being one of the rank outsiders in the market is clearly to do with the strength of the field but I cannot shy away from a guy whose going to feel comfortable here this week and on a course his favours.
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