Hero World Challenge Betting Tips & Predictions – Wednesday 4th December 2019

The PGA Tour has already wound down for its winter break with no new tournament until the New Year. That is by no means the end of top level golf for 2019 though. The Presidents Cup is just around the corner with Royal Melbourne set to host a cracking tournament, and this week there is the small matter of the Hero World Challenge.

This limited field, invitational event is hosted, as ever, by Tiger Woods at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas. Woods himself is competing against 17 rivals and is attracting support in the betting but it is Jon Rahm who looks the man to stop as he seeks to defend his title one week after being crowned the Race to Dubai champion.

Top Tips

Jon Rahm @ 9/2

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

2019 marks the fifth time that Albany Golf Course has played host to the Hero World Challenge. This highly exclusive golf club fits the nature of the tournament perfectly. It’s a resort course that is well used to hosting multi-millionaires intent on enjoying themselves and that’s just what we’ll see this week. There’s plenty of prize money to play for and it is always good to beat such a world class field but there is a real lack of intensity in this tournament.

As with most island courses, Albany poses a significantly tougher test when the wind blows. The 7,302 yard, par 72 layout can be taken apart by top class golfers when conditions are still but is a different beast when it is gusty. The members of America’s Presidents Cup team in the field will certainly hope to encounter some tricky conditions at times this week. Ernie Els had Royal Melbourne very much in mind when he was designing the course at Albany so it should serve as a good warm up for next week’s big team event.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Albany Golf Club Albany, The Bahamas 7,302 Yards €1,500,000

Recent Winners

The Hero World Challenge is always an interesting watch as a selection of the world’s best golfers compete in a low pressure environment but it doesn’t always produce the most thrilling finishes. Plenty of recent winners have done so at a canter with Jordan Spieth’s 10 stroke lead the prime example in 2014. Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson also won by handsome margins whilst Hideki Matsuyama was at least chased home by Henrik Stenson in 2016.

YearWinnerCourseTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Jon Rahm Albany Golf Course -20 4 Strokes
2017 Rickie Fowler Albany Golf Course -18 4 Strokes
2016 Hideki Matsuyama Albany Golf Course -18 2 Strokes
2015 Bubba Watson Albany Golf Course -25 3 Strokes
2014 Jordan Spieth Isleworth Country Club -26 10 Strokes

Analysis: American Contingent Have Bigger Fish to Fry

Tiger Woods is proud of the role he plays in hosting the Hero World Challenge and the amount of money that the tournament raises for his charitable foundation. Even Tiger himself will have one eye on next week though. He is a playing captain for the USA Presidents Cup team and will be joined in Albany by the vast majority of his team. Whilst all of those heading to Melbourne will be keen to impress in Albany, most have had a decent break from golf so the Hero World Challenge will be more about getting back into the swing of competitive golf than anything else.

Rahm Looking Good for Title Defence

Those players who head to the Bahamas without much recent golf don’t need to look far for inspiration showing them it is possible to win cold. Jon Rahm played no competitive golf for the six weeks before he teed it up in the DP World Tour Championship but was still able to beat a stellar field in the final European Tour event, a win that was enough for him to also win the Race to Dubai.

Rahm is looking forward to some more rest over the festive period before getting back down to the serious work of trying to win major championships. He will still be his usual competitive self in Albany though. Rahm has always relished the chance to show just how good he is against world class opposition and did just that in this tournament 12 months ago. His game is well suited to scoring well at Albany and he has the ability to change things up should the wind blow so Rahm is a very worthy favourite at 9/2 with Ladbrokes.

Change of Gear Could Work Well for Rose

Justin Rose has long been known as one of the hardest workers in golf. He spends countless hours on golf ranges around the world in the search for better golf but has been working particularly hard in recent weeks. Rose’s game isn’t where he would want it to be and he has spoken candidly about the swing issues he is currently battling.

Rose is a world class golfer so is always able to shoot a low round. His problem of late is stringing together multiple good rounds. The lack of pressure that he will feel this week could help in that respect. The Englishman won’t feel the need to battle for his best golf, instead he can allow himself to enjoy his golf more than usual. As an Albany resident, Rose will also benefit from home comforts so is a good each way betting option at odds of 16/1 with bet365.

Final Verdict: Jon Rahm to Win

The quality of the 18 man field assembled for the Hero World Challenge is such that any of the players could conceivably win the tournament. However, Jon Rahm is more than deserving of his billing as the clear favourite. He enjoys playing in this event and his game is obviously in very good shape so Rahm is the one the others have to beat at odds of 9/2 with Ladbrokes.

About

Based in the Bahamas, the Hero World Challenge is the smallest field of any PGA Tour event, with just 18 players in total. These are made up of the 11 top ranked players in the world, the defending champion and then the remaining players are picked via the foundation.

The foundation, funnily enough, is that of Tiger Woods' Foundation, who plays a major role as tournament host. Whilst not officially part of the official money list for the PGA Tour, the Hero World Challenge does offer up World Ranking points and more often than not includes the tournaments host, Tiger Woods. What's unique about the event is that the prize money of around $3.5million is equal to that of some strokeplay events that have fields of over 150. The winner takes home a cheque of $1million for their work.

There is no doubt that it's been Tiger Woods that has made many of the headlines at the Hero world Challenge since it started in 2000. He's won on 5 different occasions and one of just three players to have recorded multiple wins (Graeme McDowell, 2 and Davis Love II, 2).

In more recent years, it's been Woods who has been stealing the limelight again. He's targeted the tournament numerous times after recovering from a plaguing back injury, with 2016 seeing him finish second from last, but a resurgence Woods challenged for the win just a year later, falling short after the final round.

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