Following last week’s break for Thanksgiving, the PGA returns with its final sanctioned event of 2021. Technically, it’s part of the PGA schedule although there are no FedEx points up for grabs at the end of four days. The Hero World Challenge 2021 does, however, draw a strong field based on the fact that it is hosted by Tiger Woods and directly benefits his charitable organization.
You don’t say no to Tiger so, while the field is restricted to just twenty players, there are many big names in contention.
Those that follow the European circuit will know that Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy went head-to-head for much of the DP World Tour Championship earlier this month. McIlroy was the 54-hole leader but a slump on the final day allowed Morikawa to claim the tournament and the Race to Dubai.
The two start as joint-favorites this week and both can be found at around the 8/1 mark. Form is clearly good in both camps but Morikawa has that killer instinct that seems to have been lacking from Rory’s game at the big tournaments.
It is bunched at the top and, behind the market leaders, Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland and Bryson DeChambeau can all be found at 11/1 in places. Of the three, Hovland has the better form after successfully defending his title in Mayakoba. He has been rested since that point and is now making his debut in this event.
Thomas is attracting some interest but, in three previous visits to Albany, his best performance was a tie for 5th in 2019.
Moving through, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele are both quoted at 12/1, followed by Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler at 16/1. Spieth is our first former champion having won the Hero World Challenge by a colossal ten strokes over Henrik Stenson in 2014. Not surprisingly, that was a record margin of victory, as was his 72-hole aggregate of 262.
Others to look at from within this section include Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger and Webb Simpson who are all quoted at 20/1 in places.
The 2020 edition of the Hero World Challenge was one of many tournaments that had to be cut from the schedule. It therefore makes a welcome return and, technically, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is the defending champion having edged out Jon Rahm by one stroke two years ago.
Rahm is absent this week but Stenson is back to defend his title. The Swede is, however, way out at odds of 66/1 and those are the highest numbers among all twenty players. His fall from 26th in the world two years ago to 182nd this week, underlines the reasons for that price.
Moving back towards the head of the outside bunch, Tony Finau should offer a threat at 22/1 and this course could suit his long game. Brooks Koepka, fresh from winning his head-to-head battle with DeChambeau, is quoted at 25/1 while the English pair of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton are both available at 28/1.
This preview has probably mentioned the winner by this point but, in such a short field, we may as well list the rest of the players in contention. Next up are Justin Rose and Patrick Reed at 30/1, followed by Harris English at 35/1. Stenson rounds it all off as the rank outsider.
Our Preview’s Hero World Challenge Predictions & Picks with Course & Betting Trends
The tournament originally started in 2000 as the Williams World Challenge and it quickly became a competition that Tiger Woods would dominate. Tiger last won here in 2011 with his fifth victory and he also has five runners up slots to add to that list.
The Albany Golf Course in New Providence, Bahamas offers a luxurious setting for four days of world class golf. This is a par 72 and there is some good distance here at a fraction over 7,300 yards.
Lots of sand and water provide the on-course hazards while significant winds can add to issues from the tee. Accuracy is, therefore, a big plus at this venue.
It’s going to be a tough call and, while this is a small field, it’s clearly a strong one. The man who best combines form along with the desired stats is Jordan Spieth who obviously enjoys this course as we saw when he broke all records to win in 2014.
Results have been mixed since then but Spieth made a welcome winning return in 2021 and we suspect that he is in for a productive 12 months. He has settled with his game and his personal life and Spieth to win is the main tip.
We weren’t expecting any other options to be published for a field of just twenty golfers, but there are Top Ten and Top Five markets. Two of the chasing pack that we had considered for the win – Xander Schauffele and Abraham Ancer – have good prices in the Top Five section.
So these are the betting predictions and picks for this Hero Challenge preview:
- Jordan Spieth to win @ best odds of +1400 with BetOnline.
- Xander Schauffele @ +190 with Intertops (+185 BetOnline) and Abraham Ancer @ +260 with Intertops (+250 BetOnline) for top five finishes.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.