Host Tiger Woods and 17 more of the top golfers in the world are in the Bahamas this week for the Hero World Challenge. The condensed field consists of six of the top 10 golfers from the Official World Golf Ranking, including Woods and defending champ Jon Rahm. It is played at Albany which measures 7,302 yards and plays as a par 72.
The showcase tournament is the final standard stroke-play event on the PGA Tour in 2019. The Presidents Cup and QBE Shootout will run next week. There’ll then be a brief hiatus before the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Sony Open kick off the 2020 portion of the schedule in the first two weeks of January from Hawaii.
The small field and champion pedigree of each of those in attendance means bettors need to adjust their strategies this week. Make fewer, larger wagers while focusing on those at the top of the board. Only three golfers — Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner and Chez Reavie— have odds greater than +3000. Don’t go chasing higher payouts, as each of the past four champions entered the week ranked inside the top 10 of the OWGR.
Hero World Challenge – Odds, picks and best bets
Tiger Woods +900
Woods has won this event five times but not since 2011 and never at this venue. He claimed his first victory of the season at the Zozo Championship in Japan in late October but hasn’t played a pro event since. He finished second-to-last here last year, but he has since climbed to No. 7 in the world. Woods has the fourth-best world ranking among those in attendance and is fourth by the odds at BetMGM in a rare case of him not being overpriced as a public favorite.
Xander Schauffele +900
Schauffele enters the week ranked ninth by the OWGR. He most recently finished as the runner-up at the WGC-HSBC Champions following a T-10 at the Zozo Championship. He debuted at this event with a T-8 finish last year. He has been an excellent early-season performer over his young career and looks to stay hot ahead of his defense of the Tournament of Champions next month.
Webb Simpson +1200
Simpson is the second-best putter in this field behind Jordan Spieth (+2500), who will not be winning. He is coming off a solo runner-up finish at the RSM Classic and sits at No. 11 in the world ranking. This is his debut at Albany, but Rahm won in his debut a year ago.
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