The golfing elite will gather one more time ahead of the regular winter break and the big names will be out in force for the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in The Bahamas.
Hero World Challenge General Information:
- Date: December 2 – 5, 2021
- TV-Time: Golf Channel, 3:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Albany Golf Course
- Location: The Bahamas
- Prize Money: $3,500,000 ($1,000,000 1st Place)
- Winner last year: Henrik Stenson
Tournament, Conditions & Course Info
After a number of less than high quality fields at the start of this season, the big dogs will be back at it this week, as 20 of the best players in the world of golf head to The Bahamas, for an exclusive event, won last by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.
In the field are five previous FedExCup champions, with Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson all taking their places, while other iconic names such as Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will grace the leaderboard. Notable absentees are current world number one Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen and world number three Dustin Johnson.
Designed by four-time major winner Ernie Els, Albany Golf Course, which has hosted this event for the last six seasons, measures out at over 7,300 yards and rates as a Par 72. The links-like, dune featuring track boast no shortage of hazards, especially water, so accuracy is reasonably important, though scoring can be low, with the six winners coming in at -18, -20, -18, -18, -25 and -26.
Expert Pick #1 – Sam Burns to Win @+1800
If you’re looking for someone in the outright market who is outside of the first few in the betting, then Sam Burns is the man. Few players have made a better start to the new campaign than Burns, who already has a win under his belt and who arrives here off the back of finishing seventh, fifth, 14th and 1st in his last four events.
This will be the first time that Burns has competed in the Hero World Challenge, but we shouldn’t let that put us off, as he’s currently the best player on tour in terms of strokes gained: tee-to-green, which is very hard to ignore. Couple this with the fact that his accurate approach play should lend itself to Albany Golf Course and the man in fine form looks an excellent bet at attractive odds of +1800.
Fedex Cup Rank: 2 | Fedex Cup Points: 730 | OWGR: 18
Expert Pick #2 – Brooks Koepka to Finish Top [email protected]+433
It’s been a while since we saw Brooks Koepka challenging week in, week out, but if ever there was a man for the big occasion, it’s Brooks, who is one of only two players in this field to win four majors.
In terms of recent form, there’s not much to speak of, with the 31-year-old finishing T67, T38, CUT, CUT in four events this term, though he does turn up here off the back of playing some scintillating golf in his Vegas showdown with Bryson DeChambeau. Yes, that was an exhibition match, but Koepka showed that he can still turn it on and play with razor sharp accuracy, so don’t be surprised if he’s on song at Albany.
At the end of the day, we know that Koepka turns up in the big events, and with this being an exclusive high-end field, it’s pretty big. At the end of the day, for a player of this quality, whether he’s had a great season so far or not, odds of +433 on a top five finish, with only 20 players in the field, look well worth taking.
Fedex Cup Rank: 172 | Fedex Cup Points: 18 | OWGR: 16
Expert Pick #3 – Justin Rose to Finish Top [email protected]+550
Denied a Ryder Cup place for the first time in some years, Justin Rose has become something of a forgotten man in recent times. He’s down to 47 in the world rankings and probably won’t be many people’s idea of the winner this week. However, there have been signs of life recently, especially when finishing T6 at the BMW back in September, while he continued to look in good shape when finishing T12 at the RSM Classic earlier this month.
In addition to some solid recent form, Rose is a player that has often thrived on this track, finishing sixth in 2014, fifth in 2017, third in 2018 and then fifth again when the Hero World Challenge was last played back in 2019, so he’s no stranger to finding some form in The Bahamas. On this basis, the Englishman rates as a solid top-five bet at eye-catching odds of +550.
Fedex Cup Rank: 103 | Fedex Cup Points: 79 | OWGR: 47
2021 Hero World Challenge Odds
*Odds as of [Monday] at [2:00 p.m. ET]
2021 Hero World Challenge Additional Picks
One player to finish top-five.
Mathew Fitzpatrick (+433)
Another player who has some pleasing recent form, Matt Fitzpatrick rates as a solid top five option ahead of this week’s festivities in The Bahamas. With a win and second place in his last four events, the man who is now ranked 24th in the world has his game in good order and could easily get involved at the business end of the leaderboard.
One player to finish top-10.
Patrick Reed (+400)
It’s been an up and down start to the season for the divisive Patrick Reed, but if he’s in anything like that mood that helped him finish second in Bermuda a month ago, then he has a fantastic chance of being up there with the protagonists in The Bahamas.
The Texan knows all about mixing it with the best in big events, so it’s a bit of a surprise that he rates as one of the outsiders here. If a top ten bet is what you’re looking for, then at best odds of +150, take Reed.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
If you’re looking for a first round leader, Jordan Spieth fits the bill. The three-time major winner has often enjoyed himself in this event, and he’s often come out the gate fast. Having appeared at the Hero World Challenge six times, Spieth has held the first round lead once, while he’s also been in the first five after round one on three other occasions.
There may only be 20 players in the field at Albany Golf Course, but there is no shortage of quality, with many of the biggest names in golf involved. However, it is one of the rising stars of the sport who looks primed to impress. Nobody boasts the recent form that Sam Burns does and as the best player on the tour right now from tee to green, the 25-year-old can take another stride towards the upper echelons of the world rankings by coming out on top in The Bahamas.