This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Hero World Challenge Betting Preview
The Hero World Challenge, an unofficial event hosted by Tiger Woods, returns to the Bahamas and Albany Golf Course. Unfortunately, Woods will not tee it up this week as originally planned, as he withdrew yesterday due to plantar fasciitis.
The 20-man field is competing for a $1 million top prize and is headlined by tournament favorite Jon Rahm, who checks in at 5-1 odds. Rahm is one of six top-10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking making the trip. Last year, Viktor Hovland, at 11-1, edged out Scottie Scheffler by one stroke and claimed victory in his tournament debut.
Albany GC plays as a par-72 at over 7,400 yards, and unlike most par-72 layouts, it has five par-3s and five par-5s. Players have regularly taken advantage of the par-5s and a few short par-4s, and the winning score fell between 18-to-20 under par in each of the last five tournaments.
I wouldn't say this is a course that strongly favors one style of play, so I'll be looking at players who are good throughout the bag. The greens are smaller than you will see at an average Tour stop, and with waste areas and bunkers around the course, scrambling and success around the greens will be key.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 4:00 PM ET Tuesday.
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Awesome at Albany
The following five golfers, with a minimum of two appearances, have the lowest scoring average at Albany Golf Course since 2016.
Rahm won in 2018 and finished runner-up the following year, so it's no surprise to see him listed as the favorite. He comes into this event in excellent shape, having played three DP World Tour events and one PGA Tour event this fall and notching two wins, a T2 and a T4. Meanwhile, after mediocre finishes in his first two trips to the Bahamas, Thomas has rebounded with back-to-back top-5 finishes in this event. The main question with him will be form, as he played just once all fall and posted a T40 at the THE CJ CUP in South Carolina. Thomas is an intriguing risk/reward pick as the fifth choice on the board at 12-1 odds.
Hero World Challenge Bets: Outright Picks
Tony Finau (17-2)
Finau will be making his fourth appearance in this tournament. He nearly won in his first one, finishing runner-up behind Rahm. Finau comes in playing the best golf of his career, with three wins over his last seven starts. With the short field, there's value in this number, even though it is comfortably below 10-1.
Sungjae Im (16-1)
Im will look to become the second golfer to win in his Hero World Challenge debut in as many years. There's little reason to think he won't fit the course, as he is solid in every aspect of the game and finished top-50 in each of the primary Strokes Gained categories last season. He was as hot as anyone other than Rory McIlroy at the end of last season, notching five straight top-15 finishes, a stretch that included three T2 results. He also finished no worse than tied for 34th in three fall starts.
Hero World Challenge Bets: Other Wagers
Top-5 Finish: +360
It's easy to overlook Horschel in a field loaded with big names and up-and-comers, but I'm not going to make that mistake at a place where play around the greens is critical. He's coming off one of his best seasons on Tour and finished top-10 three times in four starts during the fall portion of the schedule.