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Image for Matt Cooper Matt Cooper - Updated November 30, 2022

The Hero World Challenge: Young Can End Year on a High

  • Tiger Woods hosts the tournament but pulls out of playing with a long-term injury
  • Viktor Hovland defends in the 23rd edition of the tournament
  • Albany in the Bahamas is again the venue

The Hero World Challenge Odds

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Jon Rahm


Scottie Scheffler


Tony Finau


Xander Schauffele


Justin Thomas


Matt Fitzpatrick


Viktor Hovland


Sam Burns


Sungjae Im


Tom Kim


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Hero World Challenge

The Hero World Challenge Profile

In theory this week was going to be something of an upbeat finale to what has been a toxic year on the PGA Tour.

LIV Golf has caused acrimony right from the first weeks of 2022 and it would have been nice to head into the Christmas break with good feelings at the tournament which Tiger Woods hosts and had planned to play in.

Alas, plantar fasciitis will stop Woods making a first appearance since the British Open in July.

It’s a disappointment but he was highly unlikely to play anything other than a ceremonial role on the course so the late change won’t effect the odds.

Course Report

Designed by Ernie Els - who is involved with the resort’s investors alongside Woods - the course at Albany in the Bahamas is mostly windswept and therefore vulnerable to low scoring when there is nothing more than a breeze.

It features five par-5s and two short par-4s so the length is an advantage and big hitters, albeit elite ones, have tended to flourish here.

The list of winners reads Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson and Viktor Hovland.

High quality performers then and all but Watson have contended by the sea in the British Open.

Don’t overlook the grainy grass either - it’s important that a player is not fazed by putting on Bermuda grass.

The Favorites

Off the back of a breakthrough 2021, when he won a first major championship (the US Open), Jon Rahm is not happy with how he has performed throughout this year.

However he’s found great form in recent weeks, recording two wins and a second place in his last four starts.

He also boasts a fine course record. He won on debut in 2018 and was second a year later - this will be his first start since then.

There has been nothing wrong with Scottie Scheffler’s 2022 - unless you consider the fact that all his wins came in the spring.

He claimed four titles in that rich vein of form, of course, culminating in a sensational triumph at the Masters.

He’s a class act, not a player to panic, and he finished second on debut here last year when he closed with two 66s.

Once viewed as a nearly man Tony Finau has become a ruthless winner in the back end of 2022, notching three wins in his last seven starts.

He’s played the event three times, always ending the week in the top 10 with a best of second on debut in 2018.

He also has experience of winning in this part of the world, landing his first PGA Tour success at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.

Fleetwood Can Go Again

We’ve already made the point that winners here know how to compete on the linksland in the British Open.

Tommy Fleetwood is yet to win that tournament, but he was second in 2019 and fourth this year.

He’s also flying high on confidence after winning the DP World Tour’s Nedbank Challenge three weeks ago.

Before then he had rebuilt confidence with fourth place at Congaree in the CJ Cup and after he was fifth in the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah - both of those efforts read well because they came on Bermuda grass greens similar to those he will face this week.

He’s also got good course vibes having finished third in his only previous appearance when he owned the first round lead.

Take him each way in the outright at +2000 with Bet365, the industry top price paying four places.

Young Can End Year on a High

He’s yet to win on the PGA Tour but in the last year and a bit Cameron Young has achieved done just about everything but lift a trophy.

He’s finished top three no less than seven times which is impressive enough in itself, of course.

But on two of those occasions he was just one shot outside a playoff in a major championship.

The first time was at the PGA Championship, the second at the British Open.

That latter result is obviously interesting and so is Young’s length from the tee, another ideal factor in his favor this week 

Take him each way in the outright with Unibet offering +2000 (four places).

Kisner to Suffer Burns

Kevin Kisner is a cussed golfer - a skillful performer, one who makes the most of his game, but one who also knows that modern courses don’t necessarily suit him.

Time and time again he will tell the press that he likes playing the likes of Harbour Town, Colonial and Sedgfield because they are short enough to allow him to compete.

But when faced with a long course he has faced difficulties - for example he has largely struggled in the majors and his best effort (second at the Open in 2018) came at a dry and speedy Carnoustie.

He’ll be up against it this week and in the first round he is paired with Sam Burns whose debut in this tournament 12 months ago went so well that he very nearly won before recording third.

Take Burns to land the first round honors at -143 with Bet365.

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How to Watch The Hero World Challenge

The Hero World Challenge Information
Tournament The Hero World Challenge
Location Albany, The Bahamas
Time Thursday, December 2 – Sunday, December 5
How to watch Thursday & Friday 5.30pm, 8pm & 10.30pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday 12pm, 6pm & 11.30pm ET (Golf Channel) & Sunday 11am, 5pm & 11pm ET (Golf Channel). And all four days on Sky Sports.

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Image for Matt Cooper


Matt Cooper

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Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]

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