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Hero World Challenge Betting Tips: Two bets from the Bahamas

Tony Finau headlines our Hero World Challenge tips.
Tony Finau headlines our Hero World Challenge tips.

Though the PGA Tour season has officially shut up shop for 2021, we still have a couple of unofficial money events to take in before the close of the year. Next week, we head to Florida for the QBE Shootout, but first it’s off to the luxury Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas, for the Hero World Challenge. An event that boasts an elite 20-man field and whilst not counting towards the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, there are still world ranking points to play for.

Since making its debut in 2000, the World Challenge had taken place every year up to 2019, with the 2020 instalment cancelled due to the pandemic. Sherwood Country Club in California was the host venue until 2013, with Albany being the sole course of choice since 2015.

Hero World Challenge Tips

Designed by Ernie Els, Albany Golf Course is a 7309 yard par 72. Boasting five par 5s and two drivable par 4s, there’s an abundance of risk/reward opportunities and the course provokes players into playing aggressive golf. In an event that borders on an exhibition, it makes sense to have a course that is fun and not too intense. 

It has an open, linksy feel, with wide fairways bordered by little rough and waste areas. Though the scoring’s always been good here, with all 5 previous visits to this venue producing a winning score of -18 or lower, it isn’t a complete pushover and there is trouble around the course.

The most obvious of these is the water in-play, particularly down the closing stretch but the thing that stands out to me lies around the greens. With run-off areas around most, some severe, and clever bunkering providing further difficulties, leaving some particularly tough up and downs.

We’re on a small island nation in the Caribbean, meaning weather could easily be a factor. Though it’s only forecast to be mild in terms of wind at the moment, it’s always risky to take this as concrete three days before they tee-off and it’s reasonable to assume the players will be tasked with contending with some more blustery conditions at some point.

The 20 man field is comprised of 18 players from the world’s top 30, including 6 of the top 10. Collin Morikawa is the highest ranked player teeing it up in the Bahamas at #2 in the world, with reigning champion from 2019, Henrik Stenson the lowest ranked, at #182.

Golf odds
Tony Finau each-way (4 places)
Odds correct as of 2021-11-29 12:15 Odds subject to change.

Two selections here this week, with both players possessing that all important quality around the greens. Tony Finau is first up, having gone well at Albany on both his previous visits and has been playing better than his three most recent finishing positions suggest.

Since the start of the 2021/22 season, Finau has teed it up just three times, finishing 45th in the CJ Cup, 45th at Mayakoba and then missing the cut by just the one shot at the Houston Open last time out. 

Despite these underwhelming finishes, he’s played well tee-to-green. In the two events with strokes-gained stats, the CJ Cup and Houston Open, he gained strokes off-the-tee, in approach and around the greens. With the putter the cause of his ultimately disappointing finishes.

Having twice played here, in 2018 and 2019, Finau has taken to the course right away and has fired rounds in the 60s in 6/8 rounds played here. He finished 2nd to Jon Rahm on debut in 2018 and his 10th place finish in 2019 not quite telling the whole story, as he opened with a 79 to sit last by 3 shots after round one. Rallying over the next three days to climb the leaderboard into 10th.

Further encouragement as to his suitability for this test can be found in his victory at Liberty National in The Northern Trust back in August. A similarly open, links like course. Even going back to 2016 and his sole previous victory at the Puerto Rico Open, we find a player at home on open, coastal golf courses.

He has the power to take it to the par 5s and those risk-reward par 4s, whilst also possessing the quality around the greens, shown by his ranking of 20th on the PGA Tour last season, to get himself up and down if missing the putting surfaces. 

Seemingly looking like a solid putting performance away from a good week, if able to find that this week in the Bahamas, I’d expect Finau to go close.

Webb Simpson each-way (5 places)
Odds correct as of 2021-11-29 11:00 Odds subject to change.

Webb Simpson is another man who possesses a good touch around the greens. Though it’s an incredibly impressive and eye-catching performance in approach on his last start that drew me to him, and he joins Finau in my team of two this week.

That approach performance came in his 8th place finish at the RSM Classic two weeks ago, here he produced a field leading performance. In gaining 3.28 strokes a round for the three rounds played at the Seaside Course, he not only led the field by more than a shot per round, but in doing so, recorded his best approach performance since stroke-gained stats were introduced.

He’s played here just once before, finishing 10th in 2019, each time following a round in the 70s with a better round in the 60s and I think he’s capable of going better. As mentioned, he has a great short game, ranking 10th around-the-greens and 5th in scrambling on the PGA Tour last season. He also doesn’t allow his lack of power to hinder him and ranked a remarkable 6th in par 5 scoring.

With a victory in the RBC Heritage and good performances in Hawaii, he has plenty of form at windy, coastal courses, meaning he’ll be more than comfortable if the wind whips up throughout the four days. If able to continue the form he showed with his irons last time out, Simpson can improve on that 10th place finish and end a solid year on a high.

Golf betting tips
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