It seems as though we just got done crowning Justin Thomas as the PGA champion of 2017, but as golf fans and bettors know, the PGA Tour does not have much of an offseason. The action is already underway once again, and while the bigger tournaments are still to come, we have a good one to look forward to this weekend; the PGA Hero World Challenge.
There are a couple of reasons why you need to be watching and wagering on the Hero World Challenge at the Albany course in the Bahamas. Reason number one is that we will have no less than 18 of the worlds top-ranked golfers taking part, but it’s reason number two that has a lot of people excited. That would be the return of Tiger Woods to competitive action. This tournament is hosted by his foundation and therefore serves as the perfect place for his return.
Realistically, Tiger is not really in the running, but there are plenty of other golfers who will have a shot at the $3.5 million purse. Let’s take a look at the betting odds for the top contenders.
2017 PGA Hero World Challenge Betting Preview
One more day of prep.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) 29 de noviembre de 2017
- Location: The Bahamas
- Established: 1999
- Par: 72
- Length: 7,302 yards (6,677 m)
- Tour(s): PGA Tour (unofficial event)
- Format: Stroke play
- Prize fund: $3,500,000
Tournament record score
- Aggregate: 262 Jordan Spieth (2014)
- To par: −26 Jordan Spieth (2014)
2017 Top Contenders
The current PGA Champion has had little time to celebrate his success, as well as that juicy $10 million bonus, but he is probably ready to get back to the business of winning. Thomas had 5 wins on the tour last season and has made a winning start to this season, picking up top spot in The CJ Cup.
There was no golfer hotter than Thomas in the closing tournaments of the season, and it already looks as though he means business in 2018. He should definitely be in the running when the weekend rolls around.
This will be the first tournament of the 2018 season for Spieth, which means he should be rested and ready to go. Spieth picked up another 3 tour wins last season, including another major at the British Open. Spieth may only be 24 years old, but he already has 11 career wins, and it can be argued that his best years may still be ahead of him.
He will be looking to get his new season off to a winning start, which is a distinct possibility given how he always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard.
Johnson has been at the top of the PGA heap for a few years now and is coming off a career-best 4 tour wins in 2017. While it was a good year for Johnson, no major wins prevented it from being a great one.
Johnson will be looking to remedy that this season and has already made a solid start with a 2nd place finish in the only other tournament that he has played this season. This is another golfer that is certainly always worth a look.
Fowler has made a ton of bank over the course of his PGA career but wins on tour have eluded him. This is a player that more often than not is forced to settle for secondary slices of the pie, with his best year coming in 2015, when he had a pair of wins on tour.
Fowler is still only 28, but with so many great young players on the tour, his time is running out to be a major force in the game. I would look elsewhere this weekend.
Rose is going to be my official pick to win the Hero Challenge. Rose has won 2 of the last 4 tournaments he has played in, including the World Golf Championship to kick off the 2018 season.
The most tour wins hat he has had in a single season is 2, but with one already under his belt this year, he may be getting ready to have a career year.
I’m going with Rose to win this PGA Hero World Challenge edition, but if you want to play it safe, pick him to finish top 5.
Previous PGA Hero World Challenge Winners
- 2016: Hideki Matsuyama
- 2015: Bubba Watson
- 2014: Jordan Spieth
- 2013: Zach Johnson
- 2012: Graeme McDowell
- 2011: Tiger Woods
- 2010: Graeme McDowell
- 2009: Jim Furyk
- 2008: Vijay Singh
- 2007: Tiger Woods
- 2006: Tiger Woods
- 2005: Luke Donald
- 2004: Tiger Woods
- 2003: Davis Love III
- 2002: Pádraig Harrington
- 2001: Tiger Woods
- 2000: Davis Love III
- 1999: Tom Lehman