The PGA Tour is back this week… Well, kinda.
This isn’t an official tournament but there will be no shortage of talent and excitement. I can tell you that.
First off, we must make a note that the tourney is running from Wednesday through Saturday for all of you last-minute bettors.
The tournament is in its 20th annual playing as it was played twice in its inaugural year of 2000. Tiger Woods is putting it on and the benefits will go to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Mr. Woods will be in the field as well in attempts at his 6th victory in Albany, Bahamas. He is currently (+900) to win.
Streaking Spaniard Jon Rahm leads the field at just (+450). That’s not much considering the tournament’s saturation of talent.
Other than the occasional ocean breeze, the elements shouldn’t come into play this week at the Albany Golf Club.
One golfer I have my eye on early is Tony Finau. He was runner-up to Rahm last year and is (+1800) to win this week. Finau plays pretty well with a fairly simple course and good weather.
Justin Rose also has some great value next to his name with (+1400) to win. He is coming off of two straight top five finishes here.
The field is rocking this week, guys.
Rickie Fowler could very well contend. I know it’s been a while since we have seen the babyface playing his best but he likes to come out of nowhere and surprise us from time to time.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 and top 10 odds as well. Picking the winner out of this group is going to be incredibly difficult.
Time for some picks!
While I think he could contend for a victory, I want to play it rather safe here and get on the board with a payout.
The Samoan Finau has only played this tournament once in his career and he fell short of the win by a few strokes last year to the surging Rahm.
A 7 under par fourth round proved to be too much for Tony as he shot (-3) for the day as Rahm collected over 1 million dollars for the victory.
Tony is a bomber. We already know he drives the ball farther than most anyone on the Tour.
Guess what? The fairways are about 110 yards wide. I expect Finau to be ripping them this week and if he has a good week with the flat stick, we could see him in the top five once again.
That top 5 bet will get you (+260) which is nice but 10 out of 18 is much more likely to happen and we get him at nearly even money.
Tony is ranked #1 in shots gained from tee-to-green in this young season thus far and 3rd in shots gained total. His putting has been nothing short of atrocious, though… 229th to be exact.
Finau isn’t in the best of form over the past month or so but we can throw form out of the window in December.
He should be riding a high now, though, as Tiger Woods named him to the President’s Cup Team just a few weeks ago.
It’s hard to imagine Tony won’t be struggling with his putter this weekend but I love the top ten play here. His tee-to-green game may only be bested this week by Rahm and maybe the X-Man…
With only 18 golfers in the field this week’s tournament, some top ten odds are just not worth it.
Xander should be a lock but at (-225), we have to shoot for the top 5.
Now, it’s impressive the host of the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods, is ranked 7th in the world but to have Xander 9th…
I believe Schauffele is a top 5 golfer. He’s young still and needs another great year to get the respect he deserves but I think he is right there with Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm who are right behind Rory and Brooks.
In just two appearances this year, he snagged a top ten finish in Japan at the Zozo Championship and lost out to Rory McIlroy in a playoff at the WGC event in China a few weeks ago.
Just like Tony Finau, this will be Xander’s second time teeing it up at Albany Golf Club. Schauffele finished tied for 8th last year and I expect the 26-year-old to improve upon that with a top 5 placing by the end of play on Saturday.
Just call it a hunch but I think Rickie is coming to play this week!
A late replacement on the President’s Cup Team for the injured Brooks Koepka, Fowler needs to knock off the rust with haste.
Initially, I was scared off from picking Rickie because of his extended leave of absence for marriage and honeymoon but I can feel he is re-ignited with energy for next week’s President’s Cup.
5th, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, and 6th…
That’s the last 5 finishes at the Hero World Challenge for Fowler.
According to him, he has been getting rounds in with Woodland and Tiger in Florida these past few weeks.
That’s good because his long layoff is a concern but 5 straight top 6 finishes can’t be ignored either.
Golf fans! Don’t forget about this week’s action!
Yes, the President’s Cup is coming up and there are all kinds of football action on the tube but the field at this week’s Hero World Challenge is thicker than a Snicker.
Chez Reavie is 50-1 in an 18-man field of golfers.
Jon Rahm, who everyone thinks is going to dominate, is the favorite at just (+450). I’m on board with him but his odds just aren’t holding much value.
With guys like Fowler and Simpson at 14-1 as well as the X-man at 10 to 1, we can’t get hung up on Rahm.
I like Rickie Fowler this week even though it’s been a while since he’s played and could be looking forward to the President’s Cup.
No other golfer has consistently placed higher at this course in the past.
Tony Finau is a great par 5 player and we have five of them at Albany Golf Club. If he can just swing a halfway decent putter, a top 10 shouldn’t be a problem.
Also, we are getting the X-Man at (+150) for a top 5.
Even though he isn’t as big of a guy as Finau, Koepka, or Dustin Johnson, he manages to drive the ball nearly as far with better accuracy as well.
Enjoy the links this weekend and remember they are teeing up on Wednesday this week, so get those bets in now!