Eric Sucar, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Justin Rose.
- Justin Rose is the betting favorite to win the 2018 Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
- Jason Sobel ranks the field from 1 to 18 and picks out a few value plays for the tournament.
Of the multiple disappointments on various levels in the aftermath of “The Match,” the most disappointing aspect might have been the lack of side action — and the lack of creativity in what side action there was.
The four “challenges” that were won included a guaranteed birdie that didn’t happen and three closest-to-the-pin challenges on par-3s holes.
Here’s hoping that Tiger Woods got the bug, though.
There would be nothing better than Woods playing the first hole of his own Hero World Challenge this week, then turning toward opening-round playing partner Justin Thomas and declaring, “Half a mil says you can’t get this up and down.”
I mean, he’d be breaking all sorts of PGA Tour rules if he started in-tournament betting props with his fellow pros, but who cares? What are they gonna do, fine the GOAT? Suspend him? Make him play minor league baseball in Birmingham?
Alas, there will be no official side action this week – not even of the lame variety.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have some action, of course.
Because this is one of the biggest tournaments of the year and because it features a celebrated field and because I’m a benevolent golf writer, I’ve decided to treat this like a major and rank the entire field.
Either that, or I just figured listing 18 players would be easy enough.
Probably more of the latter.
Anyway, let’s get right to it, beginning with an erstwhile No. 1 player in the world who could move back atop that list this week.
1. Justin Rose +550
He’s the tourney favorite and rightly so. Not only does Rose live nearby, making this a home game, he’s riding a heater that’s seen him finish eighth-or-better in each of his last half-dozen starts.