2019 Hero World Challenge Betting Guide: Will Tournament Favorite Jon Rahm Stay Hot?
Adam Hagy, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jon Rahm
The PGA Tour season is on hiatus until the new year, but the betting opportunities never stop with this sport.
This week it’s the Hero World Challenge. Tiger Woods hosts the event, which features 18 of the best players in the world, in the Bahamas. The Hero will serve as the final tune-up before next week’s Presidents Cup in Australia.
All 12 US team members were set to compete, but Dustin Johnson recently withdrew — though he is still slated to play in the Presidents Cup — so its now down to 11 Team USA players, along with Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth and, Johnson’s replacement, Chez Reavie.
Albany Golf Course is a bomber’s paradise with five par 5s on a 7,400 yard par 72. Unless the wind picks up, there isn’t much trouble and we can expect the winner to get to around 20-under par.
Rahm and Watson both have wins here, along with Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler. So we’ve had a couple of long hitters and a couple of strong iron players take the tournament on this course.
Rahm goes off as the favorite at +450. He’s won his last two starts on the European Tour and is the defending champ here. With no Presidents Cup to distract him, he’ll be tough to beat if the focus is there.
Justin Thomas is next in line at +650, but he hasn’t finished inside the top 10 here in two tries so I’ll go in a different direction.
I’m starting my card with Xander Schauffele at +1000. Schauffele was playing good golf in Asia, notching a couple of top-10 finishes, and he put together three solid rounds here last year after opening with a 73. He may be eager to impress Woods, his Presidents Cup captain, ahead of his first international team competition as a pro.
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The other player I’m investing in is Gary Woodland at +2000. Woodland’s game was also in good shape during the Asian swing and he is another guy who will be eager to show he’s ready for his first Team USA appearance.
While the results here won’t matter much to someone like Thomas, who is probably locked in for every session in Australia, I imagine Woods will be sizing up the rest of the roster to see where each player’s game is currently at. How they play here could mean the difference between which of the five rookies get the early chance to impress and which ones will sit the early sessions.
- Xander Schauffele +1000 (1 unit)
- Gary Woodland +2000 (1 unit)
Total Stake: 2 units