2021 Hero World Challenge Round 2 Picks, Buys & Fades: Webb Simpson, Tony Finau in Position to Contend
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Webb Simpson
The first round of the Hero World Challenge rolled through quickly and efficiently as the first group off played in just over three and a half hours. The scoring wasn’t as though players were going too quickly though, as all but two of the players shot under par on the day.
Three players — Daniel Berger, Abraham Ancer and Rory McIlroy — carry the first-round lead into Friday as they tied at the top with rounds of 6-under 66. It appeared as though they would be topped by Justin Thomas as he went to the final hole at 7-under, but an ugly double bogey on the last dropped him back into a tie for fourth with Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka.
This short 22-player field will leave plenty of room and opportunity for betting this weekend, though we will have to do so without any stat reference. Still, I’ll bring my best bets each evening as we shop for value heading into the next round. Let’s see what stands out for Friday’s second round.
Webb Simpson +1200 DraftKings
As the first round approached on Thursday, I started to get more and more interested in Webb Simpson. He was one of the few players with some recent form to lean on and he shook off some of his rust in the opening rounds of the RSM Classic a few weeks ago. Simpson quickly turned it around on the weekend and found himself in the mix for the championship on Sunday.
He rolled that form into a solid opening round in the Bahamas as he posted seven birdies and two bogeys in a 5-under 67. Due to the high-end nature of this field, the odds aren’t discounted too heavily on Simpson going into Friday as at +1200 he actually presents some really good value for his play. He is a player who can continue to go low throughout the weekend and I expect he will remain in the mix throughout this event.
Tony Finau +2200 BetMGM
The best value on the board going into the second round at Albany is with Tony Finau. He shot a strong 4-under round of 68 on Thursday, where he shook off a couple of front nine bogeys to play the final 11 holes in 5-under par. Finau is simply mispriced over on BetMGM where he is +2200 and just three shots back of the lead.
He has been a consistently slow starter this year, as he ranked 116th in first-round scoring average last season, but second in Round 2. I will buy now with the hopes that that trend continues and he can find himself with a late tee time on Saturday.
Fade: Harris English
There aren’t enough markets available right now to give you an exact bet or spot to make a play, but I am in full fade mode on Harris English. Something is not right with the Georgia Bulldog as he comes in following back-to-back missed cuts, including one on his home track at the RSM Classic. He certainly didn’t find anything in his game on Thursday in the Bahamas as he was the only player over par on the day.
English had two big numbers to close both nines with a double at the ninth and a triple on 18, to fully derail the round, but the holes in between didn’t show much hope either. I think you could legitimately play against him in a matchup with any other player in this field and be in a nice spot on Friday.