2021 Hero World Challenge: Be With Burns in The Bahamas, Plus Other Picks

2021 Hero World Challenge- Be With Burns in The Bahamas, Plus Other Picks

The final PGA Tour event of 2021 is upon us, and what a unique event it is. A select field of just 20 players, containing some of the biggest names in the game, will battle it out to be crowned the winner of the Hero World Challenge at the idyllic Albany Golf Course, which being in The Bahamas offers a dream-like backdrop and provides not only a luxurious golfing experience but offers both players and patrons stunning views. 

The Field

The Hero World Challenge features an exclusive field of just 20 players, and to make the cut you need to be in the golfing elite. Previous winners of this tournament Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose will grace Albany with their presence, while Henrik Stenson, who won this event when it last took place in 2019, will also be involved. Of those who are yet to claim this prestigious prize, its big names aplenty with Collin Morikawa, who could go to number one in the world rankings with a win, Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Abraham Ancer are all in the field, as is four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, who arrives here fresh from playing some truly outstanding golf to convincingly beat arch-rival Bryson DeChambeau in the latest installment of Capital One’s The Match. Joining Justin Rose from across the pond will be Tyrell Hatton and Mathew Fitzpatrick, both of whom currently rank inside the world’s top 25. Rapidly rising stars Sam Burns, Viktor Hovland, and Abraham Ancer add yet more class to a tournament that is simply full of top-tier talent. 

Who does well in this event? 

This will be the seventh time that Albany Golf Course, designed by South African golfing royalty Ernie Els, has hosted the Hero World Challenge, so plenty of the players involved this time around know what to expect. To be exact, 12 of the 20 have walked these fairways at least once during the last six seasons, while 11 of those 12 have teed it up on this track on at least three occasions. 

Only Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth have won at Albany, but Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, and Justin Thomas have all finished top five since the event moved to the Bahamas. Of that select few, it’s Spieth who has the best record, winning once and posting three additional top-five finishes, though he could only manage a rather underwhelming 16th back in 2019. Patrick Reed hasn’t finished lower than 11th in six appearances at the Hero World Challenge, posting four top-fives and three top-threes. The big-hitting Texan is therefore not somebody to ignore this week. 

Who can we bet on to win? 

As is often the case, the usual suspects head the market. Rory McIlroy, who has one Hero World Challenge under his belt and who has already won on the PGA Tour this season is currently the favorite at odds of +750, while world number two Collin Morikawa is hot on the Northern Irishman’s tail at +800. A quite obvious case can be made for both, but there’s surely better value elsewhere. 

Viktor Hovland to Win – 1 unit @ +1100

Jordan Spieth, who as touched on above, is one of only two Albany Golf Course winners, is not to be snubbed at odds of +1100, but at the same price, for my money, the wonderfully accurate Viktor Hovland catches the eye at +1100. To thrive on this track, thanks to no shortage of hazards, especially of the wet variety, accuracy is important, and there are few who get dialed in more than the Norwegian, who right now ranks as the best player in this field in terms of driving accuracy, hitting 72.62% of fairways from the tee. And it’s not just with his tee shot that Hovland is sharp, as yet again, he’s the best in the field (this season) when it comes to greens in regulation, hitting 76.39% of putting surfaces at the first time of asking. Already a winner this term thanks to his victory in Mexico, the 24-year-old sensation is also the number four player on tour right now in terms of strokes gained: off-the-tee, with only McIlroy and Spieth in this field gaining slightly more in that area. Consider all of this and Hovland stands out as a major candidate, and those looking to oppose the top two in betting could do far worse than the man who has raced to three PGA Tour wins. 

Sam Burns to Win – 1 unit @ +1800

As a secondary option, at large odds, Sam Burns is hard to oppose. It’s hard to find a player who has been more consistently in form over the fall schedule than Sam Burns, who not only added to his trophy cabinet when winning the Sanderson Farms back in September, but has posted a series of top-10 finishes. 

This season, only Collin Morikawa boasts a lower average score than Burns, who averages 96.064 per round, while the 25-year-old currently ranks as the best player on tour in terms of strokes gained: tee-to-green. That stat is hard to ignore, as is the fact that the two-time PGA Tour winner ranks fourth for strokes gained: approach, ranking above everyone in this field apart from Morikawa, though an average of 1.145 strokes gained after 16 events is probably more impressive than an average of 1.232 gained after eight. Fifth on tour and third in this field for strokes gained: total, the man from Louisiana deserves more respect in the betting and thus at odds of +1800 represents a real opportunity for value seekers.

About the author:

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UK based freelance sports betting writer. Specializing in golf and soccer, Bradley has written for numerous websites and publications both in the UK and abroad, covering a range of sports betting topics from match/event previews to betting guides.

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