In theory, picking the winner of this event should be easier than usual. After all, only 20 players will make the trip to The Bahamas, so the usual pool of players is already significantly smaller, though, with such a high-class field, outright bettors don’t exactly have the simplest of tasks. What this less-than-usual event does offer, though, is some fantastic betting opportunities outside of the outright market. For example, there are some very eye-catching odds available in the top-five market. With only 20 players on show at Albany Golf Course this week, nailing a top-five winner is a mouth-watering prospect.
Serial top-five finishers?
As touched on in the previous piece looking at potential outright winner bets, there’s a handful of players who’ve done well since the Hero World Challenge switched to The Bahamas, but of that group, are there any serial top-five finishers? In short, yes.
England’s Justin Rose, who has become something of a forgotten man over the last year or so, tends to enjoy himself at Albany, where he’s finishing inside the top five on not one, not two, but three occasions, all of which have been recent. In 2017, the one-time major winner finished fifth, before finishing third in 2018 and then fifth again when this tournament was last played in 2019. Henrik Stenson, who won this event in 2019, is another of the veterans in this field to have placed highly on several occasions, hitting the top five in 2014, 2016 and 2018, while Patrick Reed and Jordan Speith have seven top-five since 2014 between them.
Three top-five options
Sam Burns – 2 units @ +250
I know, I know, Sam Burns goes down as a winner bet ahead of this tournament, but at odds of +250, he’s a must-have as a top-five pick, for all the same reasons. Nobody has been as strong as Burns over the early part of the season, and in some key areas, he ranks as pretty much the best of the bunch, so much so that for my money, he should be down at shorter odds to make the top five. For a more detailed look at the man who has flown up the rankings in recent times, see the previous post (LINK).
Patrick Reed – 1 unit @ +400
Patrick Reed is by no means prolific when it comes to finishing high up the leaderboard, in fact that maverick Texan is famously somewhat up and down, as we can see from his efforts this season. His second place at the Bermuda Championship, where he played some outstanding golf, is sandwiched between being a T68 at the CJ Cup and a T56 at the World Wide Technology Championship. However, he is known for being consistent at this event.
The Hero World Challenge has been something of a happy hunting ground for Reed in recent years, and although he’s yet to win the thing, he can’t help but go close, finishing third in 2014, second in 2015, fifth in 2017 and third in 2019. Interestingly, nobody in this field has more top-five finishes to their name since the event moved to Albany Golf Course. The nine-time PGA Tour winner may be something of an enigma, while he certainly does things his own way, making him hard to catch right, but nobody can deny that an on-song Patrick Reed can tussle with the best of them, and an on-song Patrick Reed is what we usually see in The Bahamas. On this basis, odds of +400 seem generous and are well worth snapping up.
Justin Rose – 1 unit @ +400
Staying on the subject of players who seemingly thrive at Albany Golf Course, Justin Rose is another who is hard to ignore at odds of +400. Yes, it’s now nearly three years since the Englishman claimed his last victory on the PGA Tour and there have been a few frustrating near misses since – none more so than when he finished seventh at Augusta back in April despite holding the 36-hole lead – but there have been a few signs of life in recent times, which bode well ahead of a trip to a venue that he has shown a clear liking for.
Rose re-found some form to finish T6 at the BMW Championship back in September, while his game continued to look solid when he finished T12 at the RSM Classic just a fortnight ago. If we combine this with his three top-five finishes at this event, which has all come in the last three renewals, it’s not difficult to form the opinion that the ten-time PGA Tour winner ought to be paid a little more respect in the betting, and thus a small play on a top-five finish at a pleasing price is merited.