Well Needed Break
Our radar was way off the last time I came to you at the RSM Classic, and therefore I, for one, was glad of the week’s break. Unfortunately, our leading pick Louis Oosthuizen withdrew from the competition, and both Kisner and Lee missed the cut. But after a well-deserved rest last week, we are back to hopefully re-write the wrongs of two weeks ago.
Our attention turns to the Hero World Challenge this week. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s BeerLife profile.
The Hero World Challenge is the current incarnation of Tiger Woods’ charity tournament, first held in 1999. The Tiger Woods Foundation was established to build and fund community groups that focus on health, education, and welfare. Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California, hosted the tournament from 2000 through 2013. The event was relocated to Isleworth, Florida, in 2014, apparently to be closer to the residences of the professionals enlisted to compete. It was relocated back to Albany, Bahamas, in 2015.
The World Challenge has always been a small-field competition. In the 1999 tournament, sixteen players competed. There are presently 18 players in the field, including four recent Major winners, 11 of the top eligible golfers, the defending champion, and two sponsor exemptions. The prize pool for the tournament is $3.5 million, with $1 million going to the winner.
Due to the epidemic, the Hero World Challenge was not held last year. Henrik Stenson won it the last time it was held in 2019. The Swede sealed his triumph on the 15th hole with a five wood that landed inches from the cup for an eagle, propelling him to a 6-under 66 and a one-shot victory. On the back nine, Woods was one of five players who had a chance to win.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.
2020 Henrik Stenson – 270 – Form 20/CUT/27/20
2019 Jon Rahm – 268 – Form 22/11/24/43
2018 Rickie Fowler – 270 – Form 2/26/2/13
2017 Hideki Matsuyama – 270 – Form 6/1/2/5
2016 Bubba Watson – 263 – Form 35/5/10/29
The Ernie Els-designed Albany course opened in 2010 and was utilized for the first time for a professional tournament six years ago when it hosted this event. It’s a par 72, but with five par fives, five par threes, and eight par fours, it differs from other par 72s, which typically feature four long and short holes and ten par fours. It’s a flat, exposed links-style course with dune heights of up to 30 feet.
With five par-5s and five par-3s to negotiate, this distinctive design offers an exciting test. This week, we should be in for a real treat with an excellent field and an average winning score of nearly 20 under par. In addition to a world-class course, it features a 400-yard driving range, a short game area with chipping and putting greens, a cutting-edge swing performance center, and a luxury clubhouse with a cinema!
The weather looks good this week. The wind may pick up slightly, but it should be no trouble for a field of this caliber.
Even though Tiger Woods will not be competing in the Hero World Challenge this week, his presence in the Bahamas will remain the most talked-about topic in golf. However, there is still a small event to be played, and it boasts one of the year’s most star-studded lineups. Woods has invited 20 of the world’s greatest golfers to compete in Albany, including Rory McIlroy, the sole favorite to win by a narrow margin over Collin Morikawa.
With Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, and Bryson DeChambeau, the following five names on the odds board are a who’s who of tour winners.
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Championship Connections – Three of the last five winners placed 11th, 5th, and 5th at the previous Tour Championship event.
Tour Championship 2021
- Patrick Cantley
- Jon Rahm
- Kevin Na
- Justin Thomas
- Xander Schauffele
- Viktor Hovland
Scrambling in the Sun – Three of the previous four winners ranked inside the top five for scrambling.
- Rory McIlroy
- Roberto Diaz
- Seonghyeon Kim
- Sanghun Shin
- Sungjae Im
Keeping the Five's Alive – With no less than 20 par five holes to be played this week, it would be stupid to ignore this area.
Par 5 Scoring Average 2022
- Rory McIlroy
- Collin Morikawa
- Kyle Reifers
- Dustin Johnson
- Jason Kokrak
Follow the Form – At this time of the year, many players will be winding down (especially in the Bahamas). However, those who are playing well will be keen to keep things going.
Official Money 2022
- Talor Gooch
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Sam Burns
- Rory McIlroy
- Sungjae Im
After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These are the players you need to have in your lineup regardless of the price.
|Odds To Win +700|
|With such a small field this week, it is all about finding the winner for me, and I cannot look past the tournament favorite. McIlroy has had a baron couple of years by his lofty standards, but over the last six months, his game appears to be getting back to something like the golf we know he can produce. He will be keen to keep this going and prove any doubters wrong by beating an elite field like this. To highlight how well he is playing, these are some of his stats this season:|
SG: Off The Tee = 1st
Driving Distance = 4th
Scrambling = 1st
SG: Putting = 2nd
Scoring Average = 1st
Birdie Average = 3rd
Rory has only played on the PGA Tour once so far this season, and he managed to shoot four sub 70 rounds to claim the CJ Cup at the Summit. Bizarrely McIlroy has never played in this tournament, so we don't have any history to go on, but first-timers have won here previously.