Starved for quality golf betting late into this fall season, this event is not the Hero we deserved, but the Hero we needed. Hero World Challenge odds feature a field of 20, and although not recognized as an official PGA TOUR event, there are still OWGR points at stake, and you can always count on the Hero World Challenge at Albany to draw the best players in the world one last time before the December break.
This week, Tiger Woods is hosting but will not make his first tournament appearance since The Open. He has plantar fasciitis.
However, 15 of the OWGR top-20 players in the world will compete. We’ll go through a brief overview of the key course characteristics at Albany and my outright betting card for the 2023 Hero World Challenge at Albany.
2022 Hero World Challenge Favorites
Here are the four players in the field with odds shorter than +1000 at some sportsbooks. Scroll to the bottom to compare full-field odds.
INTRODUCTION TO THE HERO WORLD CHALLENGE AT ALBANY
The Hero World Challenge is a challenge to handicap, with motivations of the game’s best put to question. Last year, for example, Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson were assessed a two-stroke penalty for hitting from the wrong tee box, with Spieth commenting (in jest) after the round “I didn’t think we were going to get penalized because it’s a charity event”.
So if you do decide to bet on this event, it’s best to start by evaluating who here is motivated to win versus who is just happy to sip some Mai Tais in the company of Tiger Woods at a beautiful resort in the Bahamas.
How It Breaks Down
Albany is a 7,414 par-72 with a unique mix of five par-5s, five par-3s, and eight par-4s. With three par-5s measuring over 590 yards and four par-4s playing over 470 yards, there’s plenty of length to this course that will put some emphasis on long-iron play.
As a resort course in Nassau, The Bahamas, coastal winds will play a factor. The course is heavily bunkered with a complement of natural waste areas lining the fairways that will put an emphasis on Driving Accuracy. Despite its exposure to coastal winds, scoring has been notably consistent here. Over the last five years, the winning score has fallen around -18 with the field median score of -10.
Course History & Key Stats
There is really no such thing as a Course Horse at Albany, producing a new first-time winner in each of the last eight years. Viktor Hovland is the defending champion, and will be joined in this limited field by Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth to represent the list of past winners.
Looking down the list of past winners, it’s difficult to draw any trends from player profiles, with bombers and plodders each finding repeated success. If there is a trend, it would be the correlation of repeat names who’ve found success here and at The Masters and WM Phoenix Open.
In lieu of building out a model, I’ll be looking for players who pass the eye test as good Total Drivers to avoid the constant lateral waste areas, performance in comp conditions like TPC Scottsdale, Congaree GC, and The Summit Club, and subjectively finding the players who are here on a business trip for the OWGR points and not just here for a hit and giggle in The Bahamas.
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ALBANY GOLF COURSE SPECS
- Yards: 7,414
- Par: 72 (5x 3s / 8x 4s / 5x 5s)
- Greens: Bermuda
- Comp Courses: Congaree GC, The Summit Club, Augusta National, TPC Scottsdale, TPC Summerlin, PGA National
- Recent Winners: Viktor Hovland -18 (’22), Henrik Stenson -18 (’20), Jon Rahm -20 (’19), Rickie Fowler -18 (’18), Hideki Matsuyama -18 (’17)
- Hole-by-hole Breakdown:
MY BETTING CARD: HOW I BUILT MY HERO WORLD CHALLENGE BETS
In a field of 20, I see no value in the prop or FRL markets this week, so instead, I’ve gone with only Outrights on the card, with the usual 3U in to pay out 24U each.
Here is a quick breakdown of the bets I landed on for the 2022 Hero World Challenge. This will be my last card of 2022 with a Year In Review recap article to follow next week. Best of luck with your bets this week!
HERO WORLD CHALLENGE BETS: OUTRIGHTS (3 UNITS)
My Bet: +2000
Best Odds Still Available:
Morikawa was perfect at this event through the first three rounds of his Hero World Challenge debut last year, entering Sunday at -18 with a 5-stroke lead. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Morikawa would win, and claim the honors of OWGR No. 1. Apparently the pressure of becoming World No. 1 may have weighed too heavy, as he proceeded to shoot +4 on Sunday and fall down to a T5 finish.
We now have a redemption narrative in play for Morikawa at a course we know he can go low on, as he looks to end a win-less drought of over a year. He looked solid in his last appearance at Mayakoba where he finished T15, and the same formula of Driving Accuracy should suit him well in The Bahamas. I’m building my card around Morikawa at this number, if you find yourself unwilling to build out a full card for this event, I’d recommend making your first bet on Collin.
My Bet: +2500
Best Odds Still Available:
All Tom Kim does is win, so I’ll just continue to take my chances on the young prodigy until he proves otherwise. It’s clear he’ll want to put on a show in front of Tiger Woods, as he’s already gone on record that he wants to chase Tiger’s career total of 82 PGA TOUR wins. I like TPC Summerlin – the site of his latest PGA TOUR victor at The Shriners – as a comp for Albany, given its persistent of lateral natural hazards that emphasize the importance of keeping the ball in the fairway.
My Bet: +2900
Best Odds Still Available:
Max Homa continues to be one of the most underrated players on TOUR by odds makers. One of the most prolific winners on TOUR over the last two seasons, Homa’s an appealing value at these discounted odds. He’s already won a Tiger Woods-hosted event at the 2021 Genesis Invitational, so he would seem motivated to claim another trophy from Tiger.
I’m always interested in Homa on courses that reward par-5 scoring, so Albany’s five par-5s would seem to suit his game well. This will be Homa’s Hero debut, but I expect him to come motivated to stockpile another victory after his hot start to the 2023 season with his win at the Fortinet Championship. Best of luck wagering on Hero World Challenge odds.