2019 Hero World Challenge Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The annual Hero World Challenge (HWC) is set to tee things up this week in the Bahamas with an elite field of PGA Tour Players vying for this year's title. Currently, Jon Rahm is the favorite coming in at +450 with Justin Thomas close behind at +650. Complete odds are listed below.
The HWC is an annual, select field, invitation-only event hosted by Tiger Woods. This stand-alone tournament on the December professional golf schedule used to be a “just-for-fun” matchup among some of the biggest names in golf. Tiger Woods has changed that and converted this event into a meaningful trip around the links!
Woods worked with the PGA and Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) to make his tournament an official part of the OWGR numbers. Meaning… this event counts towards a player’s ranking as only players in the top-fifty qualify! A player’s OWGR number affects a whole bunch of other numbers across the pro world including making the selection list at other events! Now, add in a ton of cash, pride, bragging rights, and practice heading into the President’s Cup and things get serious.
Rahm being the favorite is not surprising as he is the defending HWC Champ and has been a factor in almost every event he’s played over the last two years. But, there are some players trailing close behind including the host! Here’s every player coming in under +1000 according to America's Bookie Sportsbook Review.
Woods has hosted this event since its conception back in 2000 as the focus being a charity event for the Tiger Woods Foundation.
4 stroke win over Tony Finau
4 stroke win over Charley Hoffman
2 stroke win over Henrik Stenson
3 stroke win over Patrick Reed
10 stroke win over Henrik Stenson
Playoff win over Tiger Woods
3 stroke win over Keegan Bradley
1 stroke win over Zach Johnson
Playoff win over Tiger Woods
1 stroke win over Graeme McDowell
There have only been three players with multiple HWC wins starting with Woods who has five, and Davis Love III and Graeme McDowell who both have won twice. The event has only had two playoffs in its history with Woods being on the losing end both times. The HWC has been won by four or fewer strokes sixteen times out of twenty events. The largest margin of victory came in 2014 when Jordan Spieth went −26 for a 10 stroke win over Henrik Stenson.
Predicting the Hero World Challenge
Tiger Woods has won the Hero World Challenge five times since he started the event back in 2000. During that time he’s missed playing his own tournament several times due to injury recovery and once due to personal issues. But that five-win number looms large when you also add in the fact that he’s lost by a playoff twice and came in second an additional three times. That adds up to Woods having the opportunity to have won this tournament eleven of the twenty times it’s been played. If John Rahm stumbles, it would be woods sitting at the top of the leaderboard.
Dustin Johnson pulled out of the event due to injury and Brooks Koepke is doing the same. That puts Chez Reavie into the mix. Reavie has seen an uptick in play over the last couple of years which builds on his last PGA win which came in 2008. Since then he’s climbed the ladder to break the OWGR top-fifty settling in at No. 36 in the world. Reavie, at +4000, is the tournament dark horse, but he’s been playing great golf and should not be taken lightly by the field
Top-Rated Online Sportsbooks, like America's Bookie Sportsbook Review, are pointing towards John Rahm to become only the third player with multiple Hero World Challenge wins and he can prove them right! Here’s why. Over his last twelve tournaments, he’s won three times, carded two-second place and two third-place finishes. He’s finished in the top-ten nine times and top-twenty eleven times. It’s Rahm’s tournament to lose.