Get excited, the “Big Cat” is back. A well-rested and universally revered Tiger Woods has announced his return to the PGA Tour for the 2024 season, if only for one event per month. We will screech and crane our necks like baby birds for any remaining chances for the greatest sportsman in history to grace our screens in Sunday red. Before the new season rolls over at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii, Woods will tee it up in the picturesque Bahamas.
The Hero World Challenge is an exclusive 18-person field at Albany Golf Club in The Bahamas. The scenic 7,400-yard resort course plays to a par 72. There is no 36-hole cut to worry about, and the weather is predictably ideal, with high temperatures in the low 80s and only a sea breeze to freshen the tropical warmth. Birdie opportunities will be plentiful, so the winner will be the one who converts on his looks with the most consistency.
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Hero World Challenge 2023 Betting Picks
Scottie Scheffler (+450)
Too many people in the golf world were so focused on Scottie Scheffler’s putting woes that they missed one of the greatest ball-striking seasons in the history of the game. We all know what Scheffler has been working on during the offseason. Albany demands a strong game from tee to green, and Scheffler is in a stratosphere by himself.
Why the short odds? Well, he’s not even the betting favorite. That belongs to Viktor Hovland at +400. In such a limited field, the odds are incredibly condensed. I feel strongly that Scheffler’s putting will be less of an issue than Hovland’s form around the greens. One little challenge for the golfers this week is that the greens are on the smaller side. Nobody hits approach shots more exactly than Scheffler, so load up on units and watch him go to work.
Collin Morikawa (+800)
If Scheffler is in a different tier of ball-striking, the next tier might only belong to Collin Morikawa. The former Cal Bear was last seen hoisting the ZOZO Championship trophy by a whopping six strokes. A lackluster 2023 season (by his standards) seems to be fading in the rearview expeditiously.
A streaky player on and around the greens, we must never forget how dominant Morikawa can be when he is on his game. I fully expect him to come out of the gates red-hot with pinpoint accuracy on approach and an otherworldly ability to convert birdie chances. To get a player of this caliber at 8-1 in a tiny field like the Hero World Challenge is a blessing from the Bahamian sands.
Tony Finau (+2200)
This one is easy. Tony Finau is live whenever birdies are there to be had. His off-the-tee game is stellar, and the fact that Albany has five par-5 holes on the card is music to my ears. The Utah native has scuffled in tough events in recent months, but this is a chance for his entire family to be whisked away into luxury amenities while dad chases a big purse.
All the red flags around Finau’s game seem not to matter as much in this event, plus his odds are incredibly soft at 22-1.
Tiger Woods (+8000)
Yes, I am absolutely betting on five-time Hero World Challenge champion Woods to win this thing at 80-1, leg sleeve and all. By all accounts, Tiger feels great and has instilled faith that we will see more of him than in recent injury-plagued years. I’d feel violently ill if I didn’t lay some on the line for Woods and watch him do what he always does.
Even though this is definitely a sucker bet, a ploy by the books to get a deluge of betting money on the biggest name in golf, I really do believe he can triumph over 17 others here. It isn’t my problem if Vegas loses its ass when Woods pumps his fist in Sunday red and we all get paid.
Prop Bets to Consider for the Hero World Challenge
Thanks for reading my best bets for the Hero World Challenge, and be sure to catch us live every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. EST on the 19th Hole Live! Good luck this week!
*Photo Credit: Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports*