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2023 Hero World Problem Preview

The PGA Tour’s 2023 season could also be over however there are nonetheless some engaging viewing occasions earlier than the calendar flips.

It begins this week’s Hero World Problem. What some name a hit-and-giggle, this post-Thanksgiving occasion is run by the Tiger Woods Basis with a restricted area of simply 20 invitees. The golfers who present up will likely be assured 4 rounds of motion whereas being awarded OWGR factors, as properly. I’m certain that sits properly with the entire LIV Golf members.

Whereas the stakes are comparatively low this week, this occasion does provide an opportunity for the sport’s greatest to compete towards one another and keep sharp over the vacation break.

The Course

The Hero World Problem is performed at Albany within the Bahamas.

This Ernie Els design was opened in 2010 and appears form of like a create-a-course you may discover in a online game. The fairways are completely manicured and well-watered to create a visually interesting barrier of lush inexperienced grass surrounded by white-sand native areas with desert vegetation.

With tough bunkers and terrain that’s uncovered to coastal winds, you possibly can describe it as linksy at occasions however with bermudagrass turf and water hazards on 5 holes, you actually wouldn’t name it a real hyperlinks course by any means.

These coastal winds did whip final 12 months with the sector averaging near the par of 72 over the primary two rounds (72.05) whereas the five-year area common nonetheless sits at 70.04 so this resort course could be very feastable in calmer situations.

The bermudagrass greens are simply 4,500 sq. ft on common (small) and run sooner in velocity than most coastal venues we see on the Tour schedule.

There are 5 par 3s on the course but additionally 5 par 5s. The latter supplies loads of birdie and eagle seems whereas the par 3s hold the golfers targeted and supply momentum-killing alternatives. Mom Nature is the one true protection for these professionals, although. With no regular breeze, something within the 70s is taken into account a disappointing spherical at Albany.

With the significance of driving the ball mixed with coastal winds and the significance of par-5 scoring, programs like Augusta Nationwide, TPC Scottsdale, Muirfield Village, Torrey Pines, Quail Hole, and TPC Sawgrass present up as attainable comp programs. Scottsdale is the one which passes the attention take a look at given they’re each desert tracks with lush inexperienced fairways, each closely rewarding good drivers.

Golfers to Watch

Tiger Woods

Whereas the hints have been actually there in latest months, it’s nonetheless a shock to see him enjoying aggressive golf today. Woods has made 5 begins since his newest return stint in 2022 with finishes of T-45 or worse in all of these begins (two WDs). There are solely 20 golfers within the area, so he’s assured one thing higher than that at Albany, so long as he’s in a position to stroll all 4 rounds. Tiger followers all the time hope to see that previous spark ignite however in actuality something higher than final place this week ought to be thought of a optimistic. The oddsmakers agree with him priced at +8000 to win with the subsequent closest golfer, Lucas Glover, sitting at +5500.

Viktor Hovland

He’s the back-to-back champ at Albany and likewise arrives with wins in two of his final 4 worldwide begins. He “settled” for a fifth-place and runner-up end within the different two begins. You possibly can argue that he’s the perfect golfer on the earth proper now, relying on how a lot you need to weigh latest outcomes. Add all of it up and it’s straightforward to see why he’s opened because the betting favourite this week (+400).

Scottie Scheffler

He’s been dormant because the Ryder Cup, absolutely benefiting from the brand new “offseason”. Whereas that leaves a query mark within the latest kind bucket, it might be silly to count on an excessive amount of rust in his sport. Scheffler had three fall begins earlier than final 12 months’s occasion however had this to say about his prep earlier than the occasion, “I’m undoubtedly not displaying as much as end twentieth or no matter it’s. I’ve been practising. I prefer to follow.”

Will Zalatoris

The younger Texan shut it down final fall with herniated discs however was in a position to return in early 2023. That didn’t final lengthy as he underwent microdiscectomy surgical procedure in early April. There isn’t an excellent monitor file of golfers getting back from this with out dropping a step however most golfers haven’t undergone the surgical procedure at such a younger age. Maybe he’ll be the shining instance of what’s attainable if you happen to assault the issue early. Simply staying aggressive for 72 holes this week ought to be thought of a win for Zalatoris and anything is simply additional icing on the cake at this level in his restoration course of.

Jordan Spieth

He has a boom-or-bust relationship with Albany within the Bahamas. Spieth twirled top-6 finishes in his first three journeys however in his final three visits he has completed fifteenth or worse. Whereas the sector averages round 70 right here at Albany, Spieth has signed for 72 or worse in 8 of his final 12 Hero rounds.

Rating the Discipline

1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Viktor Hovland
3. Collin Morikawa
4. Max Homa
5. Matt Fitzpatrick
6. Rickie Fowler
7. Wyndham Clark
8. Sam Burns
9. Brian Harman
10. Justin Thomas
11. Cameron Younger
12. Tony Finau
13. Keegan Bradley
14. Justin Rose
15. Jordan Spieth
16. Sepp Straka
17. Jason Day
18. Will Zalatoris
19. Lucas Glover
20. Tiger Woods



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