A star-studded field of 20 players is in the Bahamas this week for the 2022 Hero World Challenge.
Tournament host Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw due to a foot injury, but the field does include 17 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The event begins Thursday at Albany, and our golf experts provide tournament notes along with their best bets.
HERO WORLD CHALLENGE
New Providence, Bahamas, Dec. 1-4
Course: Albany (Par 72, 7,449 yards)
Purse: $3.5M (Winner: $1M)
Defending Champion: Viktor Hovland
FedEx Cup leader: Seamus Power
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 12-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-5 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 12-1 p.m. (GC), 1-5 p.m. (NBC)
–Albany will play host to the event for the seventh consecutive time.
–This is an unofficial PGA Tour event that does not award FedEx Cup points.
–Sepp Straka, who replaced Woods in the field, is among seven players making their event debuts. Only Hovland and Jon Rahm (2018) have won the tournament in their debuts. The only other previous champion in the field is Jordan Spieth (2014).
–There are three past champions who now play for LIV Golf and were not invited: Henrik Stenson (2019), Bubba Watson (2015) and Graeme McDowell (2010, 2012)
–Hovland carded a final-round 66 to beat Scottie Scheffler by a single stroke last year.
–Rahm (+500 at BetMGM) has won two of his past three starts and has finished no lower than T4 in his past four worldwide events. He also has six top-10s in his past seven events.
–Scheffler (+700) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 2. He hasn’t won since the Masters but is coming off a pair of top-10s on tour. Scheffler’s odds have shortened since opening at +750 as he is third at the sportsbook with 7.7 percent of the total bets backing him to win.
–Tony Finau (+900) won his most recent start at the Houston Open and has three victories in his past seven starts. He is BetMGM’s second-biggest liability this week as Finau has drawn the most money at 14.2 percent and second-most bets at 9.7 percent.
–Xander Schauffele (+1100) enters with a streak of three consecutive top-10s, adding to a strong 2022 that included wins at the Scottish Open and Travelers Championship.
–Justin Thomas (+1200) is a close friend of Woods’ and surely would love to win this invite-only event. He’s also the sportsbook’s biggest liability, drawing 11.2 percent of the bets and 12.3 percent of the money since opening at +1100.
–Tommy Fleetwood (+1800) is coming off a T5 at the DP World Tour Championship following a victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and a T4 at the CJ Cup.
–Cameron Young (+2000) offers intriguing longshot odds in a limited field. He has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but the Rookie of the Year has been a popular choice as he is the third biggest liability while being backed by 10.2 percent of the money.
–Field Level Media