This week’s golf is comprised of two limited-field events in the shape of the Hero World Challenge and The Nedbank Challenge, and both look worth having a crack at.
The Hero World Challenge
The Albany Course, New Province, Bahamas is a completely new venue for this high-class 18 player field, which includes Jordan Spieth. The big hitters are expected to take advantage of the 5 par-5s, whilst the course is exposed and often windy – and a bit of links experience might well come in handy.
Call it a gut-feeling, but the whole idea of golf in the Bahamas smacks of the laid-back style of Dustin Johnson. This limited-field may also suit him down to the ground, as should the par 5’s, whilst his low ball flight shouldn’t be troubled by the wind as much as some of the high-ball hitters.
I also get a similar vibe from Brooks Koepka and the youngster is expected to hit top gear this year in a bid for a Ryder Cup spot.
2 points win Dustin Johnson @ 7/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes)
1 point each-way Brookes Koepka @ 25/1 (Various) 1/5 odds 4 places.
The Nedbank Challenge
A field of 30 players line-up and, with a big first-prize on offer, this event provides players with a real chance of making next year’s Ryder Cup team with a victory at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.
Length off the tee is usually an advantage this week, though wayward drivers could find plenty of pitfalls. Market leader Henrik Stenson can hit it long and straight, and has a terrific record in the event, but his last placed finish in Dubai two-weeks ago just can’t be forgiven with him saying he needs a knee operation. Charl Schwartzel may have done us a small favour last-week, but his course record doesn’t jump out, nor does Brandon Grace’s.
Course knowledge had long been perceived as a necessity for this event and, if that’s the case, then Danny Willett’s debut win may well mean he’s set to add to his tally in the coming years. He’s mad keen to make the 2016 Ryder Cup team, but that pressure added to the pressure of defending may just prove too much.
Therefore, at 28/1, it’s Ross Fisher who makes most appeal. He hits it long and straight off the tee when on song, and recent 13th and 3rd placed finishes in China shows he’s in decent nick. He’s also only played here three times, finishing 3/5/2.
1 point each-way Ross Fisher @ 28/1 (Betfred, Paddy Power, Stan James) ¼ odds 4 places.