Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas hosts the world’s best players for the Hero World Challenge this week.
Collin Morikawa, who is nearing the top ranking, comes off a Dubai win where he captured the World Tour Championship.
However, he’s not heading the golf betting markets. Rory McIlroy, who handed Morikawa the win in Dubai, has been best-backed to win the invitational.
Can’t Get Enough of Morikawa
We could wax lyrical all day about the quality of Morikawa, but he’s no longer going under the radar.
The 24-year-old two-time major winner is the best player in the world, and there’s little doubt about it. He provided golf fans with an excellent finish in Dubai, where he chased down McIlroy on the back nine.
He became the first American golfer to win the European Tour title, which is no easy feat. Despite trailing McIlroy throughout the tournament, he played the best golf when it counted.
“It’s an honor to be the first American to do that, to put my name against many, many greats and Hall of Famers,” Morikawa told ESPN. “It’s special. I get touched up just talking about that.
“To close it out not just with a top-10 but to actually win … what a great way to finish.”
We see no reason to jump off his back at the Hero World Challenge. He’s the best iron player on the PGA Tour, which helps around a potentially windy Bahamas course.
With Tiger Woods in attendance, Morikawa will be keen to impress the greatest of all time. He is considered the new Woods in golfing circles, so he’d love to win the tournament hosted by the GOAT.
Bettors get +800 for Morikawa at the sportsbook, who was leading the betting before McIlroy firmed into +650.
Pick: Collin Morikawa +800
McIlroy: Point to Prove
We saw a visibly upset McIlroy when he let the win slip through his fingers in Dubai.
He is the most passionate golfer on tour and when a player rips his shirt following the fourth round, you know it meant something to him.
The Northern Irishman can shake off the devastating loss with a win at the Hero World Challenge. He has been the subject of some big bets this week, and after opening on the same line as Morikawa, he has been backed into favoritism.
Bettors typically come for the four-time major winner, so it’s no surprise. He might not be winning as often as he used to, but McIlroy was errorless over the first three rounds in Dubai and it was exciting to watch.
When he is striking the ball well, he only needs to make a few putts to win. He was unlucky when hitting the pin in Dubai, which resulted in a bogey. Had he missed the pin, it would have been a short birdie putt and the tournament could have been his.
We expect McIlroy to move on quickly and the confidence with betting online markets is encouraging.
Pick: Rory McIlroy +650
Schauffele to Step Up
Xander Schauffele makes his first appearance since the ZOZO Championship in late October.
The gold medal winner at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics hasn’t won an event, except for the Olympics, since capturing the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
It’s a long time between drinks for a quality golfer, so he could relish conditions in the Bahamas and score an overdue win.
Despite his success on the course, Schauffele’s father, Stefan, said his son is still driving an old car.
“He hasn’t changed anything at all. He doesn’t even have a new car,” the elder Schauffele said. “He still drives his Toyota Camry and for a good reason. It makes him happy.
“He says it reminds him of how quickly this could all be gone.”
This is an ideal chance for Schauffele to get back in the winners’ circle. Bettors get +1400 for the classy American, which is good shopping.