Jordan Spieth has terrific prospects in this week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
The Albany course in the Bahamas is the host for the second year running for the Hero World Challenge. This tournament is given an extra bit of jazz with the return of the greatest golfer ever to walk on spikes. After more than a year off Tiger returns to his own tournament and the anticipation is huge. A lot has been written about the 40 year old's return and most of it is a load of old tosh. Nobody knows what Tiger is capable of but if I'd to take a gamble I would say he will return to winning ways before he hangs up his glove. He is talking a good game and who knows, this week he could surprise anyone.
One thing I would say, there are five par 5s on this course where you need to make a score to compete. Inevitably the par 5s will put pressure on his short game near the greens and that is where we'll see how far Tiger has come. His short game was nothing short of atrocious before he took his break, so that will be of big interest. Four under took last place here last year so it is a sensible place to start for Tiger as I'd be very surprised should he not shoot under par over four days.
The Albany is a manufactured links type course that gives the players opportunity to open up their shoulders and bash the birdie door down all week. Bubba used his long game last year to climb the ladder to 25 under par and take the title. He turns up this year at a tasty enough top price of 18/1. I wouldn't put anyone off getting involved with Bubba this week but I feel he needs a lot to go his way with the putter to win again and I can't see him holing as many putts as he did last year. Dustin Johnson is the jolly around the 5/1 mark which is a fair enough price. He has the game most equipped to win here but I can't help but feel his year was winding down a month ago and I don't know if he is fully motivated at this time of year to take this event. I'd rather search elsewhere.
JORDAN SPIETH dropped in class two weeks ago and won in Australia whilst playing nowhere near his best golf. What was evident in the final few holes was that his putting was absolutely clutch and when he's in that form he is hard to beat. Two superb up and downs on 17 and 18 that week got him into the playoff where he holed a 14 footer to take home the spoils. Last year here in the Bahamas he finished 4th with a total of 20 under par and he could have putted better. It was around this time last year doubts about his putter began to surround him and resulted in a few missed opportunities over the following months. This year it could be different and Spieth turns up here with a hot putter. That win in Australia will give him supreme confidence this week. I feel Mastuyama needs to sharpen his short game to win this event at 20 under plus and I'd fear Stenson more. Overall I see Spieth the most likely winner of this event and I'd have him slotted in as tournament fav in my book.
Our second and final selection is EMILIANO GRILLO. His last five performances read 10-26-17-11-10. He is in consistent form and the handicapper has possibly underestimated his chances. Grillo is well vexed in travelling and I expect him to really give this his full attention this week. It is a limited field, of which question marks surround plenty and the Argentinian should be further up the market than where he stands right now. He has only missed two cuts in 14 months so this represents a sure chance for Grillo to add to his sole PGA Tour win in the fall of last year at the Frys. I somewhat underestimated his talent a year or so ago and although I do believe he still has plenty of limitations, he is a play this week at a massive price of 28/1.