The Japanese star has had six top five finishes this year and deserves to gain a victory.
Another limited field to peruse as 18 of the worlds best line up in this years renewal of the Hero. I enjoyed this event immensely when it was staged at Sherwood and from a punters perspective it was usually very inviting. The change in venue in the last two years is not ideal but this year's venue in Bahamas gives us more of a chance than last year. The Ernie Els design is a manufactured links layout which contains five par 5s. The exposed nature of the course should mean that wind will play its part at some point in the event.
Jordan Spieth arrives at the top of the market after last weeks somewhat disappointing result. He had every chance of landing the title in Australia last week but a lot of ragged shots and not the usual amount of putts holed resulted in him coming up a shot shy. Given the nature of this long course I don't think it will play into his hands and I'd be looking closer to 5/1 before I even thought of having a bet. Dustin Johnson has better claims around a track he should find scoreable. However the second half of this year hasn't been overly impressive and I don't fancy investing in him at 7/1 in such a strong field.
We've got three selections to go to war with in this event starting with Hideki Matsuyama. It has been a remarkably consistent year for the Japanese star with no fewer than six top five finishes. He has yet to win though and this may be his best opportunity of the year to land a victory. He has posted a 3rd placed finish in Hawaii by the sea. He also has a top ten in the British Open to his name in 2013. I noted this year that on the roughest day of the windy Open at St Andrews he shot the best score of the day 66. I've been waiting for a similar test before backing Hideki and this seems to suit. He withdrew from the HSBC with a foot injury but showed no ill effects as he played well in his defence of the Dunlop Phoenix event. With 4 places available in a field of 18 the 14/1 available is more than acceptable to have an each way bet.
Hideki Matsuyama - 1.5pts e/w @ 14/1Lost -3pts
Our second selection is the American Brooks Koepka. I was expecting a lot shorter about the big hitting Brooks and he should be more than capable of putting a score together here. If the course plays as we think then he has as good as tools as anyone to cope with the challenge. The par 5s should be an opportunity for him to steal a march on the field. He has shown a likeness for links style golf before with form at Pinehurst and Whistling Straits so this test should be right up his boulevard.
Brooks Koepka - 1.5pts e/w @ 25/1Lost -3pts
Finally I can't leave Jimmy Walker out of the staking plan. This bet is a tad risky considering he has little in the way of form in the second half of this year. However, if this course plays a shade differently as to how we think then he might be the one to capitalise. With this being a windy links test, his wins in Texas, two in Hawaii and one at Pebble Beach might count as valuable experience. He is the forgotten man in this field despite some wins that should translate to this type of layout so the 50/1 on offer is more than generous.
Jimmy Walker - 0.5pts e/w @ 50/1Lost -1pts