Hero World Challenge: Look to three of the Presidents men

Gary Woodland can get his hands on another trophy
Gary Woodland can get his hands on another trophy

Tiger Woods hosts an elite 18-man field at this week's Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas and Dave Tindall has three each-way selections...

"After the usual lull following a first major win, the 35-year-old found some good form again in Asia, banking a third in the CJ Cup before adding a top five at the ZOZO Championship in Japan."

Main Bet: Gary Woodland each-way @ 18/1

There must be a decent chance that defending champion and newly-crowned European No.1 Jon Rahm gets it done again this week.

Options are to take the 4/1 or head to the Betting Without Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas market.

It could certainly pay to swerve both given that Thomas was a winner at the CJ Cup just two starts ago. That said JT has only been 11th and 12th - i.e. below halfway - in two starts here.

But while Rahm will be hard to beat in this 18-man field, I'm going to take him on.

I'll open with a punt on 18/1 Gary Woodland.

Albany is an exposed links track so will share some traits, although not all, with Pebble Beach where the big-hitting American won the US Open back in June.

Another obvious attraction is that Albany boasts five par 5s and Woodland ranked T3 in Par 5 Performance in the season just gone.

Putting the theory into practice, he certainly seemed to work them out on his debut in the event last year. After a slow start, Woodland birdied nine of Albany's 10 par 5s over the final two days, finishing the event in a tie for eighth following a sluggish opening 18.

After the usual lull following a first major win, the 35-year-old found some good form again in Asia, banking a third in the CJ Cup before adding a top five at the ZOZO Championship in Japan.

He returned to Japan to contest the Dunlop Phoenix, finishing T20, but he's done enough over the last two months to suggest he can have a big week.

Finally, he's also contesting the Presidents Cup in Australia next week so has the incentive to stay sharp and put in the sort of performance that will catch captain Tiger's eye.

Take Woodland at 18/1.

Next Best: Patrick Reed each-way @ 16/1

Patrick Reed knows the lie of the land at Albany better than most and has contested this event the last four years.

He was runner-up in 2016 and also top five in 2017 while it was obvious which round cost him when the American finished 10th last time after shooting 65-77-66-70.

"I love the place, I love the golf course," said Reed when asked about Albany last year. "And any way to support Tiger as well as support the Hero Challenge is something I want to do."

While a fair few in the field have rested up recently, Reed kept the engine running and played three times in November.

In the first two, he made the top 10 at both the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and the Turkish Airlines Open so, generally, his game has been solid.

Scrambling is one of Reed's big skills and his current stats in that area are consistently strong in virtually every tournament he plays.

There are a few nods this week to the Plantation Course at Kapalua and that's a venue where Reed is a past winner.

Like Woodland, he's jetting off to Australia for the Presidents Cup after this while he ranked in the top 15 for Par 5 Performance last time.

Reed can win in elite company and the 16/1 is again within the realms of each-way respectability.

Final Bet: Matt Kuchar each-way @ 30/1

As this is an each-way column, it's hard to pick anyone too short in the betting and there are seven players at 12/1 of less.

I've already discussed Rahm and Thomas but how can anyone rule out Tiger at 10/1 after his recent victory in Japan when again there were murmurings that his winning days may finally be done after yet another op.

It means I'm slightly forced to look in the bottom half of the betting but there is actually one I like at 30/1.

Matt Kuchar is 14th out of 18 in the list of odds but he may be being written off a little too soon.

One quote mentioned by Steve Rawlings in his preview comes from Ernie Els and it has relevance. Ernie says: "It's a very special golf course. If I were trying to paint an outline mental picture for anyone, I'd say think of a mix between maybe Royal Birkdale and the Els Club Dubai."

Birkdale, of course, is where Kuchar had his near miss in the 2017 Open Championship when finishing runner-up to Jordan Spieth.

So, is there anything in that? Well, Kuchar finished third here at Albany in 2016 and was going well again in 2017 until slipping to ninth. He didn't take part last year.

It appeared as if he went off the boil towards the end of last season but he got his campaign off and running with tied 14th at the Mayakoba where he shot a closing 62 and although a missed cut at the RSM Classic looks bad, he fired 70-69 so it was hardly a crisis.

Kuchar has bags of good form when he gets some sea air in the nostrils and if the putter gets going (he ranked 1st for Putting Average in Mexico last month by the way), he can play a part this week and outrun those 30/1 odds.

Again, he'll be a part of the US squad heading Down Under for the Presidents Cup and that can only be a plus.

Finally, Tony Finau was runner-up last year and could come good but 18/1 was just a tad too short compared to the 18s and 16s of major winners Woodland and Reed.

Dave's 2019/20 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £300
Returned: £140.60
P/L: -£159.40

2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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