5 Power Picks: 2017 Hero World Challenge

While the Hero World Challenge may be an unofficial PGA Tour event, it is loaded with players who are officially ranked as the best in the world.

The Bahamas based tournament, which kicks off at Albany on Thursday, is limited to only 18 players, and includes eight of the world’s top-10 ranked players.

It will also be a Presidents Cup reunion of sorts with 12 members of the U.S. team in the field, along with Hideki Matsuyama who teed it up for Team International.

The players in this star-studded field will all be vying for a big payday worth $1 million, along with some valuable world-ranking points.

Here are the five power picks for this week’s Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Course.


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA

Along with Rickie Fowler, Matsuyama sits atop most everyone’s “best to not yet win a major” list. He is coming off another terrific season, where he won three PGA Tour titles, including a successful defense in Phoenix, and two World Golf Championships (HSBC and Bridgestone).

Currently ranked No. 5, the 25-year old enters the Bahamas off a pair of top 5s sandwiched between a T50 (WGC-HSBC).

OWGR: 5 | Last Six: 5, 50, 5, 26, 47, 23


DUSTIN JOHNSON

Johnson is coming off another career year which included four victories, highlighted by two WGC titles and a playoff win. The World No. 1’s new season appeared headed for an early title in China, but a surprising final-round 77 dropped him to T2.

OWGR: 1 | Last Six: 2, 17, 33, 18, 1, 13


JORDAN SPIETH

Spieth followed up a two-win 2016 season with three wins in 2017, highlighted by his third major at Royal Birkdale.

The 24-year old superstar was unstoppable in the 2014 Hero World Challenge, winning the tournament by an incredible 10 strokes in a record setting 26-under-par finish. Spieth enters the big money Bahamas event with a top 10 at the Australian Open last week – his first competition since East Lake in September.

OWGR: 2 | Last Six: 8, 7, 7, 2, 2, 28


JUSTIN THOMAS

Ranked only behind DJ and Spieth, Thomas will be teeing it up for the first time since a win at the inaugural CJ Cup in Korea. The reigning Player of the Year posted his best season as a tour pro with five wins, which included his first major at Quail Hollow.

The 24-year old Kentuckian made the most of his two starts in the wrap-around season with a victory in Korea and a T17 at the CIMB.

OWGR: 3 | Last Six: 1, 17, 2, 47, 1, 6


JUSTIN ROSE

Since a missed cut at the PGA Championship in August, Rose has made eight international starts against mostly elite fields (FedExCup and Race to Dubai) and has finished in the top 10 in each, highlighted by two wins (WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open).

OWGR: 6 | Last Six: 10, 4, 1, 1, 10, 2


Credits: Getty Images, Joel Cook


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a Producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is producing a digital documentary on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.



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