2023 Hero World Challenge Predictions: The Return Of Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods, 2023 Masters Tournament, Augusta National,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods, 2023 Masters Tournament, Augusta National,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

Tournament host Tiger Woods returns to action this week at the 2023 Hero World Challenge.

In case you haven’t heard already, Tiger is back! Woods will return to action this week in The Bahamas for the first time since last April’s Masters. But Tiger isn’t the only golfer who is set to return after a lengthy absence, this week’s 2023 Hero World Challenge will also see the return of Will Zalatoris.

Zalatoris will tee it up for the first time since a back injury caused him to withdraw from both the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March and April’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Both Woods and Zalatoris make up a stacked 20-man limited field of competitors who will tee it up in the beautiful Bahamas.

Six of the world’s Top 10 OWGR-ranked players have made the journey to Nassau, The Bahamas, for the 2023 Hero World Challange including world No.1 Scottie Scheffler who is back in action for the first time since the Ryder Cup in Rome.

While the Hero World Challenge isn’t part of the official FedEx Cup rotation of events throughout the year, the tournament will award Official World Golf Ranking points to the winner.

Albany Golf Course, a Par 72 7,449 yard Ernie Els design, has played host to the Hero World Challenge since 2015 and will host its eighth edition of the event in 2023. The coastal links-style design includes a unique mixture of five Par 5s, eight Par 4s, and five Par 3s.

Viktor Hovland returns to the Hero World Challenge in search of an astonishing three-peat after his wins here in 2021 and 2022 when he became the first player since Tiger Woods to win the tournament in consecutive years.

It comes as little surprise to see the 2023 Tour Championship winner’s name atop the oddsboards this week.

2023 Hero World Challenge Favorites

Note: All listed odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. For more betting content for all sports check out Betsided.

  • Viktor Hovland (+400)
  • Scottie Scheffler (+450)
  • Collin Morikawa (+800)
  • Max Homa (+850)
  • Justin Thomas (+1400)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (+1600)
  • Cameron Young (+1600)
  • Jordan Spieth (+2000)

2023 Hero World Challenge Predictions

Tiger Woods to finish top 10 (+280)

Picking Tiger Woods to win in just his third start of 2023 would be a bold call, instead, I’m going to play it a bit safe and predict him to have a nice week at his event that ends with a Top 10 finish.

Woods, a five-time winner of the World Challenge, last played the Hero World Challenge at Albany in 2019 when he finished 4th. He has finished T17th and T9th in two other starts here since 2017.

Tiger’s two previous starts in 2023 came at his event, the Genesis Invitational (T45th) in February, and the Masters (WD) in April. He is +8000 to win this week in the Bahamas.

Cameron Young to beat Sepp Straka (-125)

Both players have a couple of starts under their belts since the FedEx Cup Playoffs reached its conclusion in August at East Lake.

Straka followed up a T6 showing at the Tour Championship with finishes of 10th at the BMW PGA Championship in September and T22nd at the DP World Tour Championship a couple of weeks ago. The Austrian also made his Ryder Cup debut in Rome in September where he went 1-2-0 for Team Europe.

Cameron Young returned to action at the World Wide Technology Championship at El Cardonal this month for the first time since the BMW Championship in August. Young followed up a T54 finish in Mexico with a share for 38th at the RSM Classic in his last start a couple of weeks ago.

Both players also had strong debut performances at this event last year with Straka finishing in a tie for 10th and Young finishing solo 3rd. Each player should come into this week’s Hero World Challenge with little rust having played recently but it’s Young who I give the slight edge to.

Cam should be able to take advantage of the numerous Par 5s at Albany Golf Course; an area he ranked 5th in last season on the PGA Tour.

Justin Thomas to win (+1400)

Not many in this 20-man field have played much competitive golf recently, Justin Thomas has.  Thomas has teed it up in three events since missing out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs in August, this includes at the Ryder Cup in September.

Justin compiled a 1-2-1 record in Rome, struggling like the majority of his compatriots. In other starts this fall, however, the 2022 PGA Champion has played quality golf recording finishes of 5th (Fortinet Championship) and 4th (Nedbank Golf Challenge) on either side of the Ryder Cup.

The 30-year-old has finished solo 5th or in a tie for 5th in each of his last three starts at the Hero World Challenge and after a disappointing 2023 which included missing the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Thomas will come into this week with plenty of motivation.

Next. 2023 Hero World Challenge DFS Picks. dark

JT can cement signature event status by maintaining his place in the OWGR Top 30 and a good showing this week in the Bahamas could go a long way towards accomplishing that goal. I like his chances of leaving the Island with the trophy in hand this time around.