The Hero World Challenge preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
Tiger! He’s back at last. Phew I was wondering if golf could ever function without the great man. It’s been a long time sine Tiger teed it up – 15 months – and even longer since he was remotely competitive. Sad to say but the last time we saw him it was a sorry mess. As great as he was time stands still for no one and while you could never discount Tiger totally the stop start nature of his return and the evidence of his last ventures on a golf course suggest a player who has crossed a rubicon.
I would love to see the man dog in contention but look at the field he’s up against. No Rory and Jason but the rest are hardly shabby. So good luck Tiger. I suspect that Tiger needs the game more than the game needs him – I mean he plays video games all day…holy s..t! Just hang in there bud till the seniors (sorry Champions) Tour.
On to the Hero (how apt). A restricted cash laden jolly in the sun with a great field given the interminable season. Dustbin, Jordo, Hideki, Brooks…Patrick!!!!!!! Played any golf lately?
On the basis form can be binary – yes its good / no its bad – you can make a case for just about the entire field. We know this place will yield a ton of birdies but what does this tell us when the field is laden with birdie machines? Jordan won in Australia (at your correspondents brothers course) with a second-class tee to green game and a freaky one on it. He’s massively up in class here. Dustbin has been lying on the sofa for the best part of 2 months bar a single outing when he ran out of beers and found himself teeing it up in a golf tournament. Hideki’s form is on paper insane but they were lower grade events. Brooks killed it in Japan and we love him but at the price 11/1 stepping up in class? Henrik looks solid but seems to always find a way to get beaten. Bubba will love it round here having posted a record 25 under but carried the luggage at the Ryder Cup, which was a reflection of his ordinary year. Rickie has form here and played well in the World Cup but he too has failed to set the world on fire in 2016 and is a touch too short at 16/1 for me. Rose – a local – hasn’t played for three months.
The course isn’t hugely challenging with five reachable par fives and at least two short par fours so without a breeze will yield a seriously low score. To me this suggests that rustiness will find a player out since proximity to the flag will be paramount and putting to boot.
Lurking at the fat end of the market is our golden boy Grizzo at 25/1. He’s young and remember this is still his first full calendar year on tour. There is enough evidence to suggest two weeks off have refreshed him sufficiently to have another go. He does everything well and its screamingly obvious he oozes class. He’s also heading out with the relatively short but laid back Knox which might suit him given he can get fiery.