A number of big-name players will tee it up at Albany Golf Club this week, with $4.5million in prize money up for grabs and $1million going to the tournament winner.
World number four Viktor Hovland has won the title in the last two years and the Norwegian star will go for a hat-trick of wins this week.
Albany Golf Course has been the venue for the Hero World Challenge since 2015, with the tournament’s lowest score coming in that year – with Bubba Watson finishing -25 (263).
The Ernie Els-designed par-72 course measures in at 7,309 yards – with five par-5s and five par-3’s – which is a links style set-up with dunes and water spread across the 18 holes.
Rickie Fowler – who is part of this year’s 20-man field – holds the course record after carding a 61 during the fourth round in 2017.
It’s understandable that Hovland is the favourite and the man to beat, considering both his recent form and his performances in this event in recent years.
The European Ryder Cup ace has taken top spot in the last two years and has won his last two tournaments – BMW Championship and Tour Championship - heading into this week’s event.
Hovland carded four sub-70 rounds in the 2022 Hero World Challenge and currently sits fourth in both the PGA Tour scoring averages and birdie averages going into this week.
The 26-year-old fired five birdies and two eagles in his final round 66 last year and those memories from the last two editions are bound to further boost his confidence.
Morikawa finished T5 in last year’s Hero World Challenge, four shots behind Hovland, although it could have been so different but for a Sunday to forget.
After carding 68-66-64 scores in the first three rounds, the American was in the third last group on the final day.
A Sunday four-over-par 76 saw him finish off the pace, though, and Morikawa will be determined to right the wrongs of that final round.
The world number 14 won his last PGA Tour event with success in the Zozo Championship last month, which was sealed with a final round 63.
Tee Time (UK Times)
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