photo cred: Hero World Challenge
The Hero World Challenge begins this Wednesday, December 4, at the Albany Resort Golf Course in the Bahamas. The event, though put on by the PGA Tour, doesn’t award FedEx Cup points. However, the tournament remains a popular winter fixture and has been a tradition since it was established in 2000. The tournament has a very small field, originally only 16 players before expanding to 18 players in 2008. The field consists of only the reigning major championship winners, the top 11 available players from the Official World Golf Ranking, the defending champion and 2 sponsor invitations.
The tournament has seen some amazing play as the smaller field often lends itself to a more relaxed but still competitive atmosphere, with golfers often taking more risks in order to climb the standings. Past champions include such legends as Davis Love III (2000 and 2003), Vijay Singh (2008), Graeme McDowell (2010 and 2012), and defending champion Jon Rahm. Tiger Woods holds the record for the most titles with 5 wins (2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2011).
Record winner Tiger Woods. Getty Images/Robert Laberge
This year's tournament is seen by many as a tune up for the US Presidents Cup team, as 11 of the 12 person team will compete this week in the Bahamas before heading off to Australia. The only member not playing is Dustin Johnson, who was scheduled to play before pulling out to allow more rest on his injured knee. Some of his teammates looking to make an impression will be Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau. Chez Reavie, the last minute replacement for Johnson, will look to become the first alternate to claim the title. Other contenders include the resurgent Tiger Woods and the defending champion Jon Rahm.
Justin Rose & Jon Rahm
Kevin Kisner & Bubba Watson
Xander Schauffele & Gary Woodland
Bryson DeChambeau & Webb Simpson
Patrick Reed & Patrick Cantlay
Tiger Woods & Justin Thomas
Rickie Fowler & Tony Finau
Chez Reavie & Matt Kuchar
Henrik Stenson & Jordan Spieth
Defending champion Jon Rahm. photo credit: USATSI