The 2019 Hero World Challenge brings host Tiger Woods and 17 more of the top golfers in the world to the Bahamas for the final individual PGA Tour event of 2019. The Presidents Cup and QBE Shootout will run next week before the golf world takes a short hiatus ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the first week of January.
The event returns to Albany for a fifth consecutive year. Three of the previous four champions, including defending champ Jon Rahm, are back. A total of six of the top 10 golfers from the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field and competing for their share of the $3.5 million purse.
Fantasy Golf Rankings
Here are my fantasy golf rankings for the 2019 Hero World Challenge at Albany.
18. Chez Reavie
Named as the replacement for Dustin Johnson last week, as the No. 4 golfer in the world top . Reavie enters the week ranked No. 36 in the world, having moved up from No. 63 at the end of last year.
17. Kevin Kisner
Last played here in 2017 and tied for 12th. He enters in poor form having missed the cut at the RSM Classic and tied for 76th at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
16. Henrik Stenson
Doesn’t have a win since the 2017 Wyndham Championship but has five top-10 showings in 2019. He was fourth here last year and was the runner-up in 2016.
15. Jordan Spieth
The 2014 Hero World Challenge champ got his victory at a different venue (Isleworth Country Club). He didn’t participate last year but was T-3 in 2017. He’s the top putter in the field, but his tee-to-green game remains a mess. Has the worst OWGR ranking among those in attendance (No. 44).
14. Bubba Watson
Holds the tournament scoring record at Albany at 25-under par set in his 2015 victory. He’s collected three top 10 finishes in 2019, but he missed the cut in two of his last five events with a top finish of T-28 in that time.
13. Matt Kuchar
The 23rd-ranked golfer in the world hasn’t won since last season’s Sony Open in Hawaii. He is a two-time runner-up in 2019 with four other top 10s matching his number of missed cuts.
12. Gary Woodland
The reigning U.S. Open champ tied for eighth in his debut at Albany last year. He has slipped to No. 18 in the world after peaking at No. 12, but he is coming off a disappointing T-20 finish in a weaker field at the Japan Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix.
11. Bryson DeChambeau
Slipped from No. 5 in the world at this time last year to No. 12 entering this week. He hasn’t played in an event since finishing T-4 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the first week of October. A strong putter, but his ball-striking game hasn’t been in good enough form.
10. Tony Finau
An expert ball-striker but he won’t have his usual advantage off the tee due to the tight confines of Albany with forced layups on the shorter holes. He was the runner-up last year, but he’s coming off a very disappointing missed cut in a weaker field at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
9. Patrick Reed
Has struggled slightly with the flat stick of late. His 11th-place finish last year was his worst result in four attempts at Albany, but he was the runner-up in his 2015 debut.
8. Rickie Fowler
The 2017 champ has never finished worse than his T-5 in 2018. The No. 22 golfer in the world hasn’t played a worldwide event since his 19th-place finish at the Tour Championship to conclude the 2018-19 season.
7. Justin Rose
Leads the field in Opportunities Gained over everyone’s last 36 rounds, per Fantasy National. He finished solo third last year following a T-5 in 2017. His last victory came at the Farmers Insurance Open, and he had six other top-10 showings in 2019.
6. Webb Simpson
Enters the week just outside the top 10 in the world ranking at No. 11 following his runner-up finish at the RSM Classic. He’s the only golfer in the field making his debut at Albany, but Rahm made his debut in victory a year ago.
5. Patrick Cantlay
Twice finished as the runner-up since the beginning of August at the BMW Championship and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Collected his second PGA Tour win at the Memorial Tournament and tied for fifth here last year.
4. Tiger Woods
The host is a five-time winner of this event but never at Albany. His top result at this venue was a T-9 in 2017. He got his first win of the season at the Zozo Championship in Japan, but he may be too focused on the Presidents Cup ahead of his duties as a player-captain.
3. Justin Thomas
Leads the field in Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking and Strokes Gained: Total but has been struggling with the putter. He failed to crack the top 10 in each of his previous two attempts at this event, but he already grabbed his first win of the season at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in South Korea.
2. Xander Schauffele
A T-8 finisher here last year, he is coming off a runner-up result at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. He has one victory, three runner-ups and a third-place finish in 2019.
1. Jon Rahm
Leads the field with a world ranking of No. 3 following victories in each of his last two events, at the Open de Espana and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. He looks to defend his title at this event with a total of three victories, two runner-ups and two third-place results in 2019.