The PGA Tour heads to the Bahamas for the Hero World Challenge this week.
This event is invite only so we will be treated to a high-quality field in the Bahamas. Course designer, Ernie Els, has set up the par 72 layout with 5 par fives and this is a key to my tip this week.
In such a small field, only one player stands out to me as the man to beat this week – Dustin Johnson.
Johnson was a player that stood out to me as a clear favourite for this tournament. He is no stranger to the event boasting a third finish a few years ago.
When I researched previous winners, Matsuyama (2017 winner) and Watson (2016 winner), both topped the year end stats for par 5 performance the following year. We can conclude that taking care of the par 5’s is imperative on the Ernie Els layout.
In the 2018 PGA Tour season, DJ ranked 1rst for SG (Strokes Gained) off-the-tee and tee-to-green. This is a formidable combination for par 5’s – not only is he exceptionally long off the tee but he is converting his chances into good scores.
This event historically has been a scoring fest where the elite field has taken the course apart with low scores. Johnson is always a dangerous prospect if he can find his game he has proved consistently he can go low.
DJ topped the stats for birdie average and came second for eagle average in 2018 too. He will be licking his lips at the prospect of 5 par 5’s to go at.
He comes into this event refreshed having played only one event since the Tour Championship in September. Four of the last five winners of this event have been American – I see no reason why DJ can’t add to the American success this weekend.