Getty Images

Tiger Woods' return to competition was supposed to begin this week at the 2022 Hero World Challenge. Instead, golf fans around the world will have to wait just a little bit longer as the 15-time major champion withdrew on Monday citing plantar fasciitis in his right foot. In his place, Austrian Sepp Straka will make his Hero World Challenge debut and join some of the best players in the world down in The Bahamas.

Woods will still be on television screens as he plays tournament host for the benefit of his charitable foundation. The 46-year-old will welcome 20 of the top 35 players in the Official World Golf Rankings. and three of whom claimed major championship titles this past year. World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler will represent the highest-ranked player in this field as Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay and Will Zalatoris are among the notables not teeing it up. 

Scheffler is joined by Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick and Collin Morikawa as six of the top-10 players in the world are slated to play. Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Tom Kim and Max Homa arrive to The Bahamas as recent winners and round out a stacked 20-man field.

Event Information

Event: 2022 Hero World Challenge | Dates: Dec. 1-4
Location: Albany -- New Providence, Bahamas
Par: 72 | Yardage: 7,414 | Purse: $3,500,000

2022 Hero World Challenge field, odds

Odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

  • Jon Rahm (5-1): The Spaniard is the rightful favorite in what will be his third appearance in the Hero World Challenge. Capturing a victory and second-place finish in his prior two outings, Rahm should pick up where he left off around Albany. He arrives having just won the DP World Tour Championship yet still feels a hair underrated. While his victories in 2022 lacked fields of high quality, he has still entered the winner's circle three times in his last 13 tournaments.
  • Scottie Scheffler (15/2)
  • Tony Finau (9-1)
  • Xander Schauffele (9-1)
  • Justin Thomas (12-1): The newly married Thomas won't be honeymooning in The Bahamas, but he will hope for an equally exciting time. He has become somewhat of a big-game hunter in recent years; his latest victories include the 2022 PGA Championship and the 2021 Players Championship. While strong in quality, the 29-year-old is too strong of a talent to lack the quantity. Thomas is quietly a fantastic no-cut, limited field competitor, and should give the Hero World Challenge a serious go.
  • Viktor Hovland (12-1)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (14-1): The Englishman arrives off a disappointing finish to his DP World Tour season. Finishing second to McIlroy in the DP World Tour Rankings, Fitzpatrick was in control of his own destiny through 36 holes at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Ultimately fading over the weekend, he will look to get back on track in The Bahamas.
  • Sungjae Im (14-1)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (16-1)
  • Collin Morikawa (16-1): Thomas isn't the only one who tied the knot during the mini offseason as Morikawa was also seen at the altar. It is easy to forget that it was at this very tournament a year ago where the two-time major champion went into the final round with a six-stroke lead. Had he converted this margin into a victory, Morikawa would have ascended to world No. 1, but instead he was wondering what if. He is without a worldwide win since the 2021 DP World Tour Championship, and while this drought is not substantial, it may be starting to weigh on him.
  • Jordan Spieth (18-1)
  • Sam Burns (18-1)
  • Tom Kim (18-1): Nothing a little Tom Kim can't fix. The Presidents Cup darling enjoyed one of the stronger swing season campaigns on the PGA Tour. Getting the better of Patrick Cantlay at the Shriners Children's Open, the 20-year-old factored again a couple weeks later at The CJ Cup in South Carolina. The Hero World Challenge has been kind to debutants, which bodes well for Kim's prospects.
  • Cameron Young (22-1)
  • Shane Lowry (22-1)
  • Max Homa (25-1)
  • Billy Horschel (30-1)
  • Corey Conners (35-1)
  • Kevin Kisner (60-1)
  • Sepp Straka (65-1)

2022 Hero World Challenge expert picks

Winner (9-1): While he may not officially be a top five player in the world, Finau is playing like one. Leading this field in strokes gained tee to green over his last 50 rounds and over the last two months, both long-term and short-term views paint Finau in a favorable light. It more than makes sense considering he has won three times in his last seven outings including his last start at the Houston Open. He has a runner-up result at Albany in the past, and has had success at other coastal golf courses throughout his career.

Contender (14-1): Before a couple mediocre starts to cap off his 2022 PGA Tour season, Im was thriving. With a top-10 finish at the Shriners Children's Open, the South Korean carried his summer momentum into the fall. Most forget how close he truly was to winning the FedEx Cup Playoffs as he gave McIlroy and Scheffler a run for their money. Finishing in a tie for second, his play at East Lake marked his third runner-up finish since the end of July.

Sleeper (25-1): There are only four players below him on the odds board, and that doesn't feel like enough. Coming off a two-win season in 2021-22, Homa has since defended his title at the Fortinet Championship. Now a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, the Californian has turned into one of the best ball strikers in the world. He is coming off an extended layoff due to the birth of his first child but should thrive in front of Tiger and with the nappy factor in his corner.