If ever there was a golf tournament where betting was based on guesswork, this is it. Sixteen world-class players line-up for Tiger Woods’ annual charity event with one very notable exception; the host. Tiger’s absence also removes the one obvious betting clue, as he had won three of the last four.

Chevron World Challenge contenders gallery

Our main problem stems from the fact that all of these players have only been seen very rarely in competitive tournaments since the end of the main season in September, making them impossible to separate on recent form. Even the outsider in this field, Fred Couples, has some sort of chance on his best 2008 form. The only player I’d confidently write off is 2005 winner Luke Donald, who did nothing on his first start back from injury at Sun City.
Of the five players vying for favouritism in single figures, marginal preference is for ANTHONY KIM, for two reasons. Firstly, if there is a trend from previous renewals its that the very best iron players seem to emerge on top. Besides Tiger, the previous winners have been Donald, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love and Tom Lehman; all of whom were amongst the very best in that department. Low scoring is very possible around here, and I could see Kim’s attacking brilliance paying dividends. Secondly, I’m assuming that Kim retains the hunger at this early stage in his career to take even ‘silly season’ events seriously.