Profiles of the field for this year’s Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods

After last year’s event was cancelled the tournament returns to Albany in the Bahamas with Henrik Stenson defending his trophy.

Admittedly it's something of a silly season, fill-the-wheelbarrow event, but this year's Hero World Challenge also has the potential to be really rateher good.

Consider this: in recent time the field has included Anirban Lahiri, Chez Reavie and Kevin Chappell.

Good players, no doubt, but this year all 20 are a little better than that - in fact, all pf them have played in either the Ryder or Presidents Cup.

So, although it's not quite exactly high pressure week, the field is strong.

Let's take a closer look.

Abraham Ancer

The Mexican makes his tournament debut this week, a nice way to round off a year when he has taken his consistency to another level, first of all regularly contending for PGA Tour titles, and then winning the WGC St Jude Invitational. He's landed seven top 15 finishes in his last 11 starts. Finishing second at the blustery, oceanside Harbour Town might be a good pointer.

Daniel Berger

Another solid performer in 2021 and one who, like Ancer, took it up a notch. He won at Pebble Beach in February, landed top 10s in the US Open and Open, and has finished second at the blustery 2019 Puerto Rico Open. He finished T14th on the course in 2018 without breaking 70 in any round.

Sam Burns

It's been a massive year for the 25-year-old American who started it contending for titles and failing to lift the silverware. But he stayed patient, believed in himself, and he is now a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. This week will be fun for him - great reward for a fine year and recognition that he's among the world's elite.

Bryson DeChambeau

A bit of a clumsy year. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational well, but also spurned other winning opportunities and had a daft falling out with his equipment manufacturer, plus that silly carry on with Brooks Koepka. He got off to a poor start on his course debut in 2019 (76), but a 68 in the final round earned him 15th.

Harris English

Yet another player with much to be happy with in 2021. He opened it with a win at the Tournament of Champions, added third at the US Open, another win at the Travelers Championship and also enjoyed a Ryder Cup debut. Recent form, however, reads: MC-WD-MC. A course debutant.

Tony Finau

Hang on. Has everyone had a good year?! Because Finau is another to tick off a fine one, mainly because he finally added to his 2016 Puerto Rico Open triumph with success in The Northern Trust (there were nine second places in-between). He made an appalling start on his course debut in 2019 with a 79, but came back strongly with 68-69-65 for T10th.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

A tournament debut after he replaced Hideki Matsuyama in the field. The Englishman was a recent winner at Valderrama and was second when defending his DP World Tour Championship title in Dubai, but he has very rarely performed at his best in elite company, either in the Majors, the WGC or at the Ryder Cup.

Tyrrell Hatton

The Englishman makes his tournament bow this week and he doesn't really fit the trend because his year has been messy. On the course, at least, because off it he got married. He's won in Abu Dhabi and twice finished second, but he's looked a little ragged most of the time.

Viktor Hovland

Yet another tournament debutant and one who might like the test. Why so? Well, he was last seen successfully defending his title at the seaside El Camaleon and he also has a win in the Puerto Rico Open. So this week's conditions should suit him.

Brooks Koepka

He's making a fourth appearance and will hope to reverse the unfortunate trend of finishing further down the leaderboard with every visit. He was seventh on debut in 2016 (when carding a 67 and a 65), broke 70 just once when T13th a year later, and never went sub-70 when 18th in 2018. No top 20 finish since July.

Rory McIlroy

A first start at Albany for him and it will be interesting to see how he performs after his sloppy finish at the DP World Tour Championship caused him to rip his shirt in anger. There was a touch of Marvel about it: the stoic Rory, a little like Bruce Banner-like; angry McIlroy more akin to the Hulk. Will he be sadly wandering off at the end of the week?

Collin Morikawa

The two-time Major Champion is now also the DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai winner. Elite level golf seems quite easy to him. And he's managed to achieve all his dazzling success since this tournament's last edition. There is every chance he'll take to this challenge like all the others.

Patrick Reed

Probably boasts the best record on the course in the field. He was second on debut in 2016 carding a sub-70 score in every round. He followed that with 10th in 2017, tied fifth in 2018 and third in 2019. He definitely boasts the course's record for having the hide of herd of cattle (never mind the odd cow) after he dealt with cheating suggestions as if someone had doubted the wisdom of him playing a chip-and-run, rather than a flop, shot.

Justin Rose

On his course debut in 2016 he thrashed a brilliant Sunday 62 to finish 13th. He withdrew a year later and has finished tied fifth in the last two editions, including another low Sunday score of 65. It will be three years in January since he last won anywhere.

Xander Schauffele

The Olympic champion made his first start at Albany in 2019, finishing T10th. It's perhaps not surprising he made the top 10 because he does that a lot in elite and limited fields. He's landed nine in the Majors, three in the WGC, three in the Tournament of Champions and five in the Tour Championship.

Scottie Scheffler

A first start in the event for a player who has done everything in the game since graduating to the PGA Tour in late 2019 except win. He's contended in Majors, at the World Golf Championship and in regular events. He's also represented Team USA.

Webb Simpson

Last seen finishing tied eighth at the RSM Classic, yet another top 10 finish on a course with Bermuda greens by the seaside. It's absolutely what he loves. He proved it here, too, by finishing T10th in 2019, his only course start.

Jordan Spieth

He won the event at Isleworth in 2014 and when it moved to the Bahamas he finished fourth, tied sixth and tied third between 2016 and 2018, then dropped to 16th when playing while out of form in 2019. Back to close to his best through the first seven months of the year, he's gone off the boil a little recently, perhaps because he was preparing to become (and is now) a new dad.

Henrik Stenson

The Swede finished 17th in 2018, but had highlighted his liking for the course when second in 2017 and proved it when winning two years ago. His form is poor. True, he strung together three top 20s on lower level European Tour events in late summer, but he hasn't landed one on the PGA Tour since mid-2019!

Justin Thomas

Another who has endured an odd 2021 - well, an odd 18 months. Since winning the 2020 WGC St Jude he's been top six in 12 tournaments at some point and yet he's only won this year's PLAYERS Championship. So he contends, but isn't conveting. He made a first course start in 2018 (11th) and improved to tied fifth two years ago.

READ MORE: Review of the season: A look at how Europe's elite came up short in 2021

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