What a week it was in Japan as Tiger Woods claimed his 82nd PGA Tour victory, tying the all-time mark set by Sam Snead. The win at the Zozo Championship for Woods sets the stage for a massive build up to the first World Golf Championship event of the year this week.
The WGC-HSBC Champions will be played from Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, China and boasts a massive $10,250,000 purse. We take a look at the upcoming tournament and give our betting tips below.
One of four World Golf Championship events of the season, the WGC-HSBC Champions is the final stop of the Asian swing in the PGA Tour and will no doubt attract some of the top golfing talent in the world. The action gets underway Thursday and continues over the weekend.
Apart from the four majors and ‘The Players’, the WGC events are arguably the biggest of the year and generally bring out all of the top players. This year is no exception, with a star studded field set to tee it up on Thursday, however, there are some notable exceptions from the field.
Seven of the top 10 ranked players in the world will skip the event in Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambaeu and Tiger Woods.
Rory McIlroy, fresh off a T3 at the Zozo Championship in Japan, will headline the field alongside fellow European top 10 ranked player, Justin Rose, who will be making his first start of the PGA Tour season.
Xander Schauffele, who won the tournament last season and will be back to defend his title, is the only other player inside the top 10 in the field.
Although the field is relatively light on top 10 talent, there is still a bunch of high profile names, lead by the likes of Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, ,Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
The Sheshan International Golf Course has been the host course of the WGC-HSBC Champions in all but one event in 2012, when the tournament made a one year change to Mission Hills in Shenzhen.
Sheshan is one of the premier courses in China and was designed by Nelson & Haworth in 2004. The course plays as a Par 72 at just over 7,200 yards, featuring a bunch of bunkers and water hazards on more than half of the 18 holes.
As all WGC courses strive to be, Sheshan is a solid all-round test for golfers, with undulating greens that run into deep collection areas and rough that should be fairly unforgiving should players miss the narrow fairways.
We can delve into as many course stats as we want here but no matter how hard we analyse, it’s extremely tough to overlook the form of Rory McIlroy at the moment. The reigning FedEx Cup Champion made his first start of the 2020 season at the ZOZO Championship on the weekend, putting in an extremely solid performance to finish T3 behind only Tiger Woods and Hideki Matsuyama.
McIlroy was without doubt the most consistent player on the tour past season, racking up 14 top 10 finishes from 19 total events including three wins. McIlroy played his first tournament of the season at the WGC-HSBC last season, finishing T54 before going on a streak of seven top 10’s which included the win at The Players. This year, he gave himself a preparation event at the ZOZO Championship.
Has some great finishes in Sheshan, including a T4 in 2017, a T11 in 2016 and a T6 in 2014.
Sunjae Im - $31 at Sportsbet
Kevin Na - $71 at Sportsbet
Masahiro Kawamura - $251 at Sportsbet
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