WGC HSBC Champions Preview – Thursday 5th November
This week the world’s best golfers are teeing it up in China for the 7th renewal of the WGC HSBC Champions, which happens to be the final world golf championship event of the year. $8,500,000 are up for grabs, as are precious FedEx Cup points for those focusing on the PGA Tour, as well as Race to Dubai points for those playing planning to play on the European Tour over the next few weeks. I say this every time they tee it up, but you won’t be surprised to hear that Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are bookmakers favourites, whilst the world number two, Jason Day is not participating this week.
Past Winners and Winning Scores
2014 – Bubba Watson -11
2013 – Dustin Johnson -24
2012 – Ian Poulter -21
2011 – Martin Kaymer -20
2010 – Francesco Molinari -19
The Course – Sheshan International Golf Club
Course Yardage 7,261
Sheshan International Golf Club has been the long term host of this tournament and it hosts this excellent event once again this year. As you can see from the winning scores, the course played relatively easy from 2010 to 2013, however Sheshan International was made much tougher the following year, which meant -11 under par was enough for Bubba Watson to lift the title. The course is a par 72 that will play 7,261 yards, the fairways are treelined and water comes into play on numerous holes. Finally, driving distance is certainly advantageous around this course, the past two winners, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson are two of the longest hitters in the world, which obviously says a lot about Sheshan International Golf Club.
Martin Kaymer – The best players tend to win this event and Martin Kaymer certainly fits into that category. Admittedly his form hasn’t been at the top level, but he hasn’t played since the Portuguese Masters and it’d be safe to assume that he’s been working hard on his game since then. The two time major winner has an excellent record around this track, he won here in 2012 and has finished 8th and 6th in his most recent visits to this venue.
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Louis Oosthuizen – Like Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen also has a very good record in this event, he’s finished inside the top 20 on six occasions around Sheshan International, which indicates it is a course he can go well around. Oosthuizen has struggled with injuries in recent years but his performances throughout 2015 suggest that it isn’t going to be long before he wins again. The South African finished in 2nd place in both the US Open and the British Open, therefore his game was definitely in good shape throughout last season.
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Charl Schwartzel – My only other bet this week is on another South African, Charl Schwartzel. He didn’t finish in a great position in last week’s Turkish Airlines Open but he had a great week from tee to green which suggests a better performance with the putter this week could see him in contention. Schwartzel has showed some very good signs this year, he finished 7th in the US Open and he tied for 6th just a couple of weeks ago in the Frys.com open, therefore his games clearly in very good shape.
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