WGC HSBC Champions 2017 Preview

Golfer lines up shot

We take a look at the WGC HSBC Champions which is set to get udnerway on 26 October at the Sheshan International Golf Course in Shanghai. 

Generally speaking, the opening salvos of the PGA tour season tend to offer the chance for absolution and a slew of surprising results. With Justin Thomas winning last week, following victories for Xander Schauffele and Pat Perez, it seems as if the status quo from last season hasn’t changed at all. And now we enter the first WGC event of the year and a prize purse of 9.75 million dollars. 15 of the world’s top 20 players descend on Sheshan International for what is sure to be a grandiose climax to the Asian swing.

WGC HSBC Champions | 26 October - 29 October | Sheshan International GC, Shanghai

The Nelson and Haworth designed Sheshan International is a fairly standard 7,261 par 72 layout. It has four par fives split over the 18, and par five will clearly be pivotal this week. Water comes into play on half the holes, while historical evidence seems to suggest that there are various ways to skin this particular cat. Russell Knox beat Kevin Kisner two years back in a battle of accuracy, while the likes of DJ and Bubba have highlighted the joy that the heavy hitters have achieved.

Hideki Matsuyama will be aiming to defend his title after a sumptuous seven shot victory last season. It really was the catalyst for a season that catapulted the Japanese superstar into the realms of the perennial contenders. Fellow WGC aficionado Dustin Johnson- the pair currently hold all WGC titles- will be looking to exploit the absence of both Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas this week. Elsewhere, the likes of Tyrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood arrive with European Tour pedigrees that they hope to convert into broader global success.

Past Winners
2016: Hideki Matsuyama 
2015: Russell Knox
2014: Bubba Watson
2013: Dustin Johnson
2012: Ian Poulter

To Win Outright
Dustin Johnson 8/1, Hideki Matsuyama 11/1, Jason Day 18/1, Jon Rahm 18/1, Justin Rose 18/1 

Bet now on this golf tournament with Hollywoodbets and Mobile Betting. Covering the PGA, European Tour and Majors.

Value Bets

Paul Casey- To Win 20/1, To Place 44/10
The Englishman may currently be preoccupied with a make or break decision on whether to stay in contention for next year’s Ryder Cup, but his truly remarkable form at Sheshan- and China in general- makes him a very appealing bet at 20/1. I think that Casey catches some undue flak for his inability to convert chances. Had he been on the European Tour, he would have been unlikely to come up against the likes of DJ and Rory, players who just outstretched him at the BMW and Deutsche Bank respectively. Aside form two alternative victories in China- Casey has five top 10’s in nine starts at Sheshan, never finishing outside the top 25.

Ross Fisher- To Win 28/1, To Place 6/1
At exactly the same odds as Phil Mickelson, it’s just a perfect sign of the way that the European Tour is generally treated by the bookmakers when it comes to these major co-sanctioned events. Fisher has finished runner-up twice to Tyrell Hatton in recent weeks, and he can also boast some pretty impressive course form to boot. Fisher has four top 10’s in this event, with a sixth place and third place in the last two seasons. Fisher seems to be on an impressive upward trajectory that sees him firmly on route to another Ryder Cup appearance.

Matthew Fitzpatrick- To Win 35/1, To Place 15/2
I have been impressed with the way that Fitzpatrick has composed himself in the wake of that roughly hewn European Masters victory, with consistent finishes in recent weeks that bode well for the youngster. He will hope to follow in the mould of Russell Knox: Fitzpatrick isn’t the longest off the tee but has an exquisite long-iron game. He has played twice at Sheshan and shown an appreciation for the course. The first time he finished seventh as a European Tour Rookie, only to finish 16th last season in a star-studded line-up. I just have the feeling that Fitzpatrick has finally shaking off the demons of an ignominious Ryder Cup outing and is ready to relaunch his career.

The Man to Beat- Hideki Matsuyama- To Win 11/1, To Place 24/10
I know that the odds look a bit short, but the brilliant Japanese player has been majestic in WGC events and looks set to return to the type of form that saw him flirting with the World Number One ranking last year. Matsuyama won last season with rounds of 66-65-68-66, beating Henrik Stenson by seven shots. I think that Matsuyama’s form capitulated in the wake of that victory at Firestone and subsequent near miss at the PGA Championship. The amount of pressure put on him to become the first Japanese major champion was visibly suffocating. But his recent T-5 finish at the CIMB Classic seems to suggest that Matsuyama is ready to shrug off that disappointing end to the season and begin his quest to maximise his amazing potential.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

Bet now on this golf tournament with Hollywoodbets and Mobile Betting. Covering the PGA, European Tour and Majors.

Register now and start betting on Durban July Horse Racing

No comments:

Post a Comment

Give us your thoughts on our preview!