Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA Tour/European Tour: WGC HSBC Champions Preview

PGA Tour/European Tour: WGC HSBC Champions Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

David Howell won the inaugural staging of this event back in 2005. This event was a co-sanctioned event for its first four years, existing under the guise of the European Tour, Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and PGA Tour of Australia. It was elevated to WGC status in 2009 and has been played at Sheshan International for every edition other than 2012: it was played at Mission Hills that year.  

2020 US PGA Tour/European Tour
WGC HSBC Champions | Sheshan International Golf Club

Thursday 31 October 2019 - Sunday 3 November 2019

Few could have envisaged a more electrifying inaugural Zozo Championship. Tiger Woods not only equalled Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Title haul of 82, he essentially guaranteed his presence at this year’s President’s Cup.  And that can only be good for the game. David Howell won the inaugural staging of this event back in 2005. This event was a co-sanctioned event for its first four years, existing under the guise of the European Tour, Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and PGA Tour of Australia. It was elevated to WGC status in 2009 and has been played at Sheshan International for every edition other than 2012: it was played at Mission Hills that year. 

Sheshan International Golf Course was designed by Robin Nelson and Neil Hayworth. The fairways are of average width and are a hybrid of rye grass and Seaside Paspalum. They are tree-lined and feature fairly dramatic undulations. The greens are generally raised and are bentgrass. Water lurks menacingly on this course and features on eleven holes. Perhaps the defining feature of this course are the par 5’s. Only the 18th hole measures under 550 yards. Par 5 performance has proved quite integral in recent instalments of this event. Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau highlighted this perfectly last season. 

Rory McIlroy leads the markets this week, which is unsurprising given how well he ended the event in Japan last week. His prodigious length should make him an ideal candidate this week. I’m a bit disappointed that the top tier American players have chosen to swerve this event. Koepka has lingering injury concerns but I would have expected to perhaps see Dustin Johnson get under way this week. Having said that, defending champion Xander Schauffele arrives in decent nick while the likes of Tony Finau and Jordan Spieth will no doubt represent the ‘Stars and Stripes’ valiantly. As expected there is a strong European contingent, with Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey forming a formidable English front. 

Past Winners
2018: Xander Schauffele (-14)*playoff
2017: Justin Rose (-14)
2016: Hideki Matsuyama (-23) 
2015: Russell Knox (-20)
2014: Bubba Watson (-11)*playoff

Outright Betting (To Win)
Rory McIlroy (6/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (12/1)
Xander Schauffele (16/1)
Justin Rose (16/1)
Paul Casey (22/1)

Value Bets

Sergio Garcia
To Win (55/1), To Place (12/1)

I think that ‘El Nino’ could make a substantial impact this week. It’s little more than a month since his tasted victory at the KLM Open. That was his 26th victory all told on both the European and US PGA Tour. He hasn’t participated in this event since 2017, but a tie for 9th that year and tie for 11th the year before hint at his suitability for this test. His 2.43 strokes gained per round make him 2nd only to Justin Rose among those who have played 12 rounds or more around Sheshan since 2015. 

Charles Howell III
To Win (55/1), To Place (12/1)

This is a slight risk as Howell III has only played Sheshan the once: he finished in a respectable tie for 15th in 2017. But he has truly hit the ground running this year, with a top 20 and two top 10’s in his first four starts. He was excellent in Narashino last week, making only five bogeys all week to ultimately finish in a tie for 8th. Around Narashino GC he was 1st for scrambling and T6th for GIR. Howell III arrives to Sheshan in a confident space and could be the type of off-radar selection that surprises many. 

The Man to Beat

Justin Rose
To Win (16/1), To Place (7/2)

I’ve opted to avoid the ridiculously low McIlroy. He may be the most talented player in the game, but I’m always concerned when he sits at 6/1 or 7/1. Justin Rose makes far more sense at 16/1. He has an absolutely exceptional record in this event, with one victory and four top 10 finishes in his last five starts. There is a lot to play for this week, as he could rise to as high as number four in the world this week. He has been in somewhat subdued form since the Tour Championship. He had a top 10 at Wentworth but looked somewhat jaded at both the Dunhill Links and Italian Open. If his exceptional tee-to-green game fires this week you can expect Rose to be in amongst it.  

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile