WGC HSBC Champions
The first World Golf Championship of the 2017-18 season is here. The HSBC Champions will be played at Sheshan International Golf Club located in the western portion of Shanghai Oct. 26-29.
Being a WGC, the HSBC Champions always has a solid field that includes the world’s best players. This year 10 of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Rankings will tee it up in Shanghai. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will be there as well as Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama.
Outside the OWGR top 15, the field will also include a few golfers who are at the top of their game. Pat Perez, winner of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia will be there as well as Tyrell Hatton. Hatton won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course and the Italian Open in back to back weeks and is arguably the hottest golfer in the world.
I can say with the utmost certainty that Justin Thomas will not win the HSBC Champions. But only because he is not in the field, otherwise I would be inclined to give him the edge this week in Shanghai.
The HSBC is typically a long hitter’s tournament. Three of last four winners have been Hideki Matsuyama, Bubba Watson, and Dustin Johnson. You’d be hard-pressed to find consistently longer hitters than these three.
With that being said, I am going to give the edge to the Dustin Johnson. DJ won the event back in 2013 setting the lowest score in relation to par and the lowest aggregate score with a 24-under par 264. The American won a playoff event and led the US at the President’s Cup with a 4-0-1 record to end his season. If DJ can keep the ball in the fairway, he’ll have lots of chances to make birdies at a tournament that usually requires a low score.
Watch Out For…
Lefty. Phil Mickelson had a fantastic President’s Cup (per usual) and had a top-5 finish at the Safeway Open. Mickelson is a 2-time winner of the HSBC Champions in 2007 and 2009 and has another runner-up in 2012. He is quietly having a very nice last couple of months and is heading to a course that he clearly likes. Watch out for Phil.
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