HSBC Champions: Strongest field of the fall ready for WGC event

HSBC Champions: Strongest field of the fall ready for WGC event article feature image

Many of golf’s top stars are heading to China this week for the first World Golf Championship tournament of the new season.

Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama will all tee it up this week at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.

Johnson opens as the favorite at +800 with Matsuyama at 10-1. Day comes in at 16-1 with Jon Rahm and last week’s runner-up Marc Leishman.


Sheshan is a pretty easy course by tour standards as long as the weather stays away. Four of the last five winners reached at least 20-under par on the 7,200-yard, par-72 layout. One of the primary defenses for the course are the water hazards. Half the holes bring water into play, but when players can navigate that trouble, they’ll usually have good looks at birdie.

Since becoming an official PGA Tour event four years ago, the elite players have had their way most of the time. As mentioned, Matsuyama won last year. Johnson and Bubba Watson also have victories during that span. The only longshot to come out on top was Russell Knox two years ago. Basically, a player has to be great off the tee or at least find a lot of fairways and have a killer approach game to factor on Sunday. You won’t find too many guys at the top of this leaderboard who rely primarily on the putter.

With one of the stars usually coming out on top here, I’m limiting my card a bit this week but found a couple of guys to back in Tommy Fleetwood at 33-1 and Thomas Pieters at 66-1.

I’ll be back later to break down the card. I’ll also take a look at the alternate field event, the Sanderson Farms Championship, taking place in Jackson, Miss. this week.

Joshua has spent the last five years writing about sports and the last 10 years betting them, mostly on golf. He’s one of approximately five people who will watch the PGA over the NFL in November. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaPerry22

Photo: © Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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