WGC HSBC Champions: Expert Preview

Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China, 2018


Event/Course Details

The HSBC Champions is one of my favorite events, it is a true global event, giving up and coming players the chance to perform on the worlds biggest stage. The governing bodies have granted spots to the Chinese, Japan Tour, Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and Australasian Tour.

The field will be exceptionally strong with the majority of the Top 50 on the world golf rankings competing and the course will be in outstanding condition.

The golf club features beautiful tree-lined fairways, calm waterways, and a spectacular quarry. Featuring well placed bunkers along with, deep collection areas, water features and undulating greens, this Nelson & Haworth designed layout will be a true test for all players.


Weather Report

Thursday – Scattered Showers, 23 Degrees, Precipitation 40%, Humidity 64%, Wind 19km/h

Friday – Scattered Showers, 22 Degrees, Precipitation 40%, Humidity 54%, Wind 27km/h


Past Winners and Runners Up

YEAR WINNER SCORE Runner Up
2009 Phil Mickelson 271 Ernie Els
2010 Francesco Molinari 269 Lee Westwood
2011 Martin Kaymer 268 Freddie Jacobson
2012 Ian Poulter 267 Jason Dufner
2014 Dustin Johnson 264
2015 Bubba Watson 277 Phil Mickelson
2016 Russell Knox 268 Scott Piercy
2017 Hideki Matsuyama 265 Ian Poulter
Tim Clark
2018 Justin Rose 274 Kevin Kisner
Daniel Berger
Henrik Stenson
Brooks Koepka
Henrik Stenson

Current Form Review

Player Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4 Event 5 Scoring Average To Par 72
1.        Justin Rose T4 2ND 2ND MC T19 69.62**
2.        Dustin Johnson 3RD T24 T7 T11 T27 69.75
3.        Brooks Koepka 1ST T26 T19 T12 T8 69.50**
4.        Rory McIlroy T7 5TH T12 T50 T6 69.85
5.        Jason Day T5 18TH T24 MC T20 70.56
6.        Tommy Fleetwood T11 T8 T24 T20 T35 70.05
7.        Hideki Matsuyama T18 T4 T15 T4 T15 69.55**
8.        Jon Rahm T11 T24 T43 MC T4 70.67
9.        Francesco Molinari T21 T8 MC T6 T39 70.78
10.     Paul Casey T18 T13 T11 W/D T21 69.79
11.     Tony Finau T15 T8 T4 2ND T42 69.60**
12.     Patrick Cantlay T17 T21 T55 T24 T8 70.6
13.     Tyrrell Hatton T14 T29 T12 T20 T10 69.7
14.     Alex Noren T18 T24 T43 MC MC 70.82
15.     Rafa Cabrera Bello T3 T50 T41 T7 T60 69.95
16.     Patrick Reed 28TH T19 T35 T25 MC 71.34*
17.     Cameron Smith T7 T22 20TH T65 3RD 70.1
18.     Adam Scott T10 T51 T49 T5 3RD 69.9
19.     Ian Poulter T10 T51 MC T48 T31 71.00*
20.     Matthew Fitzpatrick T16 MC 1ST T7 MC 70.11
21.     Eddie Pepperell 1ST T44 T2 T6 T56 69.6
22.     Emiliano Grillo T55 T2 T41 T61 T7 70.05
23.     Billy Horschel T33 T67 2ND T3 T3 69.50**
24.     Thorbjorn Olesen MC T20 T20 4TH T56 70.27
25.     Xander Schauffele T48 25TH T7 T3 T49 69.75

Poor Form*- Players Averaging over par – Patrick Reed enters this week with the worst current form, he was also very average at the Ryder Cup. Despite his 10th placing last week, Ian Poulter is also not far behind, with a string of poor form recent results.

Good Form** – Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel, Justin Rose, Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama lead the way of players in good form.


History at the event - Last 3 years

  2017 2016 2015 Scoring Average
1. Justin Rose DNP DNP T48 1.25
2. Dustin Johnson T2 T35 T5 -2.75
3. Brooks Koepka T2 T40 DNP -1.5
4. Rory McIlroy DNP T4 T11 -3.62
5. Jason Day T11 DNP DNP -1.25
6. Tommy Fleetwood T20 DNP T30 -1.38
7. Hideki Matsuyama T50 1ST W/D -2.38
8. Jon Rahm T36 DNP DNP 0
9. Francesco Molinari T46 T6 DNP -1.38
10. Paul Casey T11 T12 T23 -2.08
11. Tony Finau T11 DNP DNP -1.25
12. Patrick Cantlay T15 DNP DNP -1
13. Tyrell Hatton T11 T23 T54 -0.92
14. Alex Noren T31 T12 T54 -1.08
15. Rafa Cabrera Bello T5 T19 DNP -1.75
16. Patrick Reed T50 T60 T5 -0.33
17. Cameron Smith DNP DNP T64 0.83
18. Adam Scott T50 T14 70TH 0
19. Ian Poulter DNP DNP T30 -2
20. Matthew Fitzpatrick T9 T16 T7 -2.33
21. Eddie Pepperell DNP DNP DNP
22. Emiliano Grillo DNP 11TH T35 -2.25
23. Billy Horschel DNP DNP DNP
24. Thorbjorn Olesen T31 DNP T19 -1.5
25. Xander Schauffele T46 DNP DNP -0.75

Good History at Event – Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson have the strongest form at this event

Poor History at Event – Adam Scott has played the previous 3 years at this event and has struggled to finish top 10.


My Rankings for the Tour Championship

You can compare my rankings against the Betfair Market to find under the odds and over’s

Player 2018 Scoring Av My Rankings My Price Betfair
1.       Dustin Johnson 68.7 69.31 9 9.6
2.       Rory McIlroy 69.3 69.55 10 13
3.       Brooks Koepka 69.44 69.67 13 10
4.       Justin Rose 68.99 69.75 15 13
5.       Tony Finau 69.52 69.77 20 29
6.       Hideki Matsuyama 70.02 69.78 23 26
7.       Paul Casey 69.86 69.83 25 40
8.       Eddie Pepperell 69.91 69.91 27 110
9.       Tommy Fleetwood 69.34 69.92 29 25
10.    Billy Horschel 70.15 69.93 30 100
11.    Rafa Cabrera Bello 69.89 70.01 32 42
12.    Tyrrell Hatton 70.09 70.06 36 42
13.    Emiliano Grillo 70.15 70.09 40 100
14.    Thorbjorn Olesen 69.86 70.2 44 75
15.    Xander Schauffele 70.49 70.2 48 60
16.    Alex Noren 69.97 70.22 52 55
17.    Matthew Fitzpatrick 70.7 70.23 56 55
18.    Jason Day 69.6 70.28 60 22
19.    Patrick Cantlay 69.9 70.41 65 50
20.    Adam Scott 70.42 70.42 70 55
21.    Francesco Molinari 69.8 70.42 70 30
22.    Cameron Smith 70.52 70.47 75 55
23.    Jon Rahm 69.96 70.52 80 29
24.    Ian Poulter 70.59 70.78 85 60
25.    Patrick Reed 70.1 70.98 90 70

“The Big Overs” – Eddie Pepperell, Billy Horschel, Emiliano Grillo, Thorbjorn Olesen

 “The Big Under’s” – John Rahm, Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

Compare my prices to the Betfair market, to find outright betting “overs” and “under’s”, and also apply these odds to top 5, top 10, top 20, tournament match bets etc.


In Play Trading Opportunities

Assess the scores after Day 1 and if the tournament is low scoring then apply my trading strategies mentioned in previous articles. “Laying” morning player with a good scoring and “Re-Backing” before commencing round 2.

I will be playing the Par 5’s this week as I usually always do. If I see the leading players in a good position on the fairway, I will be inclined to place a “back” bet and then place a “lay” bet once the hole is completed, particularly if they have an iron into the green and the green is not heavily surrounded by trouble.

Note – 75% of leaders that lead by a shot entering the final round don’t win, and they average worse than the PGA Tour average. This can be a great strategy for 2 ball match betting and laying the leader in play, but only if they are below $3.

Difficult driving holes and players with poor driving accuracy percentages. If they find themselves in contention, lay tee-shots and re-back after the ball comes to rest.


Pre-Tournament Bets

I really like the tournament head to head match bets, and I have listed a couple of options below, possibly wait until Thursday evening when there is more liquidity in the pool. Below are some bet options to choose from.

 BACK – Fleetwood to beat Molinari at $1.90 for 1 unit

 LAY – John Rahm for Top 5 at $6 for 1 unit

 LAY – Francesco Molinari for Top 5 at $6 for 1 unit

 BACK – Eddie Pepperell Top 20 at $4.50 for 1 Unit

 BACK – Billy Horschel Top 20 at $2.90 for 3 Units

 BACK – Emiliano Grillo Top 20 at $3.30 for 1 Unit

 BACK – Thorbjorn Olesen Top 20 at $3.30 for 2 Units


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