Rose Ready To Rule At HSBC
WGC HSBC Championship
The fourth and final WGC tournament on the calendar, the HSBC Championship is one of the most important events in world golf, reflected in its prize fund of $8.5 million, making it the most lucrative competition on the European Tour.
The field of 78 is made up of the winners of the season’s main tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic and selected players from the other major Tours.
The Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai has hosted this tournament for nine of its eight editions and is a picturesque, if not particularly challenging venue. The greens are small and undulating, and the sixteenth and seventeenth holes are defined by a deep, water-filled quarry, but overall, it presents few difficulties for the top professionals, and scoring should be low this week.
In The Bunker
Former Masters winner Adam Scott has had a good year. He picked up another PGA Tour title, at Colonial, held the world number one ranking for eleven weeks and finished the PGA season with solid top ten finishes at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship. But although he has a good record in this event, he hasn’t played any serious golf for two months, unlike his main market rivals. He’s entitled to be a little rusty and at 16/1 he doesn’t appeal.
Justin Rose went into last week’s BMW Masters having not played since the Ryder Cup, but it didn’t take him long to warm up. He hit a 65 and a 64 in his second and third rounds, and eventually finished fourth. That should set him up nicely for Sheshan, where he has a fifth and a seventh to his name in his last three visits.
He tends to finish the season strongly and is a solid bet at 12/1 this week.
Another Ryder Cup hero, Sergio Garcia returned to action last week at the CIMB Classic and picked up where he’d left off. He played four solid rounds to finish in a tie for second, his eleventh top-ten finish of 2014. Despite his consistency, however, he’s only won one trophy this year, the Qatar Masters, back in January, and he will be keen to add another to his collection before the season is out. He hit a superb final round 63 at Sheshan last year to finish fourth and is an excellent bet at 16/1.
No player will be heading to China this week in better form than Ryan Moore. After missing the cut at the Shriners Hospitals Open, he bounced back at the CIMB Classic to win the tournament for the second time, by a comfortable margin of three shots. He finished down the field in China, but it’s worth noting that he finished third in his only other crack at the event, in 2009, and he offers plenty of value at 30/1.