Oct 25th, 2016
2106 WGC–HSBC preview
The season’s not done yet!
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
It may be season’s end, but there are still a few loose ends to be tied off before the PGA calendar rolls over to 2017. And there’s none bigger that the 2016 WGC–HSBC Champions at the Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai.
The Champions is the fourth and final World Golf Championship of the year. The rationale behind the tournament is to bring together the best golfers from different tours together more frequently.
This year’s field of 78 includes players from PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, and the PGA Tour of Australasia. It’s very much an opportunity for lesser–known golfers to make a name for themselves.
Last year Russell Knox had his first-ever PGA win in the Champions, shooting a four-round -20 to hold off Kevin Kisner. Knox also became the first Scotsman to win a World Golf Championship event. And if Knox had entered the event as a European Tour player, rather than a PGA Tour player, he would have made the Ryder Cup.
Whilst Jason Day might to giving it a miss and is resting his back, the big names will all be coming.
Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Phil Mickelson, and 2016 PGA Tour Player of the Year Dustin Johnson will all be playing China’s top golf course.
GP favourite Thomas Pieters is also coming to the party, and it will be interesting is he can continue his recent stellar form.
Another star from Ryder Cup weekend will be Patrick Reed. His defeat of McIlroy in match play was the game of the weekend, and like Pieters, he’s coming off a late-August win, claiming the Barclays with a -9.
Reed also won a WGC event back in 2014, defeating Bubba Watson by a stroke to claim the Cadillac Championship, so he knows how to get it done.
Given the size of the field, you can spread your net widely, and find some great value. It will be interesting to see what odds will be available for Pieters and Reed. We’d fancy a bit of that for sure.