It’s the final World Golf Championship event of the season this week in Shanghai, China. Many of the world’s best players have assembled at Sheshan International GC to contest the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Lowdown:
It’s the final World Golf Championship event of the season this week in Shanghai, China. Many of the world’s best players have assembled at Sheshan International GC to contest the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The HSBC Champions began life in 2005 as a regular European Tour event but, in 2009, it was elevated to World Golf Championship status. As a result the event now attracts an exceptionally strong field.

There will be 40 players out of the top-50 on the Official World Ranking teeing it up this week. World Number 2 Adam Scott is in the field, so too Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Bubba Watson.

Stenson will be playing just 11 days after the birth of his third child and the Swede has been paired with Rose and Watson.

Last year’s runner-up Ian Poulter was the winner of this event back in 2012 when it was contested at Mission Hills. The Englishman is looking forward to the tournament.

“I’ve had some great results there, and it would be nice to go one better than I did last year, which means I’d be walking away with the trophy,” he said.

“It’s a course we’ve got to know well; most players have played it a lot. It’s a great track and a good test.”

Last season, Dustin Johnson of the USA took the title after posting four superb rounds in the 60s to shoot a tournament record total of 24-under-par. Johnson won’t be back to defend his title this time out as he is taking an extended break from the game.

The tournament is being hosted at Sheshan International GC for a second straight season. Designed by Neil Haworth of Nelson & Haworth, the course at Sheshan International makes use of the natural terrain as it winds through valleys and across a deep, water-filled, rock quarry that comes into play on the 16th and 17th holes.

The weather for Shanghai looks set to be relatively fair over the next week, with only a slight chance of rain on Saturday. With luck, there won’t be any disruptions to play.

Venue: Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China
Date: Nov 6-9
Course stats: par 72, 7,261 yards
Purse: $8,500,000 Winner: $1,400,000
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-18)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am
Friday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am
Saturday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am
Sunday 9 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am

Player Watch:
There are many big names to watch in the field this week: Scott, Rose, Garcia and Stenson to name a few. But who might upset the applecart?

Joost Luiten – The Dutchman played solidly in the BMW Masters last week and was third in the recent Volvo World Match Play. This is a course that should suit his game.

Alexander Levy – The Frenchman is the form player on the European Tour right now. He played sublime golf in the first two rounds of the Portugal Masters and the first three rounds of the BMW Masters. He’ll be looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish last week – losing out in a playoff to Marcel Siem.

John Senden – The Australian is a solid competitor and he was tied seventh in last week’s CIMB Classic. He could fly in under the radar for this one and spring a surprise.

Key hole: 16th. At just 288 yards, you’d think this was a great birdie chance, but going for the green from the tee is extremely risky with a ravine waiting to the right hand side of the challenging putting surface. The best play is to lay-up and leave a sand wedge in, but the pros always find it hard to turn down the chance of an eagle putt.