England’s Justin Rose defends the WGC-HSBC Champions this week in Shanghai against a strong field that includes new World Number 1 Brooks Koepka.
WGC-HSBC Champions Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
The WGC-HSBC Champions is the last World Golf Championship event of 2018 and an impressive field has turned out to try and take the title.
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.
Phil Mickelson won the first instalment of this competition as a WGC event and, since then, Francesco Molinari, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Russell Knox, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose have been champions.
Last year, Rose overhauled Dustin Johnson wo win by two shots. DJ has led comfortably and was eight clear of Rose with a round to play but the Englishman fired a 67 while the American slumped to a 77.
The tournament is being hosted at Sheshan International GC for a 10th 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 event carries big money and points and provides those looking to claim the Race to Dubai crown with a big opportunity to make some ground.
Francesco Molinari currently leads the way on the standings but Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy are in the running to fight out the end of season bonus pool.
The weather looks like being pretty reasonable with largely fine conditions but maybe some rain on the Friday.
Venue: Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China
Date: Oct 25-28
Course stats: 7,261 yards, par 72
Defending champion: Justin Rose (-14)
How to watch the WGC-HSBC Champions
Thursday 25 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 3am
Friday 26 – Sky Sports Golf from 3am and Sky Sports Main Event from 5am
Saturday 27 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 4am
Sunday 28 – Sky Sports Golf from 4am and Sky Sports Main Event from 6am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the WGC-HSBC Champions?
Players to watch:
Brooks Koepka – The World Number 1 is on superb form right now. He’s playing full of confidence and wants to keep on winning.
Tommy Fleetwood – It’s time he won an event of this magnitude. He seems to contend every time he goes out right now and is surely still feeding off his Ryder Cup brilliance.
Francesco Molinari – And speaking of Ryder Cup brilliance, the Italian is a past winner of this event so clearly enjoys the course. He will be looking to extend his advantage in the Race to Dubai standings.
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.