Tuesday, 29 October 2013

WGC HSBC Champions 2013 - Sheshan GC, Shanghai, China

The Final WGC event of the year takes place once again at Sheshan GC outside Shanghai, China, where, as per last week, just 78 players tee it up. Its a WGC event, yet there is no Tiger Woods who is scheduled to play next week in Turkey. I find this very strange indeed that Tiger is not competing in a WGC event and without knowing the full reasons why, am guessing that he makes more money by just "appearing" in Turkey instead. Anyhow, we have a competitive field in China and I will be very keen to see how Rory McIlroy goes this week as it does look as if Rory is getting back into some form. He goes off @ 12/1 and I certainly wouldn't put anyone off backing him this week at that price. I had him on my shortlist but have opted for 4 players that I think give me some better value. If betting with Paddypower this week though, they'll refund your losing bet if your player finishes 2nd to Rory

American, Dustin Johnson tees it up here @ 35/1 with Paddypower which is a great price for a player of DJ's stature in a 78 man field. This is a player who is in decent form and due a win. He finished 8th at the PGA Championship and 5th at the 2013 season ending Tour Championship on the PGA Tour recently and is not adverse to playing well on foreign soil. The course this week will yield alot of birdies and those that drive it well and find greens should feature atop the leaderboard. DJ for me is one for the big events and I cannot ignore the 7 time PGA Tour winner in this field.

 Swede, Peter Hanson has returned from injury recently and fired a final rd 63 last Sunday to grab a TOP 10 at the BMW Masters as the defending champion. A top 10 despite an opening round 79 ! Whether he is fully fit or not (back injury always suspect) remains to be seen but he's a quality tee to green player and can putt when in the mood. The 36 year old has come close in the big events in the past and will bring a lot of confidence following that effort last week. I was expecting 33s at best this week so just cannot ignore the 50/1 on offer from Bet365

My third pick this week is another American who I have backed a few times this year without producing the goods despite threatening a number of times and thats Bill Haas @ 50/1 with SkyBet. Another prolific tee to green player, his final round nerves are suspect but I'm happy to back him at this price following his T16th finish last week at the CIMB Classic. Haas has won on the PGA tour in 2013 and also produced 9 TOP10s from his 25 starts. He played here in 2011 & 2010 with mixed form but he can progress from those outings and score in a week where the weather forecast is good.

My final pick is someone I backed last week and cannot leave out despite a mediocre outing at Lake Malaren. Over the first two days he appeared to be staying just out of contention but never got going the weekend, and I'm not rushing to abandon him on the back of that showing just yet, especially when I can back him this week @ 100/1 with Betpack / Stan James. The South African is having a good season and is certainly one to watch out for over the next few months and has the all round game to compete at this level. He did play here back in 2007 where he finished T24th to winner, Phil Mickelson. For me, he's worth a dabble @ 100/1 at small stakes.

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