WGC HSBC Champions Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 31st October 2019

It’s nearly time for the finale of the golfing season on the European Tour. Before the Race to Dubai comes to its conclusion though, many stars of the European Tour are being joined by stars of other tours around the globe to compete in the WGC HSBC Champions.

This may be fourth amongst equals when it comes to the World Golf Championships but it’s played on a brilliant course, comes with a huge prize fund and always produces some stunning golf. Tony Finau was part of a thrilling finish to last year’s tournament. He left disappointed to miss out in a playoff against Xander Schauffele but can right that wrong with a big win at very nice odds 12 months on.

Top Tips

Tony Finau @ 25/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

Sheshan International is the long term host of the HSBC Champions. Indeed, it was used as the venue before the tournament became one of the four World Golf Championship events. The par 72 layout isn’t overly long at 7,261 yards but there is enough scope in that yardage for some very tough holes. The par fives are particularly strong so scoring on them has long been an important marker for success here.

Big hitters tend to have an advantage over the less powerful players here but only if they can take advantage of their length by hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation. It’s also a course that rewards the best green readers as the putting surfaces are significantly slower than the PGA Tour norm.

Course Location Length Prize Money
Sheshan International Shanghai, China 7,261 Yards $10,250,000

Recent Winners

Xander Schauffele was already used to battling it out with the best golfers in the world in seriously big tournaments before his win at last year’s HSBC Champions. It still goes down as a very big stepping stone in his career though, as it was for 2015 winner, Russell Knox. The two men utilised very different styles of golf to get their wins. Bubba Watson plays a different style of golf to everybody else on the planet and he did things his own way when seeing off Tim Clark in a playoff.

Justin Rose and Hideki Matsuyama both fit the profile of an ideal winner at Sheshan International. They’re both longer than the average professional off the tee, are wonderful ball strikers and can hole out from everywhere when they get going on the greens.

Year Winner Course To Par Winning Margin
2018 Xander Schauffele Sheshan International -14 Playoff
2017 Justin Rose Sheshan International -14 2 Strokes
2016 Hideki Matsuyama Sheshan International -23 7 Strokes
2015 Russell Knox Sheshan International -20 2 Strokes
2014 Bubba Watson Sheshan International -11 Playoff

Analysis: Expect Another Low One

There are a few ways of scoring well at Sheshan International. Rory McIlroy - the clear favourite with the bookies - will seek to maximise his brilliance off the tee by cutting the course down to size. Former winner Francesco Molinari, in contrast, should go well by hitting the high number of fairways and greens that he inevitably does.

The one important factor for all players regardless of their style is the weather. When the winds blow in the Shanghai area scoring is much tougher at Sheshan. However, when the wind sits down as it is forecast to do this week, the birdies really do flow. Expect a winning score around the -20 mark.

Finau Has the Right Stuff

Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele are the only players inside the top 10 of the official world golf rankings teeing it up in Shanghai this week. That is the norm for the WGC HSBC Champions and is one reason why it has proven to be such a great opportunity for players just outside of the very top echelons of golf.

Tony Finau is one of those who has been knocking on the door of the biggest tournaments but he’s just found winning a little too tough given his talent. His previous form suggests Finau has a very good chance to pick up the biggest win of his career to date.

He placed 11th on tournament debut in 2017 before losing to Schauffele in a playoff 12 months ago. He used his power to full effect to score well on the par fours and was able to keep pace right at the top of the leaderboard, making the most of the better conditions when he found them. His performance in Japan last week wasn’t his best but he’ll arrive in Shanghai warmed up and ready to go one better than last year at odds of 25/1 with Ladbrokes.

Hatton Represents Solid Each Way Value

As with many of the best European golfers, Tyrrell Hatton can call himself a genuinely global golfer. He has cards on both the European and PGA Tours which have taken him all around the world just in the last couple of months. The Englishman clearly travels well as he earned top 20 finishes in Scotland and Italy before a tie for sixth in the CJ Cup a fortnight ago. Whilst he was happy with the way he played, he left South Korea disappointed that some poor putting cost him a great chance to claim his maiden win on the PGA Tour.

The improvement in Hatton’s world ranking over the last few years means that he has played in every World Golf Championship over the last three seasons. He’s competed towards the top of the leaderboard in a few of them and has a decent record in the HSBC Champions. Spurred on by what he sees as a missed opportunity in South Korea, Hatton can grab at least a place at tempting odds of 40/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Tony Finau to Win

Tony Finau and Tyrrell Hatton have both had more than their fair share of near misses. Of the two it’s Hatton who has had the most success in terms of wins on tour but it’s Finau who is higher in the world rankings and who the bookies favour in Shanghai. Finau has certainly enjoyed his two previous visits to Sheshan International and is well placed to pick up a first WGC win at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.

About

The first of the World Golf Championships of the PGA season takes place on the ‘Asia Swing' in the form of the HSBC Champions. The tournament is one of the most prestigious and often compared to that of the majors, although held in slightly less regard than that.

With a purse of around $10million the tournament attracts the best players in the world, with the $1.6million payout being one of the most lucrative on tour. Held at the Sheshan Golf Club, Shanghai, China, it's offer regarded to be one of the toughest courses in the country, but it's the heat and humidity that golfers have to deal with that's often the hardest factor to navigate for the players.

The tournament includes a star-studded field, with players from 4 of the main tours in the world all being represented. These include the PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour. Field sizes vary each year depending on qualifiers but will always be held with at least 78 golfers in total. Should any fewer be automatically qualified, the hosts will add players at their discretion, often based on world rankings and recent performances, similar to how a wildcard process would work.

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