Sheshan International GC (West)
Par 72, 7,266 yards
The WGC-HSBC Champions returns to Sheshan International Golf Club for its fifth visit this week. The field includes most the world’s top golfers including FedExCup champion Billy Horchel, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer. The line-up will feature 12 of the top 20 players in the world rankings. Rory McIlroy will not be featuring this week as he is preparing for an upcoming court case and defending champion Dustin Johnson will also be absent.
Previous winners include Phil Mickelson (2009), Francesco Molinari (2010), Martin Kaymer (2011) and Dustin Johnson (2013). Dustin Johnson holds the 72 hole record here with a score of 264 (2013).
Sheshan International is a par 72 measuring 7,266 yards and has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. The course has some elevation changes along with some man made lakes and tree lined fairways.
Length will be a big factor here as two of the par 5’s measure over 590 yards. The par 4’s will also favour the big hitters with half of them measuring 450 yards or longer and the par 3’s measuring 200 yards or longer. The fairways are fairly wide and forgiving and the greens are also quite large so scoring should be good this week.
The main areas of focus for me are previous form and current form, driving distance, GIR, SGP, par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring.
Sergio Garcia 16/1
After a superb start to the season with a T2 last week at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia, Sergio comes to Sheshan this week in fine form. He was steady all week shooting rounds of 69,68,68,69 finishing on 14 under par. He showed superb consistency last season recording an impressive 10 top 10 finishes, two of which came at the end of the season. He had a great week at The BMW Championship finishing T4th, which could have been better if it weren’t for a third round 72. He then went on to have another good week at East Lake finishing T9th at The Tour Championship, which included a final round 66.
His record here at Sheshan is quite impressive with a win here in 2008 and a T4 last year. Last season Sergio ranked 14th in GIR, second in strokes gained tee to green, fourth in both par 3 and par 4 performance and 24th in GIR from 200+ yards. With a great record here and coming off a T2 last week, Sergio looks to tick all the boxes here.
Graeme McDowell 28/1
Gmac is another player that comes into this week showing some good current form. He played well last week at The BMW Masters in Shanghai finishing in a respectable T16 on 10 under par which could have been a lot better if it hadn’t been for a disappointing 74 on Sunday. He also had a good performance at The Volvo World Matchplay finishing T9th after being knocked out by Joost Luiten.
McDowell has a great record on the course over the last few years finishing third here in 2011 and third again last year. Statswise last season he ranked 12th in driving accuracy, first in strokes gained putting, 15th in par 4 scoring and 13th in GIR from 150-175, which is a good stat for some of the lengthy par 4’s. Gmac is showing good form at present and could go well on a course he has played so well on in the past.
Jamie Donaldson 28/1
Jamie Donaldson has been playing super golf since August when he won the Czech Masters. He followed that with a solo 7th at The European Masters, a T4 at The Wales Open, T13 at The Volvo World Matchplay and a T4 last week at The BMW Masters in Shanghai. Not to mention his super Ryder Cup display at Gleneagles.
Jamie has also played Sheshan once before, which was last year when he finished eighth.
Donaldson also fits the bill statswise ranking eighth in stroke average, 57th in driving distance hitting it an average of 290 yards off the tee. He also ranks 12th in putts per GIR and 23rd in putts per round. With super current form and a good performance last year, it’s hard to ignore Jamie here.
Ryan Palmer 40/1
Ryan Palmer has been playing good golf over the last few weeks and could sneak under a lot of people’s radar. He comes into this week with four top 10 finishes in his last six starts on all tours. He played well at The BMW Masters last week finishing T8 on 13 under par. Palmer had a good finish to the season at The FedExCup Playoffs finishing solo seventh at The Tour Championship, T4 at The BMW Championship and T16 at The Deutsche Bank. He also had an impressive week at The PGA Championship finishing T5 on 12 under par.
Palmer was one of the bigger hitters last season hitting it an average of 300 yards ranking 23rd in driving distance. He also ranked 15th in strokes gained tee to green, 35th in SGP and seventh in par 4 performance. He also ranks fifth in GIR from 175-200 yards, which is a good stat for approaches into the long par 4’s.
Lee Westwood 40/1
Westy has had a decent start to the new season finishing T12 at The Frys and T13 at The CIMB Classic last week. He also played well towards the end of last season before the start of the FedExCup playoffs finishing T19 at The Bridgstone Invitational and T15 at The PGA Championship. Westwood’s record here is quite impressive finishing runner up to Phil Mickelson in 2009 and again to Francesco Molinari in 2010. He was also runner up in 2007 and finished in a respectable T13 in 2011.
He ranks sixth in strokes gained tee to green and seventh in strokes gained total. He is also averaging 299 yards in off the tee and ranks 10th in par 3 performance on the PGA Tour so far this season. With three second place finishes at this event and two top 15’s in his last two events, Westwood is certainly good value at 40/1.
Final selections –
Sergio Garcia 2 pts EW at 16/1
Graeme McDowell 1.5 pts EW at 28/1
Jamie Donaldson 1.5 pts EW at 28/1
Ryan Palmer 1 pt EW at 40/1
Lee Westwood 1 pt EW at 40/1
Total staked = 14 pts
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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