The European Tour heads to China this week for the WGC HSBC Champions. However, despite this officially being a World Golf Championship, it’s failed to attract many of the star names including Jordon Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler to the par-72, 7,261-yards Sheshan Golf Club.
World Number 1 Dustin Johnson plays though, and he’ll be looking to add to his victory here in 2013, whilst he has also hit the each-way places here since. Therefore, there will be plenty of punters willing to take the 9/1 about him, despite it being anyone’s guess how hard he’s been practicing in the 4-weeks since we last saw him.
It’s only two-weeks since we last saw Hideki Matsuyama, and last year’s champion is a best-priced 11/1 to defend his title. After such a successful season last season, those odds again look fair, especially as he arrives here having hit the places on his last start – but defending a tournament is never easy.
Meanwhile, Jason Day also makes his first start in the tournament this week as the former world number one searches for the win that will halt a slump that has seen him drop to number 8 in the world. He could take to the place like a duck to water, but he’s not looked at his best recently despite some decent finishes.
Therefore, the first name on my betting slip this week is Mark Leishman, as the Aussie is one player in this field whose star is definitely in the ascendancy. After his wife had a near death experience recently, he really seems to be really appreciating how lucky he is to be doing what he’s doing. His 3 previous visits saw him finish 18/9/11 and, with current form of 3/1/24/2, he’s fancied to contend this week.
Another player whose form is back to something like his best is Ross Fisher, and he could easily have won his last two tournaments. His tee-to-green game is fantastic at the moment and, with past winners usually ranking highly in that area, he shouldn’t be far away having already proved his liking for the course by finishing 3rd and 6th in the last two renewals.
The third and final selection this week is Tommy Fleetwood, whose another player who has excelled from tee-to-green when at his best this season. His form also seems to be trending towards a strong showing this week after finishing 25/6 on his last two starts, and Fleetwood is a much better player than the one that finished 18/24/30 in previous renewals.
2017 WGC HSBC Champions Tips
Mark Leishman 2 Points Each-Way @ 16/1 WilliamHill (6 places)
Ross Fisher 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 22/1 WilliamHill (6 places)
Tommy Fleetwood 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 28/1 Betfair SB (6 places)