Fantasy Golf Predictions for the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions October 31-Nov 3
Minus Woods and Adam Scott, this week’s field is as star-studded as you can get. For the second time in as many weeks, the PGA TOUR is hosting a no-cut event in Asia, moving to Shanghai after concluding in Malaysia last week with Ryan Moore’s playoff win over Gary Woodland at the CIMB Classic. With the first round kicking off on Halloween, there’s nothing scarier than a field of elite major, WGC, and FedExCup champions battling it out in a dog fight in Asia this week.
A healthy purse of $8.5 million will be on the line (a big increase from the $7 million in 2012) and players from all over the world will be trying to wrestle the Old Tom Morris Cup away from Ian Pouter who won by a two-stroke victory at Mission Hills in Dongguan, China a year ago.
The winner of this year’s event will also take home 550 FedExCup points, which incidentally is 50 points more than usual for a non-major tournament. If that’s not enough, the winner will also be granted a three-year exemption on the PGA TOUR in addition to countless invitations to other big events on the PGA TOUR circuit, including the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship and the PGA Championship.
Sheshan International GC (West) measures 7,266 yards and plays as a par 72. Brushed with beautiful 1,000-year-old gingko trees and manmade waterways, this Nelson & Haworth design returns to play host of the WGC-HSBC Champions after the event moved to Mission Hills in 2012. Sheshan International opened its doors in 2004 as Shanghai’s most exclusive golf club, with Tiger Woods once calling the layout “the crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.”
The Weather at 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China (from weather.com)
- Round 1: Thursday (Oct 31) 70 degrees, 20% chance of rain, partly cloudy.
- Round 2: Friday (Nov 1) 71 degrees, 0% chance of rain, mostly sunny.
- Round 3: Saturday (Nov 2) 72 degrees, 10% chance of rain, partly cloudy.
- Round 4: Sunday (Nov 3) 71 degrees, 30% chance of rain, few showers.
Ian Poulter charged back from a four-shot deficit, posting a staggering 7-under 65 on the final day to clinch the Old Tom Morris Cup. The win came just month after he added a stroke-play title to his Ryder Cup resume at Medinah for the winning European team. The victory also prevented Poulter from posting only his second winless season since turning pro in in 1995. Meanwhile, Jason Dufner’s closing 64 created a four-way tie for second with Ernie Els, Scott Piecry, and Phil Mickelson (Lefty won this event in 2009).
Even with the dominant Woods and Scott vacant from the field, the WGC-HSBC Champions has the strongest field of the PGA TOUR’s new fall schedule. The lineup consists of 15 of the top 25 players in golf’s world rankings. That said, don’t be too quick to jump on FedExCup champ Henrik Stenson bandwagon. Although he would normally be a clear favorite here, his status is questionable after he hurt his wrist during an at-home practice session, which has caused some recent swelling. Stenson is scheduled for an MRI which should shed more light on the injury but for now he remains too big of a question mark.
As an additional matter of note, Europeans have claimed the trophy in each of the past three years – Poulter, Martin Kaymer (2011) and Francesco Molinari (2010).
Top 5 Picks/Odds to Win the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions
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Last Week’s Results: Top 5 Picks/Odds to win the 2013 CIMB Classic
- Sergio Garcia (Golficity Odds 9/1): T11
- Phil Mickelson (Golficity Odds 12/1): T19
- Keegan Bradley (Golficity Odds 18/1): 10th
- Nick Watney (Golficity Odds 22/1): T35
- Bill Haas (Golficity Odds 28/1): T16
Last Week’s Results: Sleeper Picks/Odds to Win
- Jimmy Walker (Golficity Odds 35/1): 6th
- Hideki Matsuyama (Golficity Odds 45/1): T25
Want to weigh in with your own picks and predictions for the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions event? Leave us your comments below or Tweet us at @Golficity.