The Asian swing concludes this week with the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in China.
Sheshan has a lot of water and other trouble in play both off the tee and around the green. The finishing stretch, Nos. 16 through 18, can create massive swings on the leaderboard. At the 16th, there is danger left and right, but this par 4 is a mere 288 yards par 4, reachable with a long iron or fairway wood for most of the field. The 17th is a 212-yard par 3 on which birdies and bogeys are both real possibilities. Finally, the 18th is a risk-reward par 5 with water in play down the entire right side of the hole. Because these holes are both gettable and treacherous, this event has the potential to create drama down the stretch.
So what type of golfer typically succeeds at Sheshan? Players who have either won or finished runner-up in the last two years here include Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, and Tony Finau. These players are all elite drivers of the ball who wouldn’t consider putting to be a strong suit of their game most weeks. Let’s take a look at a few players who fit that same mold for this week:
Rory McIlroy $11,700
If we’re talking about elite drivers, well, we better start off with Rory McIlroy, the best overall driver in this field. You may think $11,700 is a steep price, but we can afford that this week because there is a lot of value in some cheaper players (see Molinari/Watson below). Rory quietly finished 3rd last week at the Zozo, so his game is trending into form. He hasn’t won the WGC-HSBC Champions before but has had success, finishing sixth or better in four of his last six starts.
Francesco Molinari $8,400
I really don’t understand this low price on Molinari. He is the 11th-ranked player in the world and the fourth highest ranked player in the field. He is known for his strong driving and at times suspect putting, which fits the profile that we talked about above. He has done well at the WGC-HSBC Champions, winning it in 2010.
Bubba Watson $6,800
DraftKings had to be sleeping when they set this price. He’s cheaper than Kurt Kitayama and Xinjun Zhang! Bubba is a great driver of the ball who tends to play well only on courses where he has had success at before. In his four prior appearances at this event, he has racked up two top 10s, including a win in 2014. $6,800 is a steal for a player who can make birdies by the bunches and possibly contend.