What is the course yardage at Sheshan Golf Club? 7,261 yards
What is the par at Sheshan Golf Club? 72
What is the predicted weather for the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions? Humid with a chance of rain on Thursday, Friday becoming cooler and windier with the weekend being sunny, dry and calm
After all the hype of the FedEx Cup Playoffs followed by the Ryder Cup, golf’s wrap around season on the PGA Tour and season-ending Race to Dubai on the European Tour is in full swing and heads to China for the final World Golf Championship of 2018 - the HSBC Champions. England’s Justin Rose claimed victory here last year, coming from eight strokes behind to snatch the trophy from Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka after they faltered on the back nine.
During the last ten editions of the WGC HSBC Champions, the average winning total has been 18 under par, demonstrating the type of golf that is required to win this week. Furthermore, champions have won by two or more strokes on six of the last seven occasions.
Other than 2015 champion Russell Knox - who was perhaps a surprise winner at the time - the list of past champions is a who’s who of the modern game, showing the level of players in the field and the importance a WGC now holds.
Let's take a look at a selection of the favourites for this year's event and see how they have performed at this tournament previously.
Dustin Johnson is the man to beat this week. Having just lost his world number one ranking to one of his closest friends Brooks Koepka, he’ll be looking to earn that straight back around a course that has served him well. A win, a tied second and a tied fifth shows his suiting for the course.
A fifth-place finish for Justin Rose in 2013 showed he had the game to win here and that is exactly what he achieved during the 2017 Championship. Having claimed the world number one title and then losing it the following week, he’ll be doing everything he can do try and get back to the top of the rankings. Furthermore, he could make history in the process by becoming the first player to retain this championship.
With three fourth-place finishes and a fifth to his name since 2010, it is hard to believe Rory McIlroy hasn’t turned some of that good play into a victory. As a player who can compete around any course and still finish high on the leaderboard even without his best form, this could be a strong end to what has been a lacklustre year.
Ian Poulter claimed the trophy in 2012 and very nearly made it back-to-back victories when he came second the following year. After a strong 2018, expect the Englishman to continue his good form around a course he loves.
Race To Dubai
As one of the final Rolex Series tournaments, the HSBC could play a pivotal role in the year’s race. With so many big names having performed well all over the world this season, a strong finish here will make it go to the wire.
Having not won since January 2018, Tommy Fleetwood will be looking to close the gap on his biggest rival and best friend, Francesco Molinari. He currently sits over 1.3 million points behind but a victory this week – around a course that should suit his game – would set up a dramatic finish to the season that is made all the more exciting due to their Ryder Cup relationship and heroics.
After some strong and consistent golf over the summer that earned him a Ryder Cup debut, Thorbjorn Olesen missed the cut in his last outing. Having performed so well to rank sixth in the R2D standings, a well-earned rest last week should put him in a better place to have one last push to cap off a brilliant year.
Another Ryder Cup debutant, Tyrrell Hatton, currently ranks eighth in the R2D after many good finishes all season in some of the biggest events. However, with no victory this year, a win this week would take a big chunk out of the 2.3 million points he sits behind Molinari, and a T11 finish here last year suggests it is a very real possibility.