2013 WGC - HSBC Champions - Vegas Odds, Free Picks, + Tee Times
Golf fans won't have to wait long until the first big event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour gets underway, with the playing of the 2013 World Golf Championships HSBC Champions. Running October 31st through November 3rd, this first WGC event of the season will be played at Sheshan International GC in Shanghai, China. It only makes sense to keep the tour over in this part of the world as many will be coming into this one after playing in the 2013 CIMB Classic in Malayasia.
There will be plenty of live coverage and taped coverage of the HSBC Champions. Because it is a WGC event, there will be live coverage in the U.S., though it will at times late at night or early in the morning.
Sheshan International GC - Shanghai, China
One of the most acclaimed golf courses in China, the Sheshan Golf Club is right outside the bustling Asian metropolis of Shanghai. Conceived by Nelson & Haworth Design, the course features a total course yardage of 7,143 and a par of 72 for members.
Players will be tested in ways that they won't often during the traditional part of PGA Tour season. The terrain in Shanghai is quite the spectacle and Sheshan combines distance and accuracy to form a very challenging championship-level course. At close to 7,300 yards, Sheshan doesn't have a par-3 that measures less than 200 yards. At the same time the course has par-4s that stretch to nearly 500 yards and par-5s upwards of 600 yards. That means that all types of iron shots will be played in from the fairway, providing a well-rounded test.
In many ways, Sheshan is emblematic of modern China—or at least modern Shanghai—itself, combining the traditional with the cutting-edge. Indeed, players will find that the course’s dizzying elevation changes and modern design flourishes are compelling, yet its most distinctive feature may be the rock quarry that comes into play on holes 16 and 17.
The course is known for hosting a number of well-regarded tournaments, including the annual WGC-HSBC Champions. The Sheshan course has hosted this event every year since 2006. Though the course has only been open since 2004, it has already risen to be one of the go-to courses for premier golfing events.
This week for the 2013 HSBC Champions will see an exclusive field of 78 of the top players in the world compete in China for a World Golf Championships tourney. The schedule adjustment means the 2013 HSBC Champions is on par with the other WGC events contested throughout the season; the winner and other top finishers will get the corresponding points in the FedEx Cup standings as compared to other official WGC stops on the PGA Tour.
Oddsmakers have already formed a complete listing of betting odds to win the 2013 HSBC Champions. Just going down the list you can see at least 20 golfers that could be considered favorites. Even without Tiger Woods, this has the feel of a very big tournament.
Top-5 Vegas Favorites To Win HSBC Champions
Taking a look at the top-five favorites, it's easy to make an argument for why any one of them would be able to play their way to the winner's circle this week in Shanghai.
Rory McIlroy - 12/1 (+1200) - McIlroy starts the week off as the slight favorite to get an early win and climb back up the ladder of the WGR as he has slipped to No.6 in the world after starting out last season No.1. McIlroy defeated Tiger Woods in an exhibition match head-to-head in China last week, shooting a 67. McIlroy has the game to get the win this week; it will be a matter of putting together four consecutive rounds.
Henrik Stenson - 14/1 (+1400) - You have to think that winning the 2013 FedEx Cup championship would give Stenson all the confidence in the world. After winning two of the four FedEx Cup playoff events, Stenson won the biggest prize of the season. Now, the journey towards repeating that title begins. As good as Stenson hits it tee-to-green, he has to be considered a favorite with as many birdie chances as he will have this week. It will simply come down to the putter.
Phil Mickelson - 14/1 (+1400) - Mickelson admitted to some significant struggles with his swing last week at the 2013 CIMB Classic. He said he was about as "far off" as he has been in a long time. He managed a top-20 finish though finishing T19 with a -5 total. Lefty has a habit of finding a quick groove, and perhaps that grind through the CIMB Classic was enough to jumpstart some confidence in him.
Justin Rose 16/1 (+1600) - Rose hasn't played on the PGA Tour since the Tour Championship. He participated in the Grand Slam of Golf as a Major Winner in 2013 against Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, and stand-in Padraig Harrington (Mickelson did not play). Rose has a WGC title under his belt, capturing the Cadillac Championship in 2012. A win at the HSBC Champions would be a heck of a start to the season.
Martin Kaymer 20/1 (+2000) - Kaymer finished 13th at the BMW Masters on the European Tour this past week. PGA odds makers obviously like the way he is swinging the golf club, and think he can put it together for a win. Kaymer has fallen off a bit since his Major win at the PGA Championship a few years ago, but is finding his way back.
The Winner - It's hard to go against Henrik Stenson. He played some of the best golf of any player in the world the last half of last season, and that was capped off by the two big playoff wins. Stenson is a great pick to go with this week, and getting a nice payout at 14/1 as well. We think he will get it done and win the 2013 HSBC Champions.
Dark Horse Value Bet - At 40/1 this week, Hideki Matsuyama has been playing well in the early portion of this new schedule. He followed a T3 performance at the Frys.com Open with a T25 finish at the CIMB Classic. Matsuyama is a star in the making, and is getting great value at 40/1. He should also be very comfortable on a golf course in an area that he has plenty of experience playing.
Can't Miss Pick Of The Week -
The PGA Tour has put together some nice pairings for the first two days of the 2013 HSBC Champions. Among the featured groups includes the pairing of Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, and Luke Donald. This group will go off at 10:35am ET local time on Thursday, and 9:25 am ET on Friday, which is 12 hours ahead of EST.
Betting odds for the individual groups have also been formed. These 3-ball odds are available for each round. McIlroy is a +130 favorite on the moneyline to shoot the low number in his group. Donald is paying out at 2 to 1, with Dufner rounding things out at +210.
Phil Mickelson will go out with Justin Rose and Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup partner Keegan Bradley. This should be a very comfortable pairing for all three players. This group goes out last Thursday at 10:45 am local time Thursday, and then 9:35 am Friday. Mickelson is set at +155 on the 3-ball betting line, slightly ahead of Rose at +155. Bradley is a bit further back at +210.
A complete list of tee times + 3-ball betting odds can be found below. These will be automatically updated each day.
2012 WGC - HSBC Champions
Ian Poulter bested a top-quality field at the 2012 HSBC Champions to win his second World Golf Championships event. It wasn't easy with names like Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, and Jason Dufner on his heels but, Poulter fired a round of 65 on Sunday to win by two shots.
Poulter carried momentum he generated from a great performance at the Ryder Cup just weeks earlier and put that into his four days in China. The win was believed to be the stepping stone to what would be a great 2013 for Poulter, though that ended up being his only win on the PGA Tour last season. Poulter is just one of seven players to win multiple World Golf Championship events.
2012 WGC - HSBC Champions - Leaderboard
- Ian Poulter (-21) 267
- Phil Mickelson (-19) 269
- Ernie Els (-19) 269
- Scott Piercy (-19) 269
- Jason Dufner (-19) 269