PGA Tour Expert Picks: HSBC Championship
Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose, and Keegan Bradley will tee it up this weekend in China.
The 2013-2014 PGA Tour season gets going early with a new wraparound schedule and the fourth event of the season (and second international event) is the HSBC Championship in Shanghai, China.
Let's do a little Q&A on what to expect from this week's event.
What is it?
HSBC Championship, the fourth event (of six total) of the fall portion of the 2013-2014 PGA Tour season. It is also one of the "Final Series" on the European Tour.
Where is it?
Mission Hills Golf Course, Olazabal Course in Shenzen, China
Wait, isn't that where Rory and Tiger played earlier this week?
Kind of. That was Mission Hills at Haikou, this is Mission Hills at Shenzen. Same company, different locations. All beautiful places, though.
I heard it was a WGC event
You heard correctly. It's the fourth World Golf Championships event along with the Match Play Championship, Cadillac Championship, and Bridgestone Invitational.
Weren't there some funny photos taken earlier this week?
When is it?
Oct. 31-Nov. 3
What is the purse?
How can I watch it?
This is a little complicated. It will be aired live from 11 p.m. - 4 a.m. starting Wednesday night through Sunday morning on Golf Channel.
There will also be a replay each day (Thursday through Sunday) on Golf Channel from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Some notable names include Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, and Graeme McDowell.
Basically everyone except Tiger Woods.
Who are the former champions?
2012 -- Ian Poulter
2011 -- Martin Kaymer
2010 -- Francesco Molinari
2009 -- Phil Mickelson
2008 -- Sergio Garcia
2007 -- Phil Mickelson
Those are big boy names
It's a big boy tournament. Most of the top 20 in the world are playing because of the prestige a WGC event offers (3-year PGA Tour exemption to the winner) which is enhanced this year with FedEx Cup points and money counting towards the 2013-14 total.
Tiger Woods is taking the week off and playing in Turkey next week on the European Tour. He and McIlroy were criticized last year for not playing in this tournament and though he apologized Woods didn't feel the need to add this stop to his list of tournaments.
So who are you picking?
I'm glad you asked. Here are my picks for the HSBC Championship:
Jordan Spieth (25-1) -- Why not?! I can't really imagine Spieth's powers are limited to PGA Tour events inside the continental United States and he's been as hot as anybody over the last few months. Plus, the HSBC called him "Jonas Spieth" earlier this week so he's totally going to be playing with a chip on his shoulder.
Lock for top 10
Francesco Molinari (33-1) -- He won this tournament two years ago and finished T2 at the BMW Masters last weekend. It's tough to see him tumbling out of the top 10 here despite the uptick in big names.
I'm actually surprised his odds aren't more like 25-1 or even 20-1. Great winning value here for the Italian.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (50-1) -- The barn rat finished T3 in Malaysia, missing a playoff by one stroke. Not many people have heard of him but he actually finished T25 at the PGA Championship and won on the European Tour earlier this year. He probably won't win, not with the names in this event, but look for him to linger well into the weekend.
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