Patrick Reed an attractive longshot at WGC-HSBC Champions

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October 30th, 2019

The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, will bring an end to the Asian swing on the PGA Tour. Though it is a WGC event and still has a decent field, missing from the tournament are ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP winner Tiger Woods, past champion Dustin Johnson (recent knee surgery) and world No. 1 Brooks Koepka (knee issues).

In fact, of the eight automatic Presidents Cup qualifiers on the American side, only one, defending HSBC champion, Xander Schauffele, is here. On the International side, seven of the eight qualifiers will play. Captains Ernie Els and Tiger Woods will no doubt pay attention to who does play well here since several remaining picks are likely in this field. In the end, both sides will have a dozen players.

Of the top 20 in this week’s world golf rankings, only 10 are in this event. While it is disappointing for so many top-level players to skip this tournament, the winner will automatically gain a three-year Tour exemption and earn 550 FedEx Cup points, more than the normal two-year exemption and 500 points.

WGC-HSBC Champions odds

GolferWGC-HSBC Champions Odds
Rory McIlroy
Hideki Matsuyama
Xander Schauffele
Justin Rose
Paul Casey
Sheshan Golf Club, perhaps the best course in all of China, plays at a listed 7,261 yards and at a par 72. It has played host to this tournament since its inception with the exception of 2012 when it took place at Mission Hills in Shenzhen. The HSBC itself began in 2005 and attained WGC status four years later.

Patrick Reed is peaking at the right time

Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, needs a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup, and no doubt will want to be part of Woods’ team. In five appearances at Sheshan, Reed has two top 10s, and though the record is spotty here, he showed more signs of life in the latter stages of the 2018-19 season with a 10th in the Open Championship to go along with a win in the Northern Trust and a tie for ninth in the Tour Championship.
Reed was a member of the victorious 2015 and 2017 Presidents Cup teams and now has all of the incentive in the world to make it. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t play well, and you get odds of +2800 for a player with a recent win. He’ll probably be worth a play in any matches he has here too.

Haotong Li is an appealing longshot

Numerous others merit consideration or a close watch for at least a high finish and perhaps a win. One of those could be Haotong Li, who was born in Hunan province and who stays in the Shanghai area when he’s back home. To him, this tournament is probably like a fifth major, and he has nice odds of +6600 as of this writing.

Though he doesn’t own a win on the PGA Tour just yet, he did capture the Dubai Desert Classic in 2018, holding off none other than Rory McIlroy in the process by one shot. Li is only 24 and probably still has his best golf ahead of him.

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