Tiger Woods and Adam Scott are missing from the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions but there are five well priced golfers who appeal in the fourth and final of the annual events that the International Federation of PGA Tours runs.
The HSBC Champions tournament dates back to 2005 but only since 2009 has its carried World Golf Championships status. All bar one edition of the HSBC Champions has taken place at the impressive Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, with the odd one out being 2012 when Ian Poulter took out the title. That means that punters have course form to assist them in making their World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions selections.
In ascending odds order, the five golfers who appeal in this year’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions are Phil Mickelson (17.00 with several bookmakers, (including Paddy Power and Stan James), Martin Kaymer (23.00 with many firms, including Bet365 and Coral), Paul Casey (34.00 with Bet365), Ryan Moore (36.00 with 888sport) and Francesco Molinari (41.00 with Bet365). One can dutch Mickelson, Kaymer, Casey, Moore and Molinari and obtain odds of just under 5.50 that one of those five golfers is triumphant.
Mickelson took out the 2009 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and he is the leading money earner in the event’s history having also won the non-World Golf Championships HSBC Champions tournament in 2007. Mickelson was 19th in last week’s CIMB Classic – not the greatest of results but it was Lefty’s first strokeplay starts for more than one month so one is prepared to forgive his up-and-down scores.
Kaymer won the 2011 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions having placed sixth, 20th and 30th in his previous four appearances. Kaymer’s recent form has been solid, with his last three starts resulting in one seventh and a couple of 13th places. Kaymer does not win sufficiently regularly to be backed at short odds but 23.00 in a restricted field is okay, particularly if one includes him in a dutched bet.
Casey has not won at the Sheshan Golf Club but he has gone very close on a number of occasions, with his results apart from his 2009 withdrawal being one fourth, two sixths, one seventh, one ninth and one 11th. Casey finished eighth in last week’s BMW Masters so he is in good nick and his track record suggests that he is one for one’s punting portfolio.
Moore has appeared only once at the Sheshan Golf Club but he impressed, placing third behind Mickelson and Ernie Els in 2009. Moore is coming off victory in the CIMB Classic in which he opened with a blistering 63 and consolidated it with subsequent rounds of 69, 70 and 72. Moore has posted three consecutive top-11 finishes so he is in great form.
Molinari exploded in the final round of last week’s BMW Masters, firing a 64 to get within one stroke of the champion, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. That was a superb warm-up for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, a tournament that he won in 2010 having placed in the top 10 on his two previous outings so he really likes the venue.
With regards to World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions match bets, it makes sense to stick with one’s outright fancies and find bookmakers who have paired them with unappealing rivals. Bookmakers have matched up Mickelson extremely well but there are opportunities to support Kaymer, Casey, Moore and Molinari in head to heads.
Kaymer is available at odds of 1.91 with Stan James to beat Luke Donald in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. Donald is not the worst of chances based on his course and recent performances but he has no right whatsoever to be the same price as Kaymer based on the various key statistics.
Casey is trading at odds of 1.91 with Ladbrokes to defeat World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions debutant Jordan Spieth. Spieth has not seen the Sheshan Golf Club previously and he is coming off an extended break. Bookmakers betting on this clash are favouring Casey but not sufficiently so.
Paddy Power has paired Spieth with Moore and, incredibly, chalked up the latter at underdog odds of 1.91. Finally, Molinari is an option at odds of 2.00 with Stan James to beat Ian Poulter, who is the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions title holder. However, Poulter won the 2012 title at the Mission Hills Golf Club and, while his Sheshan Golf Club numbers are okay, they are not in Molinari’s league.