Hideki Matsuyama Defends WGC-HSBC Champions

The final WGC of 2017 is here and back at Sheshan International

Hideki Matsuyama Defends WGC-HSBC Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The year's final WGC is upon us in at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, read our preview...

Hideki Matsuyama Defends WGC-HSBC Champions

The limelight is back on Sheshan International Golf Club this week as it once again welcomes the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Hideki Matsuyama won the title last year by seven strokes to become the first Asian player to win a World Golf Championship.

That was after a win and a 2nd place in the previous two weeks and he subsequently won his next two events well.

He would go on to win his second WGC 10 months later at the Bridgestone Invitational where he shot a final round of 61.

World number one Dustin Johnson makes his first outing of the season, having played his last event at the Tour Championship a month ago. He was champion here in 2013.

DJ became the first man to win all four of golf's WGCs this year after he won the Match Play in March. He also won the WGC-Mexico Championship three weeks prior and has won three of the last five WGCs.

He is joined by Jon Rahm who has finished T3rd at the WGC-Mexico and 2nd at the WGC-Match Play this year.

Hideki Matsuyama Defends WGC-HSBC Champions

The 18th green. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson and Jason Day are the only other world top-10 players competing, with Spieth, Thomas, McIlroy, Fowler and Garcia all giving it a miss this week.

Other past champions in the field this week include 2010 winner Francesco Molinari and 2009 and 2007 champion Phil Mickelson.

Previous winners such as Russell Knox, Martin Kaymer, Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter are not in the field.

The event is back at Sheshan which has hosted this tournament every year since 2005, barring 2012 when it took place at Mission Hills.

Venue: Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China Date: Oct 26-29 Course stats: par 72, 7,261 yards Purse: $9,750,000 Winner: $1,725,000 Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama (-23)

TV Coverage: Thursday 26 – Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 3am Friday 27 – Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 3am Saturday 28 – Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 4am Sunday 29 – Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 3am

Player watch:

Dustin Johnson: DJ has turned into some sort of King of the WGCs in recent years, racking up five of them - two clear of Geoff Ogilvy in third and 13 behind Tiger Woods who has won an incredible 18. He has had a month off so should be feeling fresh and won here just four years ago.

Henrik Stenson: The 2016 Open champion hasn't had the best of years by his standard but did win his sixth PGA Tour title at the Wyndham Championship in August. He hasn't played since the BMW Championship over a month ago so should also be fresh and will be looking to build on his runner-up finish here last year.

Ross Fisher: Fisher has had a great year despite not winning and is on a nice run of form. He finished second at the Dunhill Links, where he broke the course record at St Andrews with a 61, and the Italian Open in consecutive weeks, both times losing out to Tyrrell Hatton. He also recorded a T5th at the WGC-Mexico Championship and a T3rd at the WGC-Match Play.

Key hole: 16th. At just 288 yards, you’d think this short par-4 was a great birdie chance, but going for the green from the tee is extremely risky with a ravine waiting to the right of the green. The safer play is to lay-up and wedge it on, but the pros always find it hard to turn down the chance of an eagle putt.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV