2012 World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions winner, Ian Poulter and 77 other world-class players will tee it up on Thursday morning at the Sheshan International Golf Course for the last WGC event on the 2013 European Tour schedule, and the first for the 2014 PGA Tour. This is the last world event of the year, and has a great field of tour players minus the world’s number one. Tiger Woods is the only top player not playing. On the line, are Race To Dubai points for the second in the four-tournament playoff, and 500 FedEx Cup points.
The WGC-HSBC Champions tournament features $ 8.5 Million dollars, with $1.2 million going to the winner. The Sheshan International Golf Course is located near Shanghai, China, and was designed by Nelson & Haworth, and is 7266 yards, and plays to a par of 72 for the big boys.
Many of the holes either play along the existing canal, around man-made lakes or over the spectacular 50-meter deep quarry, a unique feature of Sheshan. In addition to the lakes, scenic landscaped streams add to the mountain forest landscape image. The most unique feature of Sheshan is the dramatic and intimidating quarry. Two holes, 16 and 17 play around and over the quarry, giving the golfer both an awe inspiring view while requiring great golf shots.
There are some interesting groups for the first two rounds. Defending champion, Ian Poulter will play alongside 2012 FedEx Cup Champion, Brandt Snedeker, and 2013 FedEx Cup champion, Henrik Stenson. Stenson is the current Race To Dubai points leader, but fell on hard times at the BMW Masters last week at Lake Malaren with a T34 finish. He continues to lead RTD number two, Graeme McDowell by just over 400,000 points.
Graeme McDowell will tee it up with Dustin Johnson, and PGA Tour rookie, Jordan Spieth. This will be Johnson, and Spieth’s first appearance since the Tour Championship.
2012 Ryder Cup, and 2013 President’s Cup partners, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson will join 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose. Rose is currently third in RTD points, and is less than 100,000 points behind number two, Graeme McDowell.
Last, but not least, 2013 PGA Champ, Jason Dufner will join 2011 Race To Dubai Champion,Luke Donald, and 2013 RTD winner, Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has been playing fairly well since the tour moved off-shore. Maybe Rory’s game is back, and he can make a legitimate run at defending his 2012 Race To Dubai Championship.
You can watch the HSBC Championship every evening live from 11 PM to 4 AM on The Golf Channel. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back on Saturday night when the time goes back to Standard Time.
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