WGC-HSBC Champions: McIlroy, DJ, Stenson, Bubba Top Star-Studded Event In Shanghai

As the WGC-HSBC Champions gets set to start, it once again boasts some of the world’s best golfers in attendance.

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson headline an excellent field at the WGC HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China. Johnson and Watson are past winners of the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The tournament awards money and points for both the European and PGA Tour year-long contests, the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup. It also has a $9.5 million purse.

McIlroy has already won the 2016 PGA Tour FedEx Cup and is currently third in the Race to Dubai standings. He has a good chance to win the top prize on both tours as Henrik Stenson did in 2013 when he became the first player to win top prize on both tours. However, Stenson could stop McIlroy with a victory or a high finish this week because he is in second place in Race to Dubai points with four tournaments remaining.

McIlroy has won the Race to Dubai three times and Stenson has won it twice since the event began. Since he is now experimenting with a Taylormade M-2 driver and other clubs, the question will be, can he make the change at year’s end and still take the Race to Dubai.

PGA Tour players, Johnson and Watson, in addition to looking for a good payday and a victory, are seeking early FedEx points for 2017.

Other notables participating include 2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett, who is leading the Race to Dubai standings on the European Tour, 2016 PGA Championship winner, Jimmy Walker, Olympic bronze medalist Matt Kuchar, Ryder Cup star and World No. 7 Patrick Reed as well as Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, and Rickie Fowler.

Defending champion is Scottish PGA Tour player Russell Knox, one of seven players who made their first PGA Tour victory a WGC event.  The others are Darren Clarke  (2000 Accenture Match Play), Craig Parry (2002 Bridgestone Invitational), Kevin Sutherland (2002 Accenture Match Play), Henrik Stenson (2007 Accenture Match Play), Ian Poulter (2010 Acccenture Match Play) and Shane Lowry (2015 Bridgestone Invitational).

“It is a fantastic field gathered for the final World Golf Championship of the year and it will be a daunting task to defend my title but a challenge I am looking forward to,” said defending champ  Russell Knox.

Many Ryder Cup participants from 2016 will also play, including J.B. Holmes, Brooks Koepka, Ryan Moore, and Brandt Snedeker from the U.S. side and Thomas Pieters, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Martin Kaymer, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood and Chris Wood from the European team.

“The strength of field this year represents a watershed moment for Asia’s Major and the sport in the region. Never before have we seen so many world-class players compete in this part of the world,” said Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Global Head of Sponsorship and Events.

The WGC HSBC is played at the Champions Sheshan International Golf Club Shanghai, China.  Course is was listed in 2014 Golf Digest’s World’s Greatest 100 Courses.

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