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Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose Co-Favorites at WGC-HSBC Champions

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in Golf

Updated Mar 24, 2020 · 8:16 AM UTC

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson was the PGA Player of the Year in 2016. Photo by Omar Rawlings (flickr)
  • A strong contingent of golfers are competing at the WGC-HSBC Champions
  • Dustin Johnson returns to the scene of his stunning collapse last year
  • The golfers with the best value to emerge victorious

The strongest field of the wraparound season meets in China for the first World Golf Championships event of the campaign and there is plenty of star power to go around. Justin Rose is the defending champion having benefited from a stunning collapse by Dustin Johnson on the back nine last year. With the biggest names in the game competing, the possibilities of a hotly contested duel to the finish are endless.

Odds to Win 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions

Player Odds
Dustin Johnson +800
Justin Rose +800
Brooks Koepka +900
Rory McIlroy +1000
Jason Day +1600
Tommy Fleetwood +1800
Hideki Matsuyama +1800
Tony Finau +1800
Francesco Molinari +2000
Jon Rahm +2000

What big names will contend?

Brooks Koepka arrives having won last weeks CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges having finally ascended to #1 player in the world. Defending champ Justin Rose has four straight top 10’s to go along with a FedEx Cup title to conclude the tour season. With so many studs competing it provides great value for lesser known golfers who could break through and steal the title ala Russell Knox in 2015.

Previous 5 WGC-HSBC Champions

Year Winner
2017 Justin Rose
2016 Hideki Matsuyama
2015 Russell Knox
2014 Bubba Watson
2013 Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson has an axe to grind after last year’s collapse of epic proportions. He matched Greg Norman (1996 Masters) and Sergio Garcia (2005 Quail Hollow), with the dubious distinction of coughing up the largest 54 hole lead in tour history (six strokes.) That denied him his third WGC title of the season and paved the way for Rose, who began the day eight back to claim the title. The mild mannered DJ will likely show no ill effects of that defeat and I fully expect him to be in the mix to add to his WGC trophy case.

Most Career World Golf Championships Event Victories

Golfer Victories
Tiger Woods 18
Dustin Johnson 5
Phil Mickelson 3
Geoff Ogilvy 3
Ten Players 2

Hideki Matsuyama due for a breakthrough

Of all the big names in the top ten in betting odds, I’m looking straight at 2016 champ Hideki Matsuyama. Healthy and recovered from a wrist injury, Hideki has found himself on the periphery of contention in the last handful of tournaments.

Hideki Matsuyama’s Last Six Starts

Tournament Result
The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges T-18
Tour Championship T-4
BMW Championship 15
Dell Technologies Championship T-4
The Northern Trust T-15
Wyndham Championship T-11

After enduring a down season (by his lofty standards) Matsuyama seems poised to bounce back in a big way this season and what better place to do it then the site of his 2016 title, Sheshan Golf Club at the WGC-HSBC Champions?

YouTube video

2018 WGC-HSBC Champions Best Value Picks

  1. Ian Poulter (+5500): Winner at this event in 2012. Second place finish in 2013, tied 6th in 2014. Registered a top ten in season debut last week.
  2. Eddie Pepperell (+7500): Coming off a victory in his last event at the British Masters to go along with another win this year and two second places finishes
  3. Brandt Snedeker (+11000): Finished in a tie for second at the Safeway Open to kick off the season. Streaky player also won in August at the Wyndham Championship.
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