PGA Tour Picks: WGC-HSBC Champions Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/29/2013
Could this be the year that Ryan Moore goes from promising player to rising star? Moore won the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur last week, beating fellow American Gary Woodland in the first playoff of the 2013-14 season. Moore birdied the first extra hole, which had to be played on Monday morning in Malaysia (Sunday night in the USA). Woodland had a chance to win on the 72nd hole in the near darkness Sunday but just missed a 10-foot birdie putt.
It was the third career Tour win for Moore, who always has shown tons of promise but has yet to really become a big name to casual golf fans. He was a tremendous golfer at UNLV and in 2004 won the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links, NCAA Championship and Western Amateur. That's an amateur grand slam. This could be the year he wins a major and gets a profile boost like Bubba Watson or Webb Simpson recently did.
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I didn't touch on either Moore or Woodland last week. I liked Sergio Garcia to win, and he opened with a strong 66 but didn't break 70 again on the way to a T11, so I just missed him at +110 on the Top-10 prop. However, I had Sergio as the top European finisher at 10/11, and he was. I also hit on Graham DeLaet at a nice +250 for a Top-10 finish as he was T7.
This week is likely your last chance of 2013 to see some big-name stars in the same tournament as it's the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. Well, all the big names other than Tiger Woods. Not sure why he is skipping this event considering he was in China on Monday for an exhibition match against Rory McIlroy in which he earned a $2 million fee. Tiger is doing some other promotional stuff in Asia this week as well, so I guess you can understand why he's not playing -- it actually wouldn't be as profitable. It's only the fourth of 45 WGC events Woods will have missed. Adam Scott is also off this week, back home partying in Australia. It's his first time home since winning the Masters. The other three 2013 Grand Slam winners are in the field.
The HSBC Champions, much like last week's CIMB Classic, is now officially part of the PGA Tour -- it's also the second leg of the European Tour's Race to Dubai. This tournament has been staged since 2005 -- a WGC event since 2009 -- and has been at Sheshan every year but 2012. It will now stay here permanently.
Last year, Ian Poulter shot a 7-under 65 to rally from four strokes back to win by two shots at Mission Hills in Shenzen. Poulter finished at 21 under. Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy and Ernie Els finished in a tie for second at 19 under. The last time it was played on this course, Germany's Martin Kaymer won it.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: HSBC Champions Favorites
Somewhat surprisingly to me, McIlroy is the 12/1 favorite at Bovada. Is this just because McIlroy beat Woods in that exhibition on Monday? Rory got $1.5 million just to play against Tiger, only $300,000 less than he earned on the PGA Tour in the 2013 season. Rough life being a golfer. I see no other reason why he should be favored the way he played all year. McIlroy played at the BMW Masters last week on the Euro Tour and was T27. He does have three Top-5 finishes at Sheshan.
FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson and the highest-ranked player in the field, Mickelson, are 14/1. Stenson says he still has some wrist pain, although he played through that to win the Tour Championship. He was T34 last week at the BMW. Mickelson has won this tournament twice: 2009 and ‘07. Lefty was T19 last week at the CIMB.
U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose (16/1) and Kaymer (20/1) round out the favorites. Rose hasn't played an official event since the Tour Championship. He was seventh at Sheshan in 2011. Kaymer was 13th last week at the BMW, improving his score in every round, capped by a 67 on Sunday capped by two eagles. He hasn't won a PGA or European Tour event since this one two years ago.
PGA Tour Picks: HSBC Champions Betting Predictions
On the Top-10 props, I'm going to stick with Garcia (+185) along with Keegan Bradley (+185) and Jason Dufner (+200). Head-to-head, I like Mickelson (-105) over McIlroy (-125), Garcia (-115) over Poulter (-115), Rose (-115) over Stenson (-115) and Dustin Johnson (-115) over Moore (-115) since Moore has played the last two weeks and could be jetlagged.
A European has won this tournament the past three years, and I'm going to stick with that trend. The question is, do I go with England's Paul Casey (28/1) or Italy's Francesco Molinari (33/1) as the best value? Casey was T8 last week at the BMW and has a great track record here with five Top-10s and always seems to play well in China (won 2006 Volvo China Open). Molinari was T2 last week and won this in 2010. I'm going with Casey, who won the Irish Open on the Euro Tour earlier this season.
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