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WGC-HSBC Champions: Top picks

A star-studded field will tee it up at the spectacular Sheshan International Golf Club in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday

World No.1 Dustin Johnson and Matsuyama headline the 78-man field for the final WGC event of 2017. In all, the line-up boasts 18 of the top 25 in the world rankings.

Currently, Johnson and Matsuyama hold all four World Golf Championships titles between them but, with such a competitive field on show, who will lift the trophy on Sunday?

Marc Leishman

The Australian had his best year on the PGA Tour last season winning twice and securing seven top 10 finishes. This year it seems he’s started where he left off. Last week in South Korea he was runner-up, losing in the playoff to American Justin Thomas.

Leishman had a very strong finish to the 2017 PGA Tour season with two top three finishes in his last three events of the season; this included a win at the BMW Championship. The strong finish catapulted the Australian up to sixth place in the FedEx cup standings.

The 33-year-old has moved up to number 12 in the world which is the highest he has ever been and, at this moment, he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of cracking under the pressure.

Leishman was unlucky to not win The CJ Cup last week and will look for redemption in this event. With the course suiting his game comfortably, don’t be surprised to see the Australian near the top of the leader board at the end of the week.

Jason Day

Yet another Australian makes my favourites for the week. This time it’s former major champion Jason Day. He may have struggled last season, due to injury and other events, but the 29-year-old seems to be finding his form once again.

Last week he finished tied 11th with a poor second round delivering the damaging blow. However, three rounds under par will certainly have given the former world number one a confidence boost going into the last World Golf Championship event of the season.

Day’s 2017 PGA Tour season was very similar to Leishman’s in that he had a very strong finish. In his last five events he finished inside the top 10 three times. After a poor season, by his standards, Day is beginning to show glimpses of what he is capable of.

Patrick Reed

The American hasn’t won the PGA Tour since August 2016 which by his high standards isn’t good enough; therefore, he will be looking to change that at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions. The American has won a World Golf Championship event before and will look to double his tally as he tees off on Thursday.

Reed played well last week at the CJ Cup finishing just outside the top 10. Had it not been for a third round 76, he would have been well in contention; unfortunately for the American he couldn’t recover.

Reed has had a relatively good 2017 season with four top 10 finishes including a runner-up position at the PGA Championship. With some strong golf on show, we’re beginning to see glimpses of Reed’s old self. The event is being held at a course he knows relatively well, so we should see the 27-year-old challenging on the Sunday.

As it’s the last World Golf Championship event of the year, everyone will be looking to put in a strong showing ready for the 2018 PGA season. Last year Hideki Matsuyama blew away the competition with a six shot victory; will the Japanese phenomenon do the same again? Will there be a new winner of the event? All we know is we are set for four days of high class golfing action. 

Who do you expect to challenge in this week’s tournament? Discuss in the comments below!

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Matt Cradock

Hello, my name is Matt Cradock and ever since the age of 3 I have had a passion for playing and writing about sport. I'm currently studying Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University and I mainly write about Golf and Football.

Follow my Instagram: @mdcradock

WGC-HSBC Champions: Top picks

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