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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My "5 to Watch" at the WGC-HSBC

Okay, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth aren't in the field list for the WGC-HSBC Champions. But just about all the other big names are -- including Andrew "Beef" Johnston. As long as they have the Beef, who else do they really need?

Dustin Johnson

The WGC-HSBC Champions returns to Sheshan International in Shanghai, China this week, and it's a track known for giving up low scores. The last three winners -- DJ, Bubba and Russell Knox -- have all been very accurate players (Knox isn't a long hitter) so we could very well see a large number of low scores this week. This post on contains several charts showing which players have been the most "comfortable" at this event, which may help you fantasy golf fans out there.

In the meantime, here are my "5 to Watch":
  • My first three choices are no-brainers, really. Dustin Johnson's play this season definitely gives him an inside track on this course. Do I really need to explain why?
  • Likewise, this is a place where Bubba Watson seems to play well even when his game has been off a bit.
  • And defending champs have tended to play well this year, although only one of them has actually repeated (Justin Thomas last week). So Russell Knox has to make my list as well.
  • Now it gets a bit tricky for me, simply because so many players are hitting fairways and greens so far this year. Paul Casey is way overdue for a win so I'm going with him. He's been so consistent over the last year or so that I think this course may be just what he needs.
  • And for my flier... I'm taking Kevin Na. Kevin's another player who's been right on the cusp of victory so often over the last year or so that I believe he might break through this week.
I realize that I've left off a number of obvious picks, like Rory McIlroy. I would also really like to take Hideki Matsuyama again, after that second last week, or Patrick Reed. But I only have five picks available, and there are way too many players in form to pick them all.

And obviously -- just in case the photo wasn't enough of a clue -- I'm picking DJ to win this week. I see a very real possibility that this comes down to a battle between the Player of the Year and the FedExCup winner (despite my not picking Rory). But I'll put my money on the POY.

Especially since he's won here before.

The WGC website says that live coverage begins on GC at 11pm ET tonight, but I suspect GC will come on a bit earlier with a pre-game show. It'll be good to see the big guns back in action again.

And yes, I guess Beef counts as a big gun now. Golf is an unpredictable game...

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