By Michael McGill

The main event this week is the WGC HSBC Championship which is being played at the Mission Hills Golf Club in Guangdong, China.

This is the first time that the event has been played here. The past seven editions have been at the Sheshan Golf Club.

Mission Hills Golf Club has twelve 18 hole golf courses and this weeks event is being played on the Olazabal course which was designed by the man himself, Jose Maria Olazabal.

It is a Par 72 course measuring 7320 yards. There are 151 bunkers and the small greens are platinum paspalum grass.

There are five Par 3’s and five Par 5’s to contend with this week.

The Purse this week is US$7 million with the winner taking home US$1.2 million.

This week we need to look for players who play well on Par 5’s and have good greens in regulation stats due to the size of the greens. It will also help if a player has good sand save stats due to the number of bunkers on the course this week.

If you miss the greens this week you will need to have good scrambling stats.

The field this week consists of seven of the Worlds top 10 players in Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker.

There are also nine Major winners teeing it up with the likes of Geoff Ogilvy, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie and Ernie Els.

The bookies this week have the Top 5 in betting as- 11/1 Luke Donald, 14/1 Justin Rose, 16/1 Lee Westwood, 18/1 Dustin Johnson and 18/1 Phil Mickelson.

Our two selections this week are-

Brandt Snedeker 33/1

This season is one that Brandt will never forget. He is sure to look back on it with fond memories once he has hung up the clubs.

22 starts and only 2 missed cuts. Ten Top 25’s, seven Top 10’s and two victories. Pretty hard to top that effort!

He started the season well with a tie for 8th in the Humana Challenge then in his next start he beat Kyle Stanley in a play off to win the Farmers Insurance Open. This was his third PGA Tour career victory.

In July he was tied for 3rd at the Open Championship. He then put the foot on the gas in late August and put together a month of outstanding golf.

He started off with a 2nd place finish in The Barclays three shots behind the winner Nick Watney. Then it was on to the Deutsche Bank Championship where he finished 6th and was under par for all four rounds.

The following week he finished in a tie for 37th at the BMW Championship. Two weeks later it was on to the TOUR Championship by coca-cola where he claimed his second victory of the season with a three shot margin from runner-up Justin Rose.

The victory also gave him the FedExCup title as well as the US$10 million bonus.

No doubt he will be full of confidence this week to show everyone why he is now ranked No.9 in the World.

His current stats stack up very well for this course.

Ranked 1st in strokes gained putting, 3rd in birdie average, 15th in sand saves, 15th in scoring average, 4th in Par 5 birdie or better, 12th in Par 3 birdie or better and 10th in scrambling.

This course will suit him down to the ground. He is over the odds at 33/1 and represents an excellent each way bet.

Louis Oosthuizen 20/1

Louis is another player who should be at home on this course. This time last year he was 3rd in the Singapore Open and 7th at the WGC HSBC Championship, so playing in Asia seems to suit him down to the ground.

He is coming off a tie for 6th in the BMW Masters last week.

His stats are also impressive. 23rd in driving distance, 15th in GIR’s, 19th in birdie average, 11th in scoring average, 7th in total driving, 21st in Par 3 birdie or better, 32nd in Par 5 birdie or better, 6th in ball striking and 4th in GIR 200+ yards.

On the PGA Tour this year he had 19 starts and made 15 cuts. Those 15 made cuts were turned into 12 Top 25 finishes and five Top 10’s.

A few highlights were 3rd at the Shell Houston Open, a play off in the Masters Tournament where Bubba Watson came out on top, 4th at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, a tie for 5th at The Barlcays and a 2nd place in the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Last week showed that he is in good shape at the moment and should not be under estimated this week.

Good luck and good punting.

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