WGC HSBC Champions:The 49-year-old was up to 17th in the standings after registering the most recent of his 44 PGA Tour titles in February at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, although has since tumbled down the rankings after experience the worst form of his professional career in recent months.
Mickelson clung onto 50th position in the latest Official World Golf Rankings despite not featuring at the Zozo Championship, extending his spell in the world’s top 50 to a staggering 1,351 weeks.
Mickelson is a two-time winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions, most recently in 2009
His only worldwide top-30 finish in 19 events since Pebble Beach victory came at the Masters, where he claimed a share of 18th as Tiger Woods celebrated a 15th major title, with Mickelson’s next-best performance being a tied-31st result in his last start at the CJ Cup earlier this month.
I just haven’t played well,” Mickelson said ahead of playing at Sheshan International Golf Club. “Just had a lot of stuff going on and I just haven’t been really focused and into the mental side.
I haven’t seen good clear pictures. I haven’t been as committed and as connected to the target. I just haven’t been mentally as sharp the last six, eight months.
I’ve played terribly this year and even if I were to win this week, I do not deserve or warrant a pick for the Presidents Cup. There’s much better players who have played better throughout the year.
Course: Chapultepec GC. Yardage: 7,345. Par: 71.
Purse: $10.25 million. Winner’s share: $1,745,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-7 p.m. Saturday, noon-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, noon-1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Phil Mickelson.
Last WGC: Xander Schauffele won the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Notes: Tiger Woods has not been eligible for this World Golf Championship since 2014, when he shot 78 in the final round and tied for 25th at Doral. It was his last event before the first of four back surgeries. … This is Woods’ first tournament in Mexico. He will be in the same group as Abraham Ancer, who is in the field with the best world ranking (No. 61) of Mexican players. … Justin Rose, Jason Day and Adam Scott are among those who chose not to play the first World Golf Championship of the year. Rose could lose his No. 1 ranking depending on who wins. … Eddie Pepperell, Aaron Rai and Jake McLeod are making their World Golf Championships debuts. … Russell Knox is the last player to make his first PGA Tour title a WGC event, in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions three years ago. … Americans made it a clean sweep of the WGCs last year with Mickelson winning in Mexico, Bubba Watson at the Match Play, Justin Thomas at Firestone and Xander Schauffele in Shanghai. … Since this event began in 1999, it has gone to a playoff only three times — Woods beat Miguel Angel Jimenez in 1999 at Valderrama and John Daly in 2005 at Harding Park, and Mickelson defeated Thomas last year
ltalian star Francesco Molinari and home favourite Haotong Li are the latest stars to commit to the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions alongside reigning champion Xander Schauffele and the world’s top 4 ranked players; Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
World ranked No. 6 Molinari won the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2010 and the Open Championship in 2018, while China’s Li, a two-time winner on the European Tour, will be looking to improve on his seventh place highest finish to date at’ Asia’s Major’ which takes place from October 31 to November 3, 2019 at Sheshan International Golf Club.
As HSBC approach the 15th year of their award-winning title sponsorship of Asia’s biggest tournament, tickets have seen strong demand from fans while support sponsorship sales are also exceptionally strong as everyone wants to be a part of what is anticipated to be one of the best fields ever gathered as the players compete for an increased prize fund of US$10.25 million.
New apparel sponsor Descente, Official Liquor Nei Can and VOSS as the Official Water are the newest sponsors joining a notable group of premium brands that include; WeChat, Mercedes Benz, iQiyi Sports, Dell Technologies and The Yuluxe Sheshan, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel.
Italy’s first major winner, Molinari said: “With all of the majors now over for the year, we are turning our attention to the final World Golf Championships of the year. The scheduling changes on the PGA TOUR certainly have benefited the stature of the WGC-HSBC Champions and I think it is going to be a huge event for all the players as we aim to end our year on a high with a victory at ‘Asia’s Major’.”
Li, making his seventh appearance in the tournament, said: “The buzz around this tournament is already pretty crazy in China. With five of the world’s top six players already confirmed, it will be one of the must attend events of the year in Shanghai. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Jonathan Castleman, HSBC’s Global Head of Brand Partnerships, said: “With another major winner confirmed in Francesco Molinari and homegrown star Li Haotong joining the all-star cast of the world’s best golfers, we already have the perfect ingredients for the tournament to live up to its billing as ‘Asia’s Major. Once again, we know the eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Shanghai come October.
WGC-HSBC Champions has gained an unrivalled reputation by assembling elite fields and delivering incredible experiences for all, there is simply nothing like it in Asian golf. This tournament has been a catalyst for so many exciting developments for golf in China at all levels and we look forward to that journey continuing.”
A new wave of tickets were launched today to meet demand, offered with an early bird discount for the month of August of up to 35% off. Juniors aged 18 years and under can enter for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult with additional discounts also available for students and families.
The 2019-20 PGA Tour schedule is already underway and the first World Golf Championships event on the calendar takes place this week in Shanghai, China. The 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions tees off at 8:45 p.m. ET from Sheshan International Golf Club on Wednesday night (8:45 a.m. local time on Thursday), and a loaded field should make it one of the most exciting events of the fall. Tiger Woods won’t be in attendance after winning last week’s Zozo Championship in Japan, but Rory McIlroy is scheduled to play, and he’s the 11-2 favorite in the latest 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions odds. Hideki Matsuyama (11-1), Xander Schauffele (14-1), Paul Casey (16-1), Justin Rose (16-1) and Tony Finau (18-1) are all right behind McIlroy, according to the latest 2019 WGC-HSBC odds. Before you make any PGA predictions for the week, you need to see the current 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions picks and projected leaderboard from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
SportsLine’s prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed two of the last three majors entering the weekend. It predicted Gary Woodland’s first career major championship at the U.S. Open even though he wasn’t the favorite entering the weekend. The result: Woodland held off a late charge from Brooks Koepka and won by three strokes. The model also called Koepka’s historic victory at the 2019 PGA Championship, predicting he’d hold his lead in the home stretch. In all, their advanced computer model has nailed a whopping six majors entering the weekend, and anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now that the 2019 WGC-HSBC field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Schauffele, the defending champion and one of the top Vegas favorites, stumbles this week and doesn’t even crack the top five.
Schauffele defeated Tony Finau in a playoff at this event last year, earning his third career PGA Tour victory. And in his first start of the 2019-20 PGA Tour schedule, Schauffele fired three rounds in the 60s and earned a 10th place finish last week at the Zozo Championship.
Despite his strong start to the season, Schauffele has struggled to find consistency throughout his career. In fact, the 26-year-old finished 25th or worse nine times last season. Schauffele’s inconsistent performances can be directly attributed to his inability to find the fairway off the tee. Schauffele finished last season ranked 127th in driving accuracy percentage (60.29), which doesn’t bode well for his chances to finish on top of the leaderboard this week. He’s not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in this loaded WGC-HSBC Champions 2019 field.
Another surprise: Adam Scott, a 28-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He has a much better chance to win it all than his odds imply, so he’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
Scott has an Official World Golf Ranking of No. 16 and has already played four events worldwide this season. Scott finished fifth at the Japan Open two weeks ago and tied for 33rd last week at the Zozo Championship.
Last season, Scott had one of his best years in recent memory with nine top-10 finishes in 18 PGA Tour-sanctioned events. He finished third in total strokes gained per round (1.831) on the PGA Tour last season. Scott has also made five consecutive cuts at the World Golf Championships-HSBC event and has had three top-20 finishes during that span, so he knows his way around Sheshan International. His current comfort level in Asia makes him an intriguing pick to climb the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions leaderboard in short order.
Also, the model says three other golfers with WGC odds of 20-1 or longer will make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.