Offering huge Race to Dubai gains as the second instalment of the European Tour’s Final Series, one of the largest prize funds in golf, not to mention the prestige associated with winning a WGC event, the HSBC Champions is a roll call of star names.
Given the Samson-like strength of its field, the main advantage to punters sizing up their wagers, is the value that can be found in backing the biggest fish.
Whereas in regular tournaments the quality is somewhat diluted, like golf’s majors, WGC events present the perfect opportunity to back a Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth.
Ladbrokes customers can do just that in China, with McIlroy given 6/1 favouritism and Spieth, the man who’s eclipsed the Northern Irishman in 2015, deemed a 7/1 chance to tack a maiden WGC title onto his capture of the year’s first two majors.
Many will be tempted and understandably; McIlroy has not finished outside the top six in four previous starts at this tournament, staged at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai for a seventh year.
Meanwhile, FedEx Cup champion and Spieth has shown a Midas touch akin to a young Tiger Woods during a phenomenal calendar year of golf for the Texan who has risen to the world number one spot.
However, there are enough shreds of doubt over both men to point value-seekers in a different direction.
McIlroy is yet to fully rediscover his A-game since returning from an ankle injury, while Spieth’s best finish in two HSBC Champions starts is 17th, which pales in comparison to the pick of the bunch at incredible odds.
Martin Kaymer is one of a quartet of former winners in the field (Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson are 16/1 shots and Ian Poulter is at 40s) and at 25/1 his impeccable form at this event makes his price leap off the page.
The German has finished in the top ten of this event five times in six attempts, and took home the trophy on his other start in 2011.
Although he comes off some indifferent form, finishing 50th in Portugal last time, anyone who has followed Kaymer’s career will be aware that his slightly mercurial nature means he appears to turn his genius on and off like a tap.
Earlier this season Kaymer followed up 57th place at the KLM Open, by finishing runner-up in his next European Tour event at the Italian Open.
It’s clear from his two major wins that the big tournaments often unlock a talent which took him to world number one and place him in a select pool of the planet’s very finest players.
With this kind of form in Shanghai coincidence can be ruled out and if the Ryder Cup star is on song, then missing him at 25/1 would be criminal.
Sanderson Farms Championship
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship shimmies somewhat under the radar.
Not expected to stay under said radar much longer however is red-hot rookie Patton Kizzire, who gets the each-way nod at 20/1 to become the third first-timer already in the new to PGA Tour season to land a title.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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