Molinari maintains lead at the halfway stage in HSBC Champions
In a day where only 10 of the 75 man field managed to break 70, Francesco Molinari’s two-under par round was enough to keep him at the top of the leaderboard, a shot clear of Lee Westwood.
In such a strong field, Molinari’s ability to hold that lead throughout the four days will be questioned by many, especially after his poor showing during the Ryder Cup.
And despite making the European team Molinari has yet to win on tour this season, although he has managed six top-five finishes and an each way bet at 6/1 offers 6/4 on Molinari finishing in the top three.
Westwood is looking strong amidst concerns surrounding his fitness, and his two rounds of 66 and 70 have put the world number one in a strong contention, which has seen his HSBC Champions betting odds cut to 7/2 favouritism.
Ernie Els made a fantastic leap up the leaderboard with the round of the day and the Big Easy has had a stunning season, including a win at the Grand Slam of Golf a couple of weeks ago, and it would be no surprise if the South African were to triumph this week – he is 6/1 to do so.
Tiger Woods could only manage a even par round of 72 but is still in contention, five shots off the lead and is a best price 10/1 to win the HSBC Champions.
Underneath Tiger, it’s hard to see anyone else in the field producing two strong rounds to challenge the leaders, and the concentration should be kept on the top 16.
Seung-yul Noh is an interesting proposition as the Korean youngster has taken the Asian Tour by storm this year with five top-10 finishes, including a win, in his seven tournaments and is 33/1 to win in Shanghai.
Phil Mickelson is 16/1 to win the HSBC Champions. See the full HSBC Champions betting odds here.