Blogs & Opinion


Justin Rose, Peter Hanson and Geoff Ogilvy could prosper in Shenzhen, says Rob Lee

Rob Lee Posted 31st October 2012 view comments

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are not playing at this week's WGC-HSBC Champions but there will still be a stellar line-up of golfers.

This tournament has been played at Sheshan over the last few years which is a venue I really like; the people enjoyed seeing the big players and there were some decent crowds.

I'm not sure how many spectators we will get at the new location in Mission Hills, Shenzhen but considering the event will be played on the hilly Olazabal course, which was designed by Jose Maria, I'm sure the golf will be of the highest order.

Ogilvy: the Australian will be aiming for his fourth WGC title in Shenzhen

Ogilvy: the Australian will be aiming for his fourth WGC title in Shenzhen

There are plenty of potential winners among the field, including 2012 Major winners Bubba Watson and Ernie Els, but three Englishmen - Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter - top the Sky Bet odds and each one will be confident of taking the title.

Donald finished third - behind Peter Hanson and McIlroy - in the BMW Masters in Shanghai last week, while Justin Rose, who won the WGC-Cadillac in Doral earlier this year, is in terrific form and knows that he needs to keep racking up the cash if he is to finish top of the Race to Dubai standings.

Ogilvy is brave as a lion and when he has a good tee-to-green week he is very dangerous.

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS
3am, Thu, Sky Sports 1 HD

Plus, Poulter finished with a 65 to take fourth place in the BMW - and admitted he had plenty left in the tank - and has won at this time of the year before, claiming the 2009 Singapore Open and the Hong Kong Open in 2010.

Hanson, though, is in a golden patch at the moment and has won two of his last three events, with Sunday's success in Shanghai following on from his win in the KLM Open in the Netherlands in September.

The Swede, who was also part of Europe's Ryder Cup-winning team, is arguably the form player in world golf and having moved up to second spot in the Race to Dubai believes he can overtake McIlroy.

Hanson, 35, is in his golfing prime and doesn't have any obvious weaknesses. He has a very good all-round game which should translate itself into consistency and that is what is happening this autumn. I wouldn't be surprised if he collected another win.

Attitude

Former world number one Martin Kaymer is the defending champion, which should give him some good vibes, but as this is a different course to last year and he is not in superb fettle, he is rightfully not one of the big favourites.

However, I thought the German played quite well at the BMW Masters, in which he tied for 11th place with Michael Hoey and Graeme McDowell. He is a brilliant player with a superb attitude and I think he will get back amongst the top few spots in the rankings.

Kaymer, who sunk the vital putt for Team Europe in Chicago, could start his ascent this week, while Lee Westwood, who has enjoyed success in the East before, winning three times on the Asian Tour in 2011 and once this term, is more than capable of flourishing.

Keegan Bradley, like Rose, will be hunting for his second WGC triumph of the year, having captured the Bridgestone Invitational in August, while Nick Watney claimed victory at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic last week with a 10-under par final round and also won The Barclays a couple of months back, so he is another big-time contender.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy is inconsistent - he is either great or you don't see him - but in addition to his 2006 US Open win, he has also picked up three WGC victories before - two Accenture Matchplays and one Cadillac.

He is as brave as a lion and lovely around the greens, so when he has a good tee-to-green week he is very dangerous. This may be his week, but it is really hard to pick a winner.
The selection process for this tournament means players from Asia will be involved and it represents a wonderful chance for these young guys to get experience.

Nothing brings your golf game on like competing against the best and if some of these lads are fortunate enough to play with Donald, Rose and the like this week, they can watch, learn and hopefully improve.

I don't think it will see them making a major impact at the top of the leaderboard this time, but it will ensure that they are more competitive in the years ahead.

ROB'S SKY BET TIP

After much deliberation, I will go for Justin Rose (13/1 with Sky Bet). Peter Hanson has knocked him down to third spot in the Race to Dubai so the Englishman needs a big cheque to keep pace with both the aforentioned Swede and table-topper Rory McIlroy. That's all the incentive he needs.

back to top

Other Golf Experts:

Latest Posts in Golf:

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Latest News RSS feeds

Westwood coasts to victory

Lee Westwood cruised to resounding seven-shot victory at the Maybank Malaysia Open following a final round of 68.

Donald pulls two clear

Luke Donald will take a two-shot lead into the final day of the RBC Heritage after an excellent five-under-par 66.

Wie claims victory in Hawaii

American Michelle Wie claimed her first LPGA title since 2010 with a two-shot victory in the Lotte Championship.

Furyk joins Heritage lead

Jim Furyk overcame a lengthy rain delay to fire a 66 to join a three-way tie for the second round lead at Hilton Head.

Westwood sees lead trimmed

Lee Westwood will take a slender one-shot lead into the final round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Features

WTS podcast

WTS podcast

Sarah-Jane Mee, Greg Rusedski, Nick Dougherty, Tim Stimpson and Anna Mayes debate leadership.

Shot Centre: The Masters Breakfast team bash it like Bubba and close out Augusta

Shot Centre: The Masters Breakfast team bash it like Bubba and close out Augusta

Bubba Watson once again showed everyone how you win the coveted Green Jacket, and the Masters Breakfast trio had a go at recreating the American's skills - complete with top button done up.

Stat's magic

Stat's magic

There have been some crazy stats doing the rounds this week.