WGC HSBC Champions 2017

This week we continue our tour of Asia as we head to majestic Shanghai, China and the World Golf Championships Club for the final World Golf Championships event of the calendar year, the HSBC Champions, WGC HSBC Champions 2017.

WGC HSBC Champions 2017

WGC HSBC Champions 2017

Sheshan International Golf Club was the first premier private golf course in China founded in 2004 and was designed by Robin Nelson and Neil Haworth, the same pair of designers responsible for the course design at TPC Kuala Lumpur, World Golf Championships 2017.

For a rundown of the Euro Tour talent worth targeting, check out the WGC-HSBC Preview from Matt Cooper. I will focus on the golfers with a PGA TOUR card to their name, World Golf Championships 2017.

The Course
Sheshan International Golf Club, World Golf Championships 2017
Par 72 – 7,261 yards

This course should pose a solid challenge to the players this week as they contemplate distance or accuracy off the tee. In the past, we have seen some of the shorter hitters find success here but so have the bombers. It doesn’t appear to favor one style over another, WGC HSBC Champions 2017.

The fairways are a mix of rye and seashore paspalum grass. They are average width while featuring some elevation changes throughout the course. There are tree-lined fairways but aren’t as dense as some courses that we see on the PGA TOUR but definitely a handicap if you miss the fairway, WGC HSBC Champions 2017.

The greens are a formidable enemy typically running about an 11 on the stimpmeter with varying undulations and slight changes in the greens contour usually deceptive and fast. There is water on the course as well, coming into play on 11 of the 18 holes, WGC HSBC Champions 2017.

This week 28 players will be making their HSBC debut while 16 of those are playing in their first World Golf Championship event.

Past Winners
2017 Hideki Matsuyama
2016 Russell Knox
2015 Bubba Watson
2014 Dustin Johnson
2013 Martin Kaymer

Course-Specific Stats
The following stats are based on at least eight rounds of play at Sheshan since 2012. As always, thanks to fantasynational.com and make sure you check out their site.

TV Coverage

The Golf Channel will carry live coverage on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. ET and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Leader board

Follow all the action from China on the Golf Digest PGA Tour leader board.
Thursday Tee Times (all times ET)

No. 1 Tee

8:50 p.m. — Xinjun Zhang, Matthew Griffin, Gavin Green
9 p.m. — Andrew Dodt, Daisuke Kataoka, Charles Howell III
9:10 p.m. — Michael Hendry, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Yanwei Liu
9:20 p.m. — Wesley Bryan, Graeme Storm, Yi Cao
9:30 p.m. — Ashley Hall, Phachara Khongwatmai, Haydn Porteous
9:40 p.m. — David Lipsky, Shugo Imahira, Hyunwoo Ryu
9:50 p.m. — Matthew Southgate, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Brandon Stone
10 p.m. — Peter Uihlein, Poom Saksansin, Wenchong Liang
10:10 p.m. — Adam Hadwin, Kyle Stanley, Paul Dunne
10:20 p.m. — Hideto Tanihara, Tony Finau, Russell Henley
10:30 p.m. — Ashun Wu, Thorbjorn Olesen, Bill Haas
10:40 p.m. — Jhonattan Vegas, Alexander Levy, Branden Grace
10:50 p.m. — Brian Harman, Bernd Wiesberger, Ross Fisher
No. 10 Tee

8:50 p.m. — Chez Reavie, Fabrizio Zanotti, Zecheng Dou
9 p.m. — Hudson Swafford, Richie Ramsay, Chan Kim
9:10 p.m. — Lucas Glover, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Richard Sterne
9:20 p.m. — Ryan Fox, Scott Hend, Patrick Cantlay
9:30 p.m. — Si Woo Kim, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson
9:40 p.m. — Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott, Alex Noren
9:50 p.m. — Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka
10 p.m. — Jordan Smith, Marc Leishman, Francesco Molinari
10:10 p.m. — Rafa Cabrera Bello, Xander Schauffele, Thomas Pieters
10:20 p.m. — Daniel Berger, Charl Schwartzel, Pat Perez
10:30 p.m. — Haotong Li, Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick
10:40 p.m. — Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Paul Casey
10:50 p.m. — Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson

World Golf Championships 2017

The course itself is a standard-size par 72, with the stock four par-fives split evenly across the nines. Taking care of these is so often decisive, never more so than when Bubba Watson played them in 14-under and the rest of the course in three-over en route to his dramatic victory here in 2014, WGC HSBC Champions 2017,

WGC HSBC Champions 2017

WGC HSBC Champions 2017

Any notion that this is purely a test of power is undermined not only by Knox, who beat Kevin Kisner in an accuracy contest two years ago, but by those who’ve almost downed some of the world’s biggest hitters. Tim Clark’s drive-then-hybrid game almost did for Bubba, while Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter briefly threatened to trouble Dustin Johnson as he won this at an astonishing 40/1 a year earlier. World Golf Championships 2017.

Johnson is a very fair price to win the title once more but one thing stands out when it comes to his three visits here. Twice, he’s been able to prepare in Hong Kong and he’s finished first and fifth on the back of it. Once, last year, he’s arrived following an absence and things did not go to plan, two rounds of 74 leaving him with far too much to do and ultimately unable to crack the top 30.

Preparation has very much been key throughout this tournament’s history, right back to David Howell’s triumph over Tiger Woods in 2005. Only one champion – the enigma that is Bubba – managed to defy more than one week off and the vast majority had teed it up at locations ranging from Spain to Singapore prior to their trips to China.

With that in mind, those who’ve played either a European or PGA Tour event across the last fortnight are favoured and I’ll surprise myself by suggesting that this is an ideal chance for Paul Casey to win the biggest title of his career.

Now 40, the Englishman who was once considered to be a pretty ruthless operator now has quite the opposite reputation. Chances have come and gone since he chose to base himself in the United States and while he’s in exile from the Ryder Cup, he hasn’t even been able to buy himself credit in the way that Ian Poulter has.

Most criticism of his play in contention is fair. While Casey has been unfortunate on occasion – he birdied holes 70 and 71 to force a play-off with Bubba for the Travelers two summers ago and didn’t do all that much wrong when also beaten in extra holes for the Northern Trust Open earlier that year – he has also looked weak in the mix.

Hassan N’Dam vs Ryota Murata Live

The two fighters used different words and phrases. But their messages were the same: They are ready to box.

Ryota Murata, who will challenge champion Hassan N’Dam in a rematch for the WBA middleweight title, said at a Tokyo news conference on Friday that he was excited about getting in the ring for another title shot, Hassan N’Dam vs Ryota Murata Live, Hassan vs Murata Live,

Hassan N’Dam vs Ryota Murata Live Stream

Hassan N’Dam vs Ryota Murata

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and famous ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. were also in attendance for the news conference, which drew a large amount of reporters both from Japan and overseas,

With Mr. Arum sitting right next to me, and Mr. Lennon is also here, Murata (12-1, nine knockouts) said with a smile after the signing ceremony for the match. This is a scenery I dreamed of growing up as a boy, and I’m extremely happy about it, Hassan vs Murata Live.

But the middleweight gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics added that what he would do in the ring against N’Dam would essentially be no different than from their first fight on May 20.

What I’ll do is to keep moving forward putting pressure (on N’Dam) and hit some punches, said Murata, who took his first pro loss in a controversial split decision to N’Dam five months ago, when the two battled for the then-vacant title. The T-shirt that I’m wearing today says ‘Make this ours.’ This fight is going to be won by our whole team, not just by myself. We want to show our team power.

N’Dam (36-2, 21 KOs) said that he has worked on eliminating issues and mistakes he made in their first bout, and has made progress in preparation for his first title defense.

The Cameroonian-French added that he is ready 1,000 percent and expected it would be another great and intense fight with Murata.

So in two days, it’s coming, the 33-year-old said. I’m ready and can’t wait for the show, because last time, it was a great show and we want to put up an even (better fight) for the fans. We’ve trained for that.

Murata and N’Dam have built a friendship since their fight, but it’s of course only outside the ring. The Japanese said that he wasn’t sure how well he’d do in his first world title shot in May, but now he’s certain he can box, though he refrained from showing reporters the same level of confidence that N’Dam did.

I can get in the ring with confidence, the Nara native said. And punch him with confidence.

Arum wasn’t present for the first Murata-N’Dam bout but said he watched it on television. But the 85-year-old gave his honest perspective by saying that the decision was wrong, N’Dam vs Murata Live.

Arum added that he was happy the WBA ordered the direct rematch.

So whatever any of us scored about the decision in the first fight is now irrelevant, because, Arum said, and what’s good about boxing, it will be decided on Sunday in the ring, who is the better fighter.

Arum also mentioned the potential future for Murata, who is co-managed by Teiken Gym and Top Rank.

If, as we hoped, Murata wins the fight on Sunday, I will sit down with (Teiken chairman Akihiko) Honda-san and we will figure out where he will fight next, Arum said.

Arum said that he wants Murata to have some fights in the United States in 2018.

Arum added that if Murata wins this time, it would be logical to have him fight against Esquiva Falcao, who lost to Murata in the gold medal match at the London Games. The Brazilian boxer is 18-0 (12 KOs) as a pro.

Arum insisted that there are not many Japanese who can be competitive in the weight division around Murata’s because the people from the nation tend not to be so big, but Murata is really something.

(Murata) has the ability to shine in the middleweight division, Arum said. And I think probably by the end of next year, he’ll be recognized as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world.

I’m not saying he’ll be in the first because I have other fighters like (WBO super featherweight champ Vasyl) Lomachenko and (WBC, WBA and WBO super lightweight champion Terence) Crawford. But Murata will be right up there in the pound-for-pound ratings.

Shiro vs Guevara Live

Former light flyweight world champion Pedro Guevara is finally getting his well-earned shot at reigning WBC 108-pound belt holder Ken Shiro.
The mandatory title bout is scheduled to take place on the undercard of a loaded boxing event headlined by middleweight superstar Ryota Murata’s rematch against WBA regular titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam on October 22 in Tokyo, Japan, Shiro vs Guevara Live, Ken Shiro vs Pedro Guevara

Shiro vs Guevara Live Stream

Shiro vs Guevara
Guevara (30-2-1, 17 KOs) owned the Mexican-based sanctioning body belt between 2014 and 2015 until he was forced to leave it in Japan following a highly controversial split decision loss to now-retired Yu Kimura, Ken Shiro vs Pedro Guevara Live,

The 29-year-old Mexican pugilist has spent the last over one year as the mandatory challenger by the WBC while he was desperately trying to secure his shot to regain what he believes belongs to him.
I am very excited because it is an opportunity to become world champion again. And all this in a card where middleweight contender Ryota Murata’s title challenge going to take place too,” said a now anxious Guevara to BoxingScene,
The WBC title changed hands this past May and negotiations were ongoing shortly after the World Boxing Council made it clear the 25-year-old Shiro (10-0, 5 KOs) is forced to defend his green-and-gold belt first against his mandatory challenger. It was a long and difficult process for Guevara and his promoter, former multiple times boxing champ Erik Morales.
After attending the SuperFly card [on September 9 in Carson, California] I flew back to Mexico and talked with my promoter Erik Morales. We talked about the plans and the training and the details surrounding the bout. Now everything is finalized and is on the table for October 22.”
Guevara previously spent seven weeks in the Otomi Mountains to help prepare his friend Carlos Cuadras for the latter’s huge bout against fellow Mexican former champion Juan Francisco Estrada. Though plans to continue his training in Mexico City has been stuck by the terrible earthquake that took the life of hundreds in the capital, Pedro is going on with his preparations in his hometown of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, until he and his team leave for Tokyo.
Desperation is now over and Pedro is about to finish his camp with fully concentrating on the task at hand.
I feel so happy. Two years after I lost the WBC title I finally get this new opportunity. I have to prepare so hard for this bout, we know that in Japan it is not easy to win, so we must be intelligent to take this challenge and bring my WBC belt back to Mexico.

Lara vs Gausha Live

Lara vs Gausha Live, Perhaps the least interesting fight of the three junior middleweight title fights to take place tomorrow night on Showtime is Erislandy Lara’s WBA title defense against Terrell Gausha. While Lara is something of a known commodity, Gausha is not. That’s not to say Gausha is especially terrible or anything, but we really don’t know what he has to offer — especially at this level of competition. Erislandy Lara vs Terrell Gausha Live,

Lara vs Gausha Live Stream Boxing

Lara vs Gausha Live

Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) is most recently coming off of a knockout win over a faded Yuri Foreman in January, who wasn’t even all that great even when he was at his best. Foreman was far past his best in that fight which made for pretty easy work for Lara, so it was a pretty poor title defense to say the least, Erislandy Lara vs Terrell Gausha Live

Meanwhile Gausha (20-0, 9 KOs) is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Luis Hernandez in February. And there’s not much to say about that one, other than that it paved the way for this fight. Lara vs Gausha Live

Popular, undefeated Dominican heavyweight George Arias (8-0, 4 KOs), of The Bronx, NY, has been added to the undercard of the SHOWTIME Championship Boxing tripleheader, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, on Saturday, October 14, at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING. Newly signed to promoter DiBella Entertainment, Arias will face Mexican Mario Heredia (14-5, 12 KOs), a former WBC Fecombox titlist from San Diego, CA, in a scheduled eight-round contest.

I am very happy and grateful for this opportunity to sign with DiBella Entertainment and to be a part of this great event at Barclays Center on October 14, said Arias. I look forward to displaying my talent in front the local fans as I work toward my goal of becoming a world champion.

Hurd vs Trout Live

Hurd vs Trout, 154-pound world champion Jarrett Hurd wants to make a statement Saturday night; former champ Austin Trout wants his IBF belt back. Hurd vs Trout Live, Jarrett Hurd vs Austin Trout Live,

Hurd vs Trout Boxing

Hurd vs Trout Live

It’s raw talent against experience as Jarrett Hurd makes the first defense of his IBF 154-pound title Saturday night against former champion Austin Trout in a pivotal bout of a title tripleheader that airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Jarrett Hurd vs Austin Trout Live

Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) may not have the experience of his foe, but he’s got many of the physical advantages. At 6-foot-1 with a 76-inch reach, the Accokeek, Maryland native dwarfs the 5-foot-9 Trout in size. Hurd has also run off a half-dozen knockouts in a row against quality opposition, most recently against Tony Harrison to claim the vacant super welterweight belt.

Hurd scored a mesmerizing knockout of Harrison in February, but showed some holes in his game during the fight that a veteran like Trout could exploit. He wasn’t very busy in rounds, throwing a low volume of punches. His head movement is spectacular, but he doesn’t hold his hands up in defense, leaving himself open. Harrison had success when he opened up against Hurd. But Hurd’s power kept Harrison on the defensive.

Hurd is making a pretty big leap in class when he faces Trout. Hurd has wins over Harrison, Jo Jo Dan, and Oscar Molina, a solid list of opposition, but if Trout is anywhere near his peak, he’s vastly superior to that list of opponents. How will Hurd adjust if his strategy doesn’t pan out at the beginning of the fight?

That is the biggest mystery in this match.

This is a fight I actually chose, Hurd said. We knew what was on the line with this fight with Austin Trout. He’s no slouch and with his three losses, he had been in every fight so we knew this fight was going to be tough especially for a first defense but that describes me as a fighter including my mindset.

I am a true champion, I want to fight the best and I don’t want the fights that are not going to progress me and put me in line for the even bigger fights. I want to take the tough fights and I feel like if there’s the slightest chance that an opportunity presents itself why can’t I better myself? I’m willing to take that chance.

Charlo vs Lubin Live

Charlo vs Lubin, As Jermell Charlo gets ready to defend his WBC junior middleweight title against the young-but-highly-touted Erickson Lubin this weekend, FightHub comes through with some footage of Charlo during an open workout session. Jermell Charlo vs Erickson Lubin

Charlo vs Lubin Live

Charlo vs Lubin Live

 

Above you can catch Charlo shadowboxing and hitting the mitts, body shield, and heavy bag as he refines his craft for this mandatory title defense. Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) appears to be in great shape and is riding three consecutive knockout wins — most recently stopping Charles Hatley in six rounds in April. Charlo vs Lubin Live

His opponent, 22-year-old Erickson Lubin, has been a blue chip prospect for some years now but appears ready to vie for his spot at the top of the division. That said, Charlo is a huge step up in competition for Lubin, who is most recently coming off a stoppage win over Jorge Cota in March. Is it too soon for Lubin? We’ll find out for sure this weekend, but it’s definitely an interesting match-up on paper. Jermell Charlo vs Erickson Lubin

WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara and undefeated contender Terrell Gausha met with the New York media during a fight week open workout on Wednesday at Gleason’s Gym just days before they headline a Premier Boxing Champions event Saturday, Oct. 14 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®. Photos by Stephanie Trapp/Ed Diller.

UFC 216 Live

UFC 216, Ferguson vs Lee Live, LAS VEGAS – Tony Ferguson said he respects Kevin Lee for his willingness to compete against him in the UFC 216 headliner, but that’s where the courteous words stop.

UFC 216 Live

Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) meets Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 216 main event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass. The fight will decide the next interim UFC lightweight champion, a spot El Cucuy” has been pursuing for quite some time. Ferguson vs Lee Live, UFC 216 Live

The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner believes he’s made it to the top of the 155-pound class by doing things the right way. His current nine-fight winning streak is the longest in divisional history, and that run includes notables such as ex-champion Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza and Josh Thomson. Ferguson describes himself as the most real, from what he delivers in the octagon to his interview. He said he doesn’t view Lee in the same light. UFC 216 Live

I’m not fake, and I see this guy as fake, Ferguson told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 216 media day. He’s trying to be something that he’s not. I know where you come from. I lived in the suburbs (of Michigan), too. Trust me, I know. We have people around the block. I don’t have to be fake. I’m probably one of the most real guys.

If Ferguson, No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, is able to get past No. 8-ranked Lee at UFC 216 and push his winning streak to 10, he would likely put himself in position for a title-unification match with UFC champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC).

UFC 216

UFC 216, Ferguson vs Lee is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will be held on October 7, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

UFC 216 is approaching and the promotion has released their trademark countdown show to promote the pay-per-view that’s headlined by two title bouts. Topping the card is the interim title bout between Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson. Holding the co-main event slot will be top pound-for-pound fighter Demetrious Johnson looking to break the all-time record for title defenses as he faces Ray Borg.

UFC 216 Live Stream

UFC 216

A UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion Stipe Miocic and former champion Cain Velasquez was initially targeted to headline this event. After that pairing failed to materialize, the promotion announced plans for an interim UFC Lightweight Championship bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs Team dos Santos welterweight winner Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee to serve as the main event.

Main Card (PPV 10 PM EST)

Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee
Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg
Fabricio Werdum vs Derrick Lewis
Beneil Dariush vs Evan Dunham

Preliminary Card (FX 8 PM EST)

Tom Duquesnoy vs Cody Stamann
Will Brooks vs Nik Lentz
Lando Vannata vs Bobby Green
Poliana Botelho vs Pearl Gonzalez

Preliminary Card (FIGHT PASS 6 PM EST)

Walt Harris vs Mark Godbeer
Magomed Bibulatov vs John Moraga
Thales Leites vs Brad Tavares
Marco Beltran vs Matt Schnell