WGC HSBC Champions. Hideki Matsuyama Wins

 

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Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, wins the WGC HSBC Champions at  Sheshan International Golf Club in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Hideki Matsuyama / getty

Round four of the WGC HSBC Champions was just a stroll in the park for Hideki. A final round of -6 under 66 giving him a -23 under par winning total, and a massive seven shot winning margin over the field.

Hideki  is also the first Japanese player to win an individual World Golf Championships event, he is now seeking a Major title. The difference today was putting;

“Winning today, I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the Major tournaments.”

“My next goal is, of course, to win a Major and I’m going to do all that I can to prepare well for that.”

“I was really nervous at the start of the day but I was able to birdie hole number one. I kind of got myself into the rhythm of the day and after that, it was smooth sailing.”

“I really don’t know why I played well this week. The last three years, I’ve had to withdraw twice and I didn’t play very well the other year.”

“But I got off to a good start. I really didn’t make any changes to my golf swing or anything.”

“But I have putted really well these last three weeks, and that’s probably the difference.”

“I did play well today. I hit the ball a lot better. But putting was the difference this week.”

Tied in a distant second place were Henrik Stenson, -7 under 65 today, and Daniel Berger, -3 under 69. Both players with -16 under par totals.

Sharing fourth spot at -15 under par were, World number three Rory McIlroy, -6 under 66 today, and Bill Haas, -3 under 69.

WGC HSBC Champions. Hideki Holds On To Top Spot.

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Hideki Matsuyama, from Japan holds on to the top spot at the WGC HSBC Champions after round three at  Sheshan International Golf Club in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Hideki Matsuyama / getty

Hideki had a -4 under par 68 third round at the WGC HSBC Champions, giving him a 54 hole total of -17 under par, and a three shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow;

“The first two days, making lots of birdies, it’s a lot of fun.”

“But today, when you’re in a position to win, playing smart and making no bogeys was very satisfying to me today.”

“Everyone is so good. I know I’m going to have to make some birdies. But I think the key for tomorrow’s round will be not making any bogeys.”

Nearest challenger is defending champion Russell Knox, on -14 under par for the tournament, he also carded -4 under 68 today;

“I’m not going to give up my title without a big fight tomorrow.”

“I look forward to every minute tomorrow and see what happens.

Daniel Berger is in third place at -13 under, following his third round -5 under par 67.

It looks like Hideki should cruise to the title, considering the form he is in, a three shot lead is a massive advantage,

World number three Rory McIlroy is back at -9 under par, a -2 under 70 today not good enough to keep in touch with Hideki. Rory is now eight shots off the pace, but in the top ten. I expect him to improve on that position tomorrow.

WGC HSBC Champions. Hideki Matsuyama With 36 Hole Lead.

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Hideki Matsuyama, from Japan, has the 36 hole lead at the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Hideki Matsuyama / getty

Hideki shot a wonderful  second round of -7 under par 65 to hold the 36 hole lead in the WGC HSBC Champions, giving him a tournament total -13 under par, and will take a three shot advantage into the week-end.

Hideki has not played well here in previous years, but putted well today;

“I haven’t really played well here before.”

“So before coming here, I was a little bit nervous again thinking, maybe it’s not going to be a good week for me.”

“But then I decided, oh, wait a minute, let’s just have fun this week. It’s made a difference.”

“I have been playing well but really, today, I hit some good second shots and made some putts and that’s what made the round score well for me.”

Defending Champion Russell Knox, -4 under 68 today and Bill Haas, -5 under 67, share second place at -10 under par.

Russell told reporters about the low temperature, and how he was used to it, coming from Scotland;

“I’m thrilled, conditions were extremely difficult and I played well.”

I had a couple of chances there at the end which I would have loved to have made but it was hard out there.”

“I was a little cold but I’m built for this. As much as I would say I don’t enjoy playing in this, I’m good at it.”

“So I hope it’s like this on the weekend. You have to try and find your edge.”

“So if you have a good attitude when the weather gets bad like that, you can maybe pick up half a shot mentally.”

Tied in fourth position, at -8 under are, Francesco Molinari, -3 under 69 second round, Richard Bland, -4 under 68 and Daniel Berger, -2 under 70 today.

Making up ground today was Rory McIlroy, -6 under 66, he shares seventh place with Paul Casey, -2 under 70, Ross Fisher, -4 under 68 and best placed Chinese player Xinjun Zhang, -3 under 69.

Rory made seven birdies against one bogey today, with his putter working well.

 

WGC HSBC Champions.Rikard Karlberg Leads.

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Rikard Karlberg leads the WGC HSBC Champions after the first round  at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Karlberg takes lead in China

Rikard Karlberg / getty

Rikard, competing in his first WGC HSBC Champions event shot an opening round -8 under 64, to top the leaderboard;

“It was great, I know the kind of weather this has been, it’s going to be wet and you just need to be aggressive, bomb to the tee and bomb to the pin, and that’s what I did today.”

“I had great distance control. I hit great shots all day except the last hole and it was a great day.”

“It felt amazing on every part of the game. Everything was so easy.”

“It was just one of those days, it was a walk in the park. I committed to a lot of shots, hit them perfect, just as I wanted and I stayed aggressive on my putting all the way around, which I feel was good.”

Sitting in second place, just one shot behind is Rickie Fowler, with a bogey free -7 under 65.

Defending Champion Russell Knox, Daniel Berger and Hideki Matsuyama all share third place at -6 under par following their opening rounds of 66.

World number three Rory McIlroy had a -1  under par 71, not such a good start.

WGC. HSBC Champions. Bubba Blasts His Way to a Win.

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Bubba Watson blasted out of a bunker to hole an Eagle on the last hole and get into a play-off against Tim Clark, on his way to winning the WGC, HSBC Champions event in China.

WGC, HSBC Champions

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

In a cracking final round at the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament, at Sheshan International Golf Course, the lead changed constantly, and it seemed that there could be as many as six players heading for the play-off. In the end only two were left, Bubba Watson and Tim Clark. Tim could not repeat his last round birdie at the first play-off, and Bubba rolled in a long putt to win the title with his birdie.

Bubba spoke to his caddy while standing in the bunker on the last hole;

“It’s been a miserable couple holes here, but this will change everything if it goes in.”

“You always joke about holing it, and then it actually went in. I didn’t know how to react and so I just kind of screamed, and I lost my voice a little bit. It was one of those shots, a one-in-a-lifetime kind of shot. And so it was pretty neat.”

Being able to win outside the U.S., I just want to be able to travel and get through the jet lag, get through all the things and still perform at a high level.”

“So for me to win out here, this is very big. This is very special for me.”

Tim knew that the length off the tee for Bubba could cause him problems;

I knew I needed to birdie that playoff, especially with him being able to reach. I’m pleased overall, obviously, disappointed to be that close.”

For the record both Bubba and Tim finished the tournament on -11 under par, with Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell and Hiroshi Iwata just one shot back at -10 under par.

Ian Poulter, Thorbjorn Olesen and Martin Kaymer were a further two shots back on -8 under par for the tournament.

WGC HSBC Champions. G-Mac Gets In Front

White Dragon GolfWGC-HSBC Champions

G-Mac, Graeme McDowell, gets in front of the World Golf Championship, HSBC Champions tournament in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images

Graeme opened the WGC HSBC Champions tournament with a -5 under par 67 at Sheshan International Golf Club in China, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead.

Graeme, playing the course backwards, dropped a couple of shots late in the day but was happy with his effort on this tricky day;

“A big key to this golf course is driving the ball well. I drove it very well today, and the greens are in fantastic shape, and I actually putted very well. Dropped a couple coming in, but all in all, very pleased with five under par on what I thought was a reasonably tricky day.”

“I didn’t need a leaderboard to let me know that 7 under through 12 is fairly strong. There were some tricky holes on the front nine. I made a couple of putts I should have in the first 12 holes, and then I made a couple of bogeys that I shouldn’t have coming in.”

“All in all, I think five under was a fair representation of my round.”

Rickie FowlerMartin Kaymer, Brandt Snedeker, Tim Clark, Chris Kirk and Tommy Fleetwood are all tied in second place, after shooting rounds of -3 under par 69.

Rickie paid testament to the tough test this course is providing;

“This is a top event, some of the best players in the world, probably the best field you’re going to get in Asia, and you don’t want it to be a pushover.”

 “You want a good, solid test. And it’s showing that.”

Brandt Snedeker was not put off by jet-lag,  his original plan was to play Japan, Malaysia and China. But he had to withdraw  from the Bridgestone Open when he felt something wrong with his stomach. He flew home to Tennessee during the week of Malaysia to get it checked out, then flew back to Asia to start this tournament.

There is another large group at -2 under par, 70, that featured Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson, on a day when only 27 players in the 78-man field broke par, with FedExCup champion Billy Horschel carding a +8 over par 80;

 

European Tour Money Title for Rory ?

Rory McIlroy /thesidelinesagenda.com

Rory McIlroy can wrap up the European money title this week if he puts in a good performance at the Singapore Open. All his closest rivals will not be competing, and he already leads the race going into the tournament. Rory has already claimed the U.S. PGA Tour money list, and would love to repeat Luke Donald’s 2011 win on both sides of the Atlantic. Rory said he would like to have a strong finish to the season;

“I’m in the lead at the moment and it would be nice to increase that,” McIlroy said Wednesday, a day before the tournament. “There’s still a lot to play for in the next three weeks and I want to finish off the season as strong as possible.”

His nearest rivals, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, who won last week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and Branden Grace, have strangely decided not to compete this week. The field is still going to be a strong one, with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomery, John Daly and Miguel Angel Jimenez all teeing it up for the tournament at the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.

The winners prize cheque this week is $1 million, and Rory will also be playing next week at  the Hong Kong Open, while most of his rivals again will not be competing. Rory did not play at the WGC event last week, because he watched his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, play in a tennis tournament. A poor decision which bought him world-wide criticism, and especially by the golf tournament sponsor. Rory has admitted that the criticism against him was fairly laid.

“I think the criticism is fair. Shenzhen is a World Golf Championship event, one of the big ones. It was a tough one to miss. But I can’t play every week.”

He then went on to say;

”  If I had I would have played five in a row finishing the season and after playing Turkey and Ryder Cup and all the FedEx Cup stuff, it’s just too much. You have to say no and you have to be selfish sometimes and look after yourself, ; it doesn’t make you a bad person. You have got to put yourself first and foremost, and try to fit in the things you want to do. I’m in the fortunate position where I can dictate where I want to play, what I want to do, where I want to go.”

Seems that is what all the youngsters say these days; I do want I want, when I want to do it.