WGC-HSBC Champions 2016: Dave Tindall rates the top 10 for current, course and long-term form

Martin Kaymer loves playing Sheshan International
Martin Kaymer loves playing Sheshan International

Dave Tindall arms you with the stats that matter for a punt on the Top 5 and Top 10 Finish markets in this week's WGC event in China...


"Kaymer's 62 (R2 2013) is the course record. His closing 63 powered him to victory in 2011. With three top six finishes and a T20 in his last four worldwide starts, everything points to another strong showing."

Back Martin Kaymer for Top 5 @ 8.415/2

Rory McIlroy

"I've won in Hong Kong before. I've won in Shanghai but it wasn't an officially sanctioned event at the time (the Shanghai Masters in 2011). I'd love to win in China again and I've played well enough on this golf course to win but just haven't really done enough when it mattered. Hopefully this year will be the year to change that," said McIlroy on Wednesday. His only finish outside the top six came last year but even then it was T11 and that after being hit by food poisoning which stopped him from practising. He also has the added incentive of trying to add the Race to Dubai to his FedEx Cup crown. "There's a lot of ground to make up but that's nothing a couple of wins wouldn't fix." He's more than capable of getting them.

Last four events: 1-42-1-31
Sheshan record: 11-6-4-5-4
China record: 11-6-27-MC-2-1-4-6-5
Last 50 starts - Win: 20%, Top 5: 48%, Top 10: 62%


Dustin Johnson

DJ makes his first start since being crowned the 2016 PGA Tour Player of the Year and should be full of confidence having posted a win on his debut at Sheshan and a top five when defending last year. He doesn't put it down to just thrashing it miles though. "I think this golf course doesn't necessarily cater to the longer hitter," he said last year. "I think you've got to drive it straight. So when I won here, it was one of the best driving weeks that I've ever had. So I got to play from the fairway a lot. But if I'm driving it straight, yeah, it's obviously an advantage because I'm hitting shorter irons in. I really like this golf course. I feel comfortable out here."

Last four events: 6-1-8-18
Sheshan record: 5-1
China record: 5-MC-1-39
Last 50 starts - Win: 8%, Top 5: 34%, Top 10: 54%


Henrik Stenson

The Open champion hasn't got the best record at Sheshan and five starts since it was given WGC status in 2009 have failed to yield a top 10. Not that he's too far away. Last year he posted T11, his T24 in 2014 included an 81 (followed by a 65) and in 2010 he was T13. Dig further back and he has a fifth and a ninth and says, "It's a course I enjoy playing". Stenson is capable of great highs as he showed at Royal Troon and although he hasn't played much over the last couple of months, before that he'd posted two wins, a second, a fourth and a seventh in his previous nine worldwide starts.

Last four events: 41-WD-2-7
Sheshan record: 11-24-31-13-40-5-9-18-32
China record: 3-11-24-5-31-34-26-13
Last 50 starts - Win: 6%, Top 5: 38%, Top 10: 46%


Hideki Matsuyama

"I really didn't hit the ball like I would like to have, but I'm happy with the finish," said Matsuyama after finishing runner-up in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Sunday. "I played a lot better last week." That was a reference to his win at the Japan Open where he thrilled the locals by coming through to take victory with a 65-69 weekend finish. Prior to that he was fifth in the Tour Championship so he's in a rich vein of form. The obvious negative is his record in this tournament although two withdrawals in his three starts suggests we can cut him a bit of slack as he wasn't quite right. It must surely be a matter of time before his impressive ball-striking counts for something big at Sheshan.

Last four events: 2-1-5-24
Sheshan record: WD-41-WD
China record: WD-41-WD
Last 50 starts - Win: 6%, Top 5: 28%, Top 10: 40%


Paul Casey

"You've got to take advantage of the long drives. And I've had some good form around here, maybe that's part of it, being able to open up the shoulders and give it a rip. But it is a tight golf course. You have to drive it pretty accurately, as well. Plenty of water and plenty of trouble that you can get into if you're not careful. Certainly a long tee shot will give you a big advantage over everybody else." Casey has five top 10s in his nine starts at Sheshan while he's one of the form horses in the field after four top fours in his last five starts. He did cool off a little in Malaysia last week but overall he's been excellent for the last couple of months.

Last four events: 21-3-4-2
Sheshan record: 23-20-4-6-WD-11-9-6-7
China record: 7-23-20-8-8-19-6-MC-4
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 22%, Top 10: 36%


Adam Scott

A course that rewards long, straight hitting should be perfect for Scott but he's not cracked the top 10 in four visits since this event became a WGC tournament in 2009. He was very poor last year although in 2011 he looked destined for a big week before a closing 73 left him T11. Scott acclimatised with a T10 in last week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia where he said: "Coming to Asia, it feels like I'm always getting closer and closer to home after a long year. I've enjoyed lots of success playing in Asia over the years." As for the state of his game, he noted: "I felt my swing really falling into a nice spot. If I can get a few putts to drop...." That old chestnut. The putter remains an issue and that could hamper his chances again here.

Last four events: 10-MC-8-4
Sheshan record: 70-12-11-25-6
China record: 70-12-8-11-25-6
Last 50 starts - Win: 4%, Top 5: 28%, Top 10: 44%


Justin Thomas

Just like last year, Thomas arrives in China on the back of a superb win in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Twelve month ago he cooled down and posted T27 although it was his course debut. Fresh from defending his CIMB crown last week, Thomas looked ahead to his return to China: "I'm very excited to go. I feel like I'm playing well. I'm in pretty good form right now. I just was six, seven holes away really from winning the Safeway Open, as well. I feel like I just need to continue to build on this momentum and try to use this as kind of a springboard to the start of the year and to try to move up in the World Rankings and get in that top 10, get in that top five."

Last four events: 1-8-6-32
Sheshan record: 27
China record: 27
Last 50 starts - Win: 4%, Top 5: 16%, Top 10: 26%


Sergio Garcia

"I think it's the kind of golf course that if you play solid, you can give yourself a lot of chances. I think the par 5s are pretty much all reachable, maybe 8 from the back tees becomes a little bit tough and sometimes 18 if it plays into the wind. But other than that, you have a couple of drivable par 4s or you can get it really, really close to the green, which are also birdie chances if you play them well," said Garcia a couple of years ago. "As a past champion, it's always nice to go back to a course where you've done well." The Spaniard won here in 2008 (the year before it became a WGC event) and since then has added a top four in 2011 (R4 63) and T11 last year. He warmed up with a low-key T17 in the CIMB Classic where his putting stats were modest.

Last four events: 17-47-24-8
Sheshan record: 11-28-4-23-1-46
China record: 11-11-28-4-22-23-1-46-10
Last 50 starts - Win: 4%, Top 5: 24%, Top 10: 36%


Patrick Reed

"If you put four rounds under par here, and you maybe get hot for two or three rounds, then you have a good week and you should have a chance to win on Sunday," said Reed last year. He did the first part of the plan with four rounds of 70 or better but only got hot in one, an opening 65. Still, T7 was a jump from his T22 on debut and if he can find some of his Ryder Cup form and intensity the American could be a big player here. Last week's T51 in Malaysia looks shabby but a closing 77 (on the back of a Saturday 66) made it appear worse than it was.

Last four events: 51-24-13-5
Sheshan record: 30-6-8-1-30-6-20
China record: 41-30-6-8-13-9-11-1
Last 50 starts - Win: 2%, Top 5: 14%, Top 10: 32%


Martin Kaymer

"I've always done very well here. I really enjoy the golf course. It suits my eye a lot. I have scored fairly low here in the past. I shot 9 under (63) and 10 under (62) so I know that I can play very low rounds. It's important to know that you can shoot very low and I have very positive memories of that golf course. So that's why I look really, really forward to play the event. It's my most favourite golf course in Asia." Kaymer's 62 (R2 2013) is the course record. His closing 63 powered him to victory in 2011. With three top six finishes and a T20 in his last four worldwide starts, everything points to another strong showing.

Last four events: 6-6-20-6
Sheshan record: 30-6-8-1-30-6-20
China record: 41-30-6-8-13-9-11-1-30-6
Last 50 starts - Win: 0%, Top 5: 14%, Top 10: 30%


Conclusion

Martin Kaymer has three top six finishes in his last four worldwide starts but on his "favourite course in Asia" the German can do even better.

He's over 7/1 for a top five which has to be snapped up while the over 3/1 for a top 10 is big enough to have that as cover.

Having seen him shoot 62 and 63 on this course, Kaymer backers have every reason to expect the German to excel again and hopefully he can land both bets.

Elsewhere, I'm tempted to support Rory but 2.466/4 for a top five looks cramped.


Recommended Bets

Back Martin Kaymer for Top 5 @ 8.415/2
Back Martin Kaymer for Top 10 @ 4.1


Dave's 2016 P/L (based on £10 per selection)

Staked: £240
P/L: -£0.42

(After US PGA Championship)

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