Big guns are back for HSBC Champions

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 07: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the WGC - HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club on November 7, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
  • Post published:October 25, 2016

The Power Rankings for this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions have been released and topping the list of favourites are Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.

The PGA Tour season began at the Safeway Open a fortnight ago, then picked up steam at the CIMB Classic last week, where young gun Justin Thomas successfully defended his title.

This week it’s a different kettle of fish with the best in the world all barging past each other at Sheshan International Golf Club in China.

McIlroy has rested since the Ryder Cup and returns to China with all the odds in his favour. The Ulsterman has finished no worse than tied-11th in five starts at Sheshan, where he has a scoring average of 68.70.

Dustin Johnson, fresh off a so-so Ryder Cup and a Tour Championship that he threw away, needs to find the magic that won him the PGA Tour Player of the Year award. He won the HSBC Champions three years ago and will look for a repeat this week.

Paul Casey will look to continue his hot streak, while Patrick Reed begins his passion back to the course. Also in the field is Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who shared 10th place at the CIMB Classic last week. The Spaniard was third for greens in regulation and will be firing at the pins in China.

Louis Oosthuizen ranks 16th on the list, with three top 15s in five visits to Sheshan. ‘King Louis’ is freakishly good every time he returns from a break, and his recent fortnight off make him the dark horse.

Brandon Grace rounds off the list of favourites in 20th place, having shot 63 in the first round last year. He shared fifth place in the end, marking the start of an incredible 2015-16 season.