PGA European - HSBC Champions Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, November 6th through Sunday, November 9th
SITE: Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China
COURSE ARCHITECT: Neil Haworth (2004)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,143
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 459 Yds10 - Par 4 401 Yds
2 - Par 5 550 Yds11 - Par 4 435 Yds
3 - Par 4 362 Yds12 - Par 3 217 Yds
4 - Par 3 200 Yds13 - Par 4 410 Yds
5 - Par 4 441 Yds14 - Par 5 563 Yds
6 - Par 3 209 Yds15 - Par 4 464 Yds
7 - Par 4 346 Yds16 - Par 4 288 Yds
8 - Par 5 603 Yds17 - Par 3 191 Yds
9 - Par 4 466 Yds18 - Par 5 538 Yds
36 3,636 Yds36 3,507 Yds
Annual:  4th
Television:  Golf Channel - Wednesday -- 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (et),
  Friday/Sunday -- 1-5 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Phil Mickelson
Runner-Up:  Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher
Tournament Record:  268 (David Howell, 2006)
54-Hole Record:  200 (David Howell, 2006)
36-Hole Record:  132 (David Howell, Nick Dougherty, 2006)
Course Record:  64 (Nick Dougherty, Paul Lawrie, Peter O'Malley, 2006;
  Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Michael Campbell, 2007;
  Niclas Fasth, Kevin Stadler, 2008)
Total Purse:  $5,000,000
Payouts:  1st Place - $833,300; 2nd Place - $555,550; 3rd Place - $313,000
2008 Finish
Phil Mickelson *278Padraig Harrington280
Lee Westwood278Steve Webster281
Ross Fisher278Andrew McLardy282
Kevin Stadler279Paul Casey283
Vijay Singh280Henrik Stenson283

* - Won in Playoff

Past HSBC Champions Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Phil Mickelson (278) -- Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher
2007Yong-Eun Yang (274) -- Tiger Woods
2006David Howell (268) -- Tiger Woods

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Phil Mickelson------Won
Ross Fisher------T-2
Padraig HarringtonT-15T-6T-5
Paul Casey7thT-6T-9
Henrik StensonT-32T-18T-9
Soren Kjeldsen------T-15
Richard SterneT-25---T-24
Ian PoulterT-19T-31T-38
Sergio Garcia------T-46
K.J. ChoiT-12T-9T-50
Trevor Immelman------mc
Robert Karlsson---T-6---
Camilo Villegas---T-23---
David HowellWonT-47---
Martin Kaymer---------
Anthony Kim---------
Geoff Ogilvy---------
Adam Scott---------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Anthony Kim
Darkhorse - Peter Hanson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sergio Garcia) - Finished tied for 4th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Simon Dyson) - Finished tied for 34th
The 2009 European Tour International Schedule begins this week with the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Many of the best players in the world are on hand this week, led by world No. 2 and defending champion Phil Mickelson. Joining Mickelson in the stellar field are world No. 3 Sergio Garcia, British Open and PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington, 2008 European Tour Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson, world No. 7 Camilo Villegas and world No. 8 Anthony Kim. The Chinese contingent is led by Liang Wen-chong, who won the Hero Honda Indian Open on the Asian Tour.

Last year, Mickelson did something he hadn't done in 14 years: He won on foreign soil. It was harder than it figured to be. Playing for the first time in China, Mickelson survived an epic collapse during the final round of the European Tour's HSBC Champions tournament to eventually win a three-way playoff against Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood. Mickelson let a five-shot lead slip away in a span of six holes, then fell two strokes behind Fisher with three to play. He still trailed Fisher by one heading to the 18th hole, where he made a bogey while Fisher stumbled to a disastrous double-bogey to force the playoff. Leading by two shots overnight, Mickelson shot a four-over 76 in the final round at Sheshan International Golf Club. Unable to capitalize fully on that, Fisher had a two-over 74. Lee Westwood backed into the playoff after closing with a spectacular five-under 67 that included six birdies on his last nine holes. He was in the clubhouse three groups before Mickelson and Fisher botched the 18th. The trio ended regulation knotted at 10-under 278, then played the par-five 18th hole twice in the playoff.

Each player was left with about 100 yards for their approach shots and made par at the first extra hole. Each missed birdies putts on the edge of the cup - Mickelson from 25 feet, Westwood from 20 feet and Fisher from just 12 feet. Fisher's putt was agonizingly close. Westwood made a mess of the second playoff hole, knocking consecutive shots into the water surrounding the 18th green before he conceded defeat. Fisher was in the bunker with his second shot, then 15 feet from the hole for a birdie try. He missed it. Like the others, Mickelson went for the green in two, knocking his second shot just over the surface and into the rough. Lefty flopped his third within five feet and made that birdie putt to end things with the sun dropping rapidly in the Shanghai sky. It was his first victory outside the United States since he won the 1993 Perrier Open, a European Challenge Tour event.

In 2007, Yong-Eun Yang trumped some of the biggest names in golf, including world No. 1 Tiger Woods and former U.S. Open champions Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell to win the HSBC Champions Tournament at Sheshan International Golf Club. Yang carded a three-under 69 to win the event at 14-under-par 274, two shots better than Woods, who posted a five-under 67 and finished second here for the second year in a row.

Yang became the third player from Korea to win on the European Tour, joining K.J. Choi and Charlie Wi. Choi won the 2003 German Masters and Wi captured the 2006 Maybank Malaysian Open.

In 2006, David Howell shot four rounds in the 60s, closing with a four-under 68 in the final round to cruise to a three-stroke win over Woods at the inaugural HSBC Champions tournament at Sheshan International Golf Club. Howell finished the event at 20-under-par 268.

The HSBC Champions tournament brings together title winners from the four sanctioning tours - The European Tour, the Asian Tour, the PGA of Australasia and the Sunshine Tour - in addition to players from the top 50 in the world rankings and invitations from the China Golf Federation.

The European Tour International Schedule travels to Hong Kong in two weeks for the UBS Hong Kong Open, where Miguel Angel Jimenez captured last season's event.

11/04 13:49:16 ET

As of November 4, 2008, at 01:49 PM ET

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