PGA Tour
PGA European - WGC - HSBC Champions Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, November 4th through Sunday, November 7th
SITE: Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robin Nelson & Neil Haworth (2004)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,199
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 4 430 Yds
5 - Par 4 463 Yds14 - Par 5 563 Yds
6 - Par 3 200 Yds15 - Par 4 487 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 3,649 Yds36 3,550 Yds
Annual:  6th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 12-4 a.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 8 a.m.-12 p.m. (et) - replay,
  - Friday/Saturday -- 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (et),
  - Friday/Saturday -- 7 a.m.-12 p.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  Phil Mickelson
Runner-Up:  Ernie Els
Tournament Record:  268 (David Howell, 2005)
54-Hole Record:  200 (David Howell, 2005)
36-Hole Record:  132 (David Howell, Nick Dougherty, 2005)
Course Record:  63 (Daisuke Maruyama, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, 2009)
Total Purse:  $7,000,000
Payouts:  1st Place - $1,200,000; 2nd Place - $675,000; 3rd Place - $430,000
2009 Finish
Phil Mickelson271Martin Kaymer276
Ernie Els272Tiger Woods276
Ryan Moore273Alvaro Quiros277
Rory McIlroy274Lee Westwood277
Nick Watney275Seven players at278
Past WGC - HSBC Champions Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Phil Mickelson (271) -- Ernie Els
2008*Sergio Garcia (274) -- Oliver Wilson
2007*Phil Mickelson (278) -- Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher
2006Yong-Eun Yang (274) -- Tiger Woods
2005David Howell (268) -- Tiger Woods

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Phil Mickelson------WonT-8Won
Ernie Els------T-21---2nd
Rory McIlroy------------4th
Nick Watney------------5th
Martin Kaymer---------T-20T-6
Tiger Woods2nd2nd------T-6
Alvaro Quiros------mc10thT-8
Lee WestwoodT-12---T-2---T-8
Anthony Kim---------dqT-10
Retief Goosen---T-3T-18---T-10
Francesco Molinari---T-9------T-10
Ryo Ishikawa------------T-17
Robert Allenby------------T-23
Padraig HarringtonT-15T-6T-5T-11T-25
Camilo Villegas---T-23---T-20T-25
Ross Fisher------T-2T-43T-28
Peter HansonT-19---T-33T-3T-31
Y.E. Yang---Wondq---T-33
Henrik StensonT-32T-18T-95thT-40
Ian PoulterT-19T-31T-38T-14T-45
Paul Casey7thT-6T-9T-11wd
Louis Oosthuizen---T-6211thT-16---
Graeme McDowell39th------T-16---
Luke Donald---T-14---------
Miguel A. JimenezT-54------------
Tim Clark---------------
Ben Crane---------------
Rickie Fowler---------------
Hunter Mahan---------------
Edoardo Molinari---------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Luke Donald
Darkhorse - Robert Allenby
Last Week's Pick to Win - PGA Tour (K.J. Choi) - Finished tied for 18th
Last Week's Darkhorse - PGA Tour (Martin Laird) - Finished tied for 3rd
Last Week's Pick to Win - European (Martin Kaymer) - Finished tied for 21st
Last Week's Darkhorse - European (Joost Luiten) - Finished tied for 5th
The PGA Tour and European Tour travel to Asia this week for the World Golf Championships - 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 new world No. 1 Lee Westwood, who overtook Tiger Woods this week as the top player in the world. Woods had been No. 1 for 281 consecutive weeks, dating back to June of 2005. The top four players in the world - Westwood, Woods, Martin Kaymer and defending champion Phil Mickelson - are in the field this week. Each player has a chance to be No. 1 in the world at the end of the tournament.

This is the sixth staging of this tournament, but second as part of the PGA Tour. It is also the second year that this event is part of the World Golf Championships. The other WGC events are the Accenture Match Play Championship, CA Championship and Bridgestone Invitational.

Last year, Phil Mickelson fired four rounds in the 60s to hold off Ernie Els and win this event. Mickelson, who also won this title in 2007, completed the event at 17-under-par 271. It was Mickelson's second WGC victory of 2009, as he also captured the CA Championship. Els took the lead with a birdie on the 17th in the final round, but found water with his second at the last. That led to a closing bogey, which left Els at 16-under-par 272 after a course-record- tying nine-under 63.

In 2008, Sergio Garcia birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Oliver Wilson. Garcia fired a final-round 68 to come from two shots back to tie Wilson at 14-under-par 274. Both players parred the first playoff hole before Garcia won his eighth European Tour title with a birdie on the second extra hole.

Mickelson did something he hadn't done in 14 years back in 2007: 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 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 over 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. It was Mickelson's first victory outside of the United States since he won the 1993 Perrier Open, a European Challenge Tour event.

In 2006, Y.E. Yang trumped some of the biggest names in golf, including Woods and former U.S. Open champions Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell to win. Yang carded a three-under 69 in the final round to win 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.

David Howell shot four rounds in the 60s, closing with a four-under 68 in the final round of '05, to cruise to a three-stroke win over Woods at the inaugural tournament. Howell finished the event at 20-under-par 268.

Players qualifying for this lucrative event are: winners of the 2010 Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship; winners of the 2010 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, WGC-CA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational; tournament winners of worldwide events (PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Australasian Tour) in 2010 with an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of 40 points or more; the top-five players not otherwise exempt from the final 2010 PGA Tour FedExCup Points List and the 2010 European Tour Race to Dubai as of October 25; four Chinese players; players not otherwise exempt from the Top 25 of the Official World Golf Ranking as of September 27; if necessary to fill the field to 78 players, additional tournament winners from selected events and players from the Official World Golf Ranking outside the Top 25 as of September 27.

Woods has dominated the World Golf Championships. In his 32 career starts, Woods has 16 wins and 29 top-10 finishes. In fact, Woods has earned $21,980,925 in his 32 WGC appearances.

Sheshan International is hosting the HSBE Champions event for the sixth consecutive season and second straight as part of the World Golf Championship series. Designed by the team of Robin Nelson and Neil Haworth, Sheshan International was named Best Championship Course in China and features over 10,000 trees.

The PGA Tour heads to Nevada on November 9 for the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge, where the LPGA Tour will defend its title. The final full-field event will be next week (Nov. 11-14) at the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Florida, where Stephen Ames won last year. The European Tour travels to Singapore next week for the Barclays Singapore Open, where Ian Poulter captured the 2009 title.

11/02 15:10:30 ET

As of November 2, 2010, at 03:10 PM ET