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Another week, another 78-player event in Asia. This time, though, its a World Golf Championships event, the WGC-HSBC Champions, and the best field of the fall has gathered in Shanghai.
Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama headlines a field that also includes Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
The 7,261-yard, par-72 Sheshan International Golf Club has hosted this event every year since its inception in 2009, so course history is important here. WGC events also demand an all-around performance, so pay attention to strokes gained numbers from tee to green, around the green and putting.
Here is a look at the top-25 fantasy golf options for the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions:
1. Dustin Johnson: Has finished T-35 or worse in two of his four starts here. The other two: a T-5 in 2015 and victory in 2013. Hasn’t teed it up since Presidents Cup. Ended last season with seven top-20s in last eight starts, including a win at The Northern Trust.
2. Hideki Matsuyama: Two WDs and a T-41 in three tries before his seven-shot victory here last year. Got back on track with a T-5 two weeks ago at the CIMB Classic.
3. Marc Leishman: After his runner-up at the CJ Cup, Leishman has now finished third or better in three of his last four Tour starts. T-18 or better in three trips to Sheshan.
4. Jon Rahm: First appearance in this event and missed the cut last week in Spain for the first time since the U.S. Open. Still has five top-15s in last six worldwide starts and has plenty of game to win one of these WGCs.
5. Jason Day: T-11 in South Korea was his eighth straight finish of T-27 or better. Has never played this event, though.
6. Justin Rose: Two top 10s in four starts here, but hasn’t played this event the past two seasons. Closed last season with four straight top-10s, but this will be his first start of the new season.
7. Tyrrell Hatton: Enters this week coming off victories in two consecutive starts. Also on a run of four straight top-10s. Ride him while he’s hot. T-23 here last year.
8. Paul Casey: Sounding like a broken record here. The consistent Casey was T-19 in South Korea, his 15th top-26 finish in his last 16 worldwide starts. Owns finishes of T-6 and T-4 here among his five top-25s at this event.
9. Brooks Koepka: Worse than T-18 just once since U.S. Open victory. Making his season debut at Sheshan, where he was T-40 in his debut a year ago.
10. Matthew Fitzpatrick: Since winning European Masters, he’s been in the top 15 in three straight events. T-7 and T-16 in first two starts in this event.
11. Phil Mickelson: Owns T-6 and T-3 finishes in his last three Tour starts. Won the first WGC event here in 2009 and was T-2 in 2012, but hasn’t played this event since 2013, when he placed 14th. Ranks 27th on Tour in SGP.
12. Ross Fisher: Runner-up in last two European Tour starts and was T-6 here last year.
13. Henrik Stenson: His T-51 at the BMW Championship snapped his streak of seven straight finishes of T-26 or better. T-13 or better three times here, including a runner-up finish last year.
14. Francesco Molinari: T-12 and T-6 in last two worldwide starts. Won here in 2010 and his T-6 last year is one of two other top-10s he has at this event.
15. Rafa Cabrera Bello: T-19 last year in Shanghai and has cracked top 18 in three of lats four worldwide starts.
16. Adam Scott: Returned from a seven-week absence (not including Presidents Cup) to finish 25th at the CJ Cup. Owns four top-25s in five trips to Sheshan.
17. Matt Kuchar: T-19 in 2009 and then didn’t play this event until last year when he was T-21. Finished T-31 on the Japan Tour in last start, but before that had four top-10s in five starts.
18. Tony Finau: T-26 in South Korea snapped a streak of three consecutive top-7 finishes. This is his first WGC start. Ranks third on Tour in strokes gained: tee to green and 24th in strokes gained: putting.
19. Patrick Reed: T-11 finish at CJ Cup was his fifth top-20 in last six worldwide starts. T-60 here last year but T-7 and T-22 in first two trips to Sheshan.
20. Bill Haas: T-17 at Safeway and was T-4 here last year. Ranks 26th on Tour in SGTTG.
21. Daniel Berger: Just one top-15 in last eight Tour starts, but T-11 and T-2 in two starts at this event.
22. Branden Grace: T-5 at the 2015 HSBC Champions and coming off T-15 finish in South Korea.
23. Chez Reavie: T-15 last week in South Korea was his sixth top-20 in his last seven Tour starts. Ranks 20th on Tour in SGTTG.
24. Alex Noren: T-38 last time out at Italian Open and just one top 10 since hi T-6 at the British Open. But he really hasn’t played a ton and was T-12 here last year.
25. Thomas Pieters: Was T-14 here a year ago and showed signs of turning things around last week with a T-28 in South Korea.
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