Although the PGA Tour in the United States has somewhat entered the Silly Season, the European Tour is remaining in full swing. With The Race To Dubai still on the line, the European Tour makes a stop this week at the HSBC Championship in Shenzen, China. The huge Mission Hills Golf Club in Southwest China, which is a twelve course complex will host the event on the Olazaba Course. The only thing missing will be the world number one and number two golfers. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both have other commitments, and will not play.
Action will get underway Thursday morning on the 7251 yard/6630 metrer par 72 Olazabal Course, which features over 150 bunkers, and greens that run under 12 on the Stimpmeter. With elevated tees, the golf course plays somewhat shorter that the 7000 yard length. The course also contains a few water hazards, and has has few changes since it hosted the World Cup in 2009.
With BMW Masters winner, Peter Hanson coming in here on a roll after his big win in Shanghai last weekend, he will be looking to make up ground on Race To Dubai points leader, Rory McIlroy. McIlroy leads Hanson by just over 800,000 Euros, and will be facing an otherwise full field.
WGC-HSBC promoters voiced their displeasure that Woods and McIlroy have elected not to participate in this World Class event. I’m sure without that draw, they feel slighted. The remainder of the field will include British Open Champion Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson, and nice mix of the worlds top players. It will be a nice blend of Ryder Cup participants from both teams, as well as players from the remaining tours.