Patrick Reed has hit the ground running in China and our man thinks he's a fair price to stay there. Read Steve's very early in-running thoughts here...
13:45 - October 25, 2017
Given Patrick Reed had finished inside the top-five after round one in two of his four previous outings at Sheshan International, it perhaps wasn't a big surprise to see the US Masters champ end day one of the WGC-HSBC Champions in front. It was a bit of a shock to see him shoot the lowest ever opening round score there though as a number of high-profile players struggled thanks to a persistent and troublesome wind and some tricky pin placements. Here's the state of play after the opening round with prices to back at 13:40.
Patrick Reed -8 6.00 Tony Finau -6 7.60 Xander Schauffele -6 9.80 Matthew Fitzpatrick -5 17.50 Tommy Fleetwood -4 15.50 Rafa Cabrera-Bello -4 21.00 Billy Horschel -4 34.00 C.T Pan -4 50.00 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -4 55.00 Justin Rose -3 12.50 -3 and 30.00 bar
As highlighted in the In-Play Tactics section of the preview, although a fast start is important here (only Bubba Watson failed to break 70 in round one), Francesco Molinari is the only first round leader to win in 12 renewals at Sheshan.
That's a bit of a negative for Reed but he's led five times previously after the opening round and he's gone on to win on three occasions and he was up with the pace at Augusta too. He sat fourth after round one but led thereafter.
Given he's still only won one PGA Tour event, the impressive Tony Finau looks a poor price and while I respect both Xander Schauffele and Joe Dyer's each-way fancy, Matthew Fitzpatrick, I can't resist the 5/1 about Reed. He's four clear of everyone else and that looks a fair price on a course where playing catch up isn't easy.
The Sanderson Farms Championship (which I've previewed here) has just kicked off and I'll take a look at that one tomorrow.
WGC-HSBC Champions Pre-Event Selections: Brooks Koepka @11.00 Ian Poulter @ 80.00 Lucas Bjerregaard @ 90.00 Matt Wallace @ 130.00
In-Play Pick: Patrick Reed @6.20
Sanderson Farms Championship Pre-Event Selections: Roberto Castro @ 100.00 Scott Stallings @ 120.00 Roberto Diaz @ 125/1 (Sportsbook) Wyndham Clark @ 150.00 Jonathan Randolph @ 200.00 Kyoung-Hoon Lee @ 270.0] Scott Langley @ 350.00 Maverick McNealy @ 400.00 Jose de Jesus Rodriguez @ 1000.00