The final 72-hole leaderboard for the 2015 World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China is in. Russell Knox shot a final round 4-under 68 to win by two shots over runner-up Kevin Kisner. Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:
(1) Russell Knox (-20)
(2) Kevin Kisner (-18)
(T3) Danny Willett (-17)
(T3) Ross Fisher (-17)
(T5) Branden Grace (-16)
(T5) Dustin Johnson (-16)
(T7) Matthew Fitzpatrick (-15)
(T7) Patrick Reed (-15)
(T7) Jordan Spieth (-15)
(T10) Haotong Li (-15)
Here are my thoughts and a few statistics on the champion and some notable golfers on the leaderboard:
Winner: Russell Knox (-20) – A 30-year-old golfer from Scotland, this is his first win on the PGA Tour. He also has one win on each of the European Tour and Nationwide (now Web.com) Tour. His last three finishes in the wraparound season have been, from past to present, CUT, T38, T21, so he has certainly been on the uptrend. Last season he had several top 20s, several missed cuts and a third place finish at the 2014 Shriners. He has finally had his breakthrough moment. Whether or not Knox will be a one-hit-wonder remains to be seen. Today: 6 birdies and 2 bogeys for a 68. He never shot higher than 68 all week.
Kevin Kisner (-18) – The 31-year-old American burst onto the scene in 2015 and has since come so close so many times. He had three playoff losses (RBC Heritage, PLAYERS and Greenbrier) and has no wins on Tour, but he has won twice on the Web.com Tour. I actually put money on this guy to win the Greenbrier, and he darn near pulled it off — bummer. Finished T37 last week at the CIMB and T25 at Shriners. A tremendous talent, but victory still remains elusive for him. I forsee him winning at least once in the 15-16 season. Today: 3 birdies and a bogey for a 2-under round. He shot an 8-under 64 in the first round.
Dustin Johnson (-16) – This is his first event of the wraparound season, and I suppose it’s no surprise that he contended. This is another top 10 to add to the four he had in his previous five starts (3 of the playoff events as well as the PGA).
Last season he had one win (Cadillac) along with countless top 10s. As one of the biggest threats on Tour right now, he’s definitely a guy to watch out for this season.
Today: 5 birdies, 2 bogeys and a double bogey for a 1-under 71. Scores over four rounds: 65, 71, 65, 71.
Jordan Spieth (-15) – Also no surprise seeing Spieth in the top 10 in his his first individual stroke play event since winning the TOUR Championship and the Fed-Ex-Cup in September. As you probably know, he won 5 times last season including 2 majors (the Masters and U.S. Open). He will be overtaking Jason Day as the #1 player in the world after his finish here, and he remains arguably the biggest threat on Tour right now. Today: 4 birdies and 2 bogeys for a 2-under 70. He went low in the third round with a 63.
Have any congratulations for Russell, or any other thoughts about this year’s WGC-HSBC Champions? Discuss in the comments below!