Devil Ball Golf

HSBC Champions living up to the hype after two rounds

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Let's face it, it's a slow time in the golf world. No more majors, no more regular season PGA Tour events, and only one memorable event left in 2011 before all our balatas go into hibernation until the new year and the champion's trip to Hawaii.

But over in China, there is a rather awesome golf tournament going on. It's happening at the HSBC Champions, an event that always brings the ringers, but this year, the tournament means more.

Mostly because one player could wrap up the PGA Tour Player of the Year honors with a win, and some of the other players in the field are warming up for the Presidents Cup (and warming up is relative, given the fact that only one of the four American players heading to Australia are in the top-38).

The thing is, if you don't mind staying up late to watch some golf, this is the weekend to do it. The leaderboard looks like a Who's Who of the 2011 golfing world, with Keegan Bradley battling, Adam Scott long-puttering, and a host of other big names making some noise.

After two days, Fredrik Jacobson is leading, but only by a shot over Louis Oosthuizen and Scott. Bradley, trying to prove that he should have been included as a captain's pick on this year's Presidents Cup team, is one back of them, and a host of others are charging to win the World Golf Championship event.

What makes this event so great isn't just the players, it's the golf course. Sheshen International is a golf course that has so many risk/reward holes that it'll make golfers go on tilt, but for the fans, it's exciting. Just look at the Northern Irishmen to see how the course has played. Through two days, Graeme McDowell has posted consecutive rounds of 69, but they've been anything but routine. On Thursday, McDowell has seven birdies, a bogey and a triple-bogey. Rory McIlroy made just two pars on his front nine on Friday, and although the par-4 16th hole plays less than 300 yards, and Rory has gone for it both days, the U.S. Open champion is playing it one-over.

It's a great tournament for this time of year, and with the stacked leaderboard, looks like it will only get better. Good thing it doesn't have to go up against that college football game this weekend everyone seems to keep talking about.

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