Power rankings: WGC-HSBC Champions

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Ryan Ballengee
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Rory McIlroy brought the roars to the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy brought the roars to the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)

The WGC-HSBC Champions is the final World Golf Championships event of the year, played in China as the only of the WGCs contested outside of North America.

Russell Knox is defending champion at Sheshan International in a field that features nine of the top 11 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (Jason Day and Jordan Spieth aren’t playing).

Here are our top five players this week:

1. Rory McIlroy — McIlroy has a consistent record in this event (and in China in general), and he’s been playing brilliant golf. New driver and fairway wood in the bag this week, so it’ll be interesting to see the adjustment.

2. Paul Casey — Casey has been a top-10 machine of late, and there’s no reason to believe that strong play won’t continue this week.

3. Dustin Johnson — Johnson is making his “season” debut in his first start since the Ryder Cup. He’s a past champion here and Sheshan International fits his game.

4. Justin Thomas — The CIMB Classic winner has been playing great golf going back into the playoffs … you know, way back in September. His slashing style should work here.

5. Hideki Matsuyama — Matsuyama has bolted into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and he’s been playing very strong golf for two months. Putting always a question.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.