The European Tour works very hard to foster strong relationships with golf bodies all around the world. That means we see a great number of European Tour events taking place well outside Europe which means a great variety of courses and cultures of a weekly basis. This week, for example, the tour moves from North Africa to China for the Shenzhen International.
Many of those who competed at the Trophee Hassan II have made the trip to Genzon Golf Club for a tilt at the third renewal of this event. There are also a large number of players who will be largely unfamiliar to European golf fans given that the Shenzhen International is co-sanctioned with the China Golf Association. There is also a smattering of PGA Tour star dust with Bubba Watson making another trip to Shenzhen.
No matter where the players competing this week hail from, they’ll have to have a very good week with the driver to have any chance of leaving with the winner’s trophy. Genzon is not the longest course in the world at 7,145 yards but it is very challenging off the tee so a combination of both power and accuracy is vital. The fast greens must also be tamed with confident putting an absolute must.
Fleetwood Capable of Leading from the Front
Tommy Fleetwood has played very well at Genzon Golf Club in the past with previous results of 19-3-2. In each of those previous showings, Fleetwood was looked upon as a young player with a very bright future ahead of him. Things are very different this time around.
Fleetwood has very much found his feet as a world class golfer in recent months with a big win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and he claimed a second place finish at the WGC Mexico Championship. The Englishman is one of the very best drivers of the golf ball on the European Tour and looks a very worthy favourite at odds of 14/1 with Ladbrokes.
Hend Ready to Improve at a Track That Suits
Scott Hend has not been enjoying tournament golf very much over the past couple of months. The Australian has so far been unable to build on a brilliant 12 months in which he topped the order of merit on the Asian Tour but he’s had a break from the limelight in which he’s had the opportunity to work hard on his game and the results could be seen in Shenzhen.
Hend is a very long hitter and will be able to capitalise on the longer holes at Genzon. He finished in fourth at this event last season and could follow that up with another impressive performance at generous odds of 60/1 with Betfred.
Hot and Cold Li Can Wow the Locals
Haotong Li came very close to a huge win at the 2015 Shenzhen International. Then just 19, Li narrowly missed out on the title and had to settle for a runners up spot via a playoff. Since then, Li has become a winner on the European Tour and although he can blow hot and cold, he’s got the ability required to put together another challenge at 35/1 with Betfred.