Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China
7,261 yards – Par 72 – Bentgrass Greens
Course Architect: Nelson and Haworth (2005)
Green Sizes: 5,000 sq. feet .. Smaller Green Sizes
Stimp: 12 to 12.5 feet .. Faster than Average Green Speeds
Strength of Field Rating: 575+ OWGR …Strong Field Strength
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~59% … Average Fairways to Hit
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~67% … Easy Greens to Hit
2017: Hideki Matsuyama -23 over Daniel Berger, Henrik Stenson -16
2016: Russell Knox -20 over Kevin Kisner -18
2015: Bubba Watson -11 over Tim Clark in a playoff
2014: Dustin Johnson -24 over Ian Poulter -21
2011: Martin Kaymer -20 over Freddie Jacobson -17
2010: Francesco Molinari -19 over Lee Westwood -18
2017: Hideki Matsuyama -17
2016: Kevin Kisner, Russell Knox -16
2015: Graeme McDowell -11
2014: Dustin Johnson -18
2011: Freddie Jacobson -16
2010: Francesco Molinari -14
2017: Hideki Matsuyama -13
2016: Kevin Kisner -14
2015: Graeme McDowell -10
2014: Dustin Johnson -12
2011: Freddie Jacobson -10
2010: Francesco Molinari -9
Important Interview Quotes
Q. Tell us about your day, because you come out on top in some tricky conditions.
DANIEL BERGER: Yeah, I mean, I started the day without a jacket on, and by the second hole, I had a jacket on. It was freezing out there.
But at least it didn’t rain, so it was a fun day. -2016, R2
Q. How does Sheshan compare to when you won here?
FRANCESCO MOLINARI: It’s playing different. Obviously conditions are different. They had quite a lot of rainy think last week and the course is showing it. But you know, it’s still the same track. Still suits my eye, and I like playing here no matter if it’s firm or soft. It’s a good course and you need to hit good shots, and I enjoy it. I enjoy playing here. -2016, R1
Q. This course is tricky and long anyway, what with all the rain we’ve had, on a day like today, it’s miserable, isn’t it?
PAUL CASEY: It is pretty miserable. Actually the moisture in the air just knocks the golf ball out of the sky. That’s why it plays so long.
But the advantage is, the ball is not rolling, so it makes things a little bit wider. But then maybe it makes the greens slow, which is difficult. So it’s give and take. It is what it is. But when you have a world-class field such as this, there’s always going to be somebody who jumps out of the pack and makes a lot of birdies. It’s nice to be near the top and off to a good start. -2016
Q. Sheshan is markedly different to last year. So how did it play? Presumably long, and very wet and damp.
RUSSELL KNOX: Conditions were just like this on Sunday last year. It was a little cooler last year on Sunday but very dark and dreich, as the Scots would say; a little mist and rain. But the course played awfully long, which is fine for me. If it’s lift, clean and place, as long as I’m in the fairway, I can compete around here. So it’s all about my tee shot to set up my iron game. -2016
Q. What do you reckon a 64 to start here?
KEVIN KISNER: The golf course was fantastic, receptive. It was actually my first time around. I didn’t even play a practice round. I loved it. I liked the way it lays out and fits my game pretty well. -2015
Q. Presumably a little bit damp after all that rain from yesterday?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yeah, the course played pretty soft, especially wedges, you could just throw them in there like darts. The greens were rolling really nice, which is easy to make putts I guess, and so there will definitely be some low scores. -2015
Q. Is it playing longer and therefore, does that suit you?
THOMAS PIETERS: They moved up a couple tees, so I think that makes up for it being so soft. But some holes, 9 plays very tough. It’s a really tough hole. But parred it, so really happy. -2015
Q. Is there something about the course that makes it that much easier today and perhaps suits you all the better?
THORBJØRN OLESEN: Yeah, normally it’s a tricky golf course. They moved a few tee boxes up and like I said, really soft conditions which made it possible to go after all the pins. Normally it’s a bit firmer and a bit faster and makes it a lot trickier. Yeah, that was a good scoring opportunity today. -2015
Q. Thoughts on the day?
RORY McILROY: Probably a little better than I was expecting out there to be honest. The one thing, when I was hitting balls this morning on the range, I mean, I had not been out of bed for basically 48 hours, so I was really stiff. (Food Poisoning right before the start of the tournament). -2015
Q. Just talk about being back here, a place you won, how comfortable you feel on this golf course and why.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, you know, it’s a great golf course. I think it’s a good layout. It fits me pretty well. You hit a lot of drivers. The fairways, I feel like they are fairly narrow but I seem to drive it fairly well, fairly straight out here.
I’m just comfortable, got good lines on the tees, and then the greens are just perfect. So if you hit good shots and you’ve got makeable putts, you can make a lot of putts if you’re rolling it well out here. It’s a fun golf course to play, a lot of drivable holes, reachable par 5s, and so I just enjoy playing. -2015
Q. Historically, this has been a bomber’s course, but this week, you wedged them to death, and you just stuck to your game plan. How did you sort of keep that out; you have guys bombing it so far out and you just stuck to your game?
RUSSELL KNOX: My iron play this week was incredible. I knew with lift, clean and place, I could give myself a perfect lie, and didn’t matter if I hit 5-iron or lob-wedge. I felt comfortable and I was going to give myself a birdie chance. My iron play was the key today. -2015
Q. We’ve come here for quite a few years now and it seems to have grown into its skin and developed as a course.
LEE WESTWOOD: Yeah, I’ve always liked the golf course. I think it’s a great design. I think it’s a good risk/reward golf course. I think 16 is the best short par 4 we play all year.
The par 5s give you a chance, certainly; two or three of them, to get there in two and make eagles. There’s a lot of water in play. I think it’s a really good venue for a World Golf Championship. -2014
Q. Are you feeling the benefit of playing Malaysia last week?
LEE WESTWOOD: Well, I’m not struggling with any time changes. Completely different conditions. Last week, very muggy and different kind of grasses. This week, a bit of breeze blowing.
Nice to be back in China. Haven’t been here for a while and nice to be back at a golf course I’ve played well in the past. I’ve had a couple second-place finishes around here. Nice to start off well this week and hopefully get into contention for the weekend. -2014
Q. Obviously you say driving is really important here. Have you ever seen the course so narrow? The fairways look very narrow?
GRAEME McDOWELL: No, this is as tough off the tee as I think I’ve ever seen this golf course. Obviously it was very low scoring here last year. I want to say, it wasn’t quite as narrow off the tee. The rough was fairly thick last year, but it played so much softer and, you know, effectively, the fairways played wider and the greens were so much more receptive.
No, this year, very tricky. Very tricky if you miss fairways. The rough is very penal and very tricky if you miss the greens. The run-off areas are pretty severe here and the rough is pretty severe around the greens. -2014
Q. What do you fancy of the setup of Sheshan and the whole environment of the WGC event?
CHRIS KIRK: It’s a great environment. They have taken very good care of us and the setup is very similar to what we are used to seeing on the PGA TOUR, good, fast greens and long rough and narrow fairways. Just like being back in America. -2014
Q. Did you expect a tougher challenge than the past?
MARTIN KAYMER: I thought when I played on Tuesday I thought the rough might be a little thicker but actually when you walk through it, it looks thick but it’s fairly fine and very thin. So even if you miss a couple tee shots, you still have a chance. It’s still playable. -2014
Q. A really good record around here, what is it about this place that you love?
GRAEME McDOWELL: I don’t know. I think it’s the fact you don’t have to hit it a long way. You have to be accurate. And I like these greens. As far as in and around the greens here, I love the way this golf course sets up. I read the greens well here. -2014
Quotes found at ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.