Eight US stars snub Shanghai

Ten qualifiers – eight American and five Presidents Cup players – have turned down places at the HSBC Champions.

Ten qualifiers – eight of them American, including US Open champion Lucas Glover and eight 2009 Presidents Cup players – have turned down places in next week’s HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.
The event has become part of the World Golf Championships (WGC) series for the first time and has prize-money totalling £4.2million.
Softening the blow considerably and delighting the sponsors no end is the fact that the World Nos 1 and 2, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in the 78-strong field.
Tournaments that come so late in the season are invariably going to have to accept that full fields are difficult to attract, but the organisers will not be happy with the withdrawls, particularly of reigning US Open champion Lucas Glover, World No 3 Steve Stricker Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Vijay Singh, the only man who has ever replaced Woods at the Top of the World Ranking list, if only briefly.
Kenny Perry, Scott Verplank, Dustin Johnson, Heath Slocum and South Africa’s President Cup star Tim Clark are also not making the trip.
The fact that the HSBC is not being staged in the USA may be another negative factor in so far as the strength of the field is concerned.
WGC events have all been staged in the United States since The Grove in England was the venue for the American Express Championship in 2006.
Since the WGC series started 10 years ago the Accenture Match Play has only once been taken out of America – that was in Australia in 2001 and the field was the weakest ever – and the Bridgestone Invitational has always been at the Firestone course in Akron.