WGC-HSBC Championship WITB for Rory McIlroy, Haotong Li, Robert MacIntyre and more

Sheshan Golf Club provides a truly unique and challenging experience this week on the European Tour. With tree-lined fairways, well placed bunkers, rolling hills around 1000-year-old Gingko trees, undulating greens and a spectacular natural quarry, this is why the race to be crowned the WGC-HSBC Champion leads to a memorable finish!

“He [Rory McIlroy] should really be up there this week with a chance to win, it’s a driving course and Rory’s the best driver of the golf ball”

Adrian Rietveld

(c) Getty Images

Rory McIlroy’s accuracy and length off the tee makes him a serious threat this week. Leading the European Tour in scoring average (68.71) eagle eyed viewers might notice that there is a difference in Rory’s driver from last week in Japan and you would be correct! He’s made a slight tweak to his driver set up by moving the adjustable weights in his M5 driver all the way back. Favouring on stability and better control on his mishits out of his heel strike, Rory worked with our tour team out on the range and through this small change he saw better control in his ball flight.

Rory carded a 5-under 67 in the opening round using M5 driver, a trio of HiToe wedges.

Rory's WITB

(c) Getty Images

Known for his work ethic, #TeamTaylorMade’s Haotong Li is on home soil and has been practicing all day and all night. He caught up with the tour team for a new 8-degree M6 driver and put it through rigorous testing out on the range to ensure it was in the correct set up. Home momentum is clearly on Haotong’s side, as he fired a first-round 64 (-8) and takes a one-shot lead.

Taking a step away from the course he made an official appearance this week to open our new Shanghai retail store! Check it out, it’s impressive.

"They look like they belong, this is a big field with confident golfers and our young guns that have qualified on right, look so settled and comfortable, ready to compete against anyone’"

Adrian Rietveld

With three second places on the European Tour, a sixth-place finish on his debut at The Open, Robert MacIntyre has propelled up the World Official Golf Rankings (88th). With his rookie season in full swing he’s in his element.

We caught up with Adrian after his time with Robert on the range and he said “He’s very relaxed this week and feels like he belongs. He’s played well this year, and everyone can see it, the top 30 on the Race to Dubai get invites and he’s 12th! It’s fantastic”

“We tweaked the lie angle on his 7 iron and went through his bag, he’s changed his wedge setup from the start of the year by adding a 56 degree and it’s made a huge difference. Robert's very complimentary on this saying that his versatility and chipping has improved and the yardages he can hit has helped him throughout the season. He went from a 52 and 58, to 52, 56 and 60 Hi Toes”

Robert opened his bid at Sheshan with a first-round 72 (-2) and is in the mix. 

(c) Getty Images

Also making his debut this week is Romain Langasque, Adrian noted that he was one of the first out on the range this week. Settled in his equipment for the most part of the season, he’s made a small change to his set up this week by dropping his 5-wood and adding in a hybrid. Feeling at home, Kurt Kitayama has also altered his equipment this week. Wanting to fine-tune his irons for spin, his irons were bent half a degree flatter and half a degree stronger.