Xander Schauffele came from three strokes back to beat fellow American Tony Finau in a playoff at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China on Sunday.
Schauffele shot a 4-under-par 68, capped with birdies on the final two holes of regulation, to force the playoff. He birdied the first playoff hole — No. 18 — to seal the win.
“When I was signing my card, I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the playoff,’ ” said Schauffele. “I was just in my own world out there.”
Finau shot 71 on Sunday, his worst round of the tournament, although he also birdied the final hole to reach the playoff.
“Definitely feel like I let one get away,” said Finau. “Xander played incredible golf today. It was playing tough out there. He posted a number and made birdie on a playoff hole when it counted. Hats off to him. He played nicely today and deserved to win.”
Englishman Justin Rose finished alone in third at 10 under for the tournament after shooting even-par 72 on Sunday. He was only one shot out of the lead after his second consecutive birdie at No. 14, but then bogeyed two of his final four holes to drop out of contention.
It is the third title for Schauffele, 25, who went winless last season after a stellar rookie year.
Schauffele earned 550 FedExCup points with the victory, putting him atop the standings.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the first player from Thailand to earn his PGA Tour card, finished in a tie for fourth at 8 under along with American Andrew Putnam.
Brooks Koepka, playing his first tournament as the No. 1 player in the world golf rankings, rallied to card a 69 on Sunday. The American rose 12 spots to finish in a tie for 16th at 2 under. Koepka this week supplanted Dustin Johnson, who finished in a tie for 30th at 3 over while failing to card a round in the 60s all week.
North Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also continued his struggles in the no-cut format. His 74 on Sunday left him 10 over for the tournament and in a tie for 54th.
–Field Level Media