Xander Schauffele tied the course record with an 11-under-par round of 62 on Sunday to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui, Hawaii.
Schauffele’s final-round 62 was the low round of the tournament by three shots on The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. The 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year opened with a bogey, but reeled off four birdies and an eagle to make the turn in 6-under 31.
Schauffele’s charge continued with a hole-out for eagle on the short par-4 12th to get within one shot of the lead, and he closed with four birdies over his final five holes to post his final score of 23-under 269.
That gave overnight leader Gary Woodland a number to shoot for, and the former Kansas star got within one shot with a birdie on No. 17. Needing a birdie on the par-5 18th hole, Woodland was unable to capitalize despite hitting his second shot within 50 yards of the green.
His par left Woodland in second place by himself, and marked the seventh time he has failed to convert a 54-hole lead or share of the lead into a victory on the PGA Tour. Woodland did card a 5-under 68 on Sunday, giving him two 67s and a pair of 68s for the tournament.
“Well, it means I get to come back, which is even better,” Schauffele said of qualifying for next year’s Tournament of Champions with the victory. “I’m honestly a little speechless. It’s a crazy day, and I was a little bit nervous, too.”
Having started the day six strokes back, Schauffele said he didn’t look at many leaderboards until he birdied the 15th, which game him a one-stroke lead.
Sunday’s scores were markedly lower as the “Kona winds” prevailed for the first time during the weekend, essentially flipping the harder and easier holes on the course.
Justin Thomas, who also bogeyed the first hole, ripped off nine birdies over his final 16 holes to post an 8-under 65. That proved to be the second-lowest round of the week and earned the 2017 PGA champion solo third place at 18 under.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson tied for fourth with Australia’s Marc Leishman and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at 15 under.
Playing in the final group with Woodland, McIlroy got within one shot of the lead with a birdie on the par-4 third hole. McIlroy also birdied the par-5 5th hole, as did Woodland, but his round stalled out from there, as he went 1-over par over his final 13 holes.
Schauffele, who won the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions in China in October, became the first multiple-time winner on the PGA Tour this season and took over the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings. He also took home the $1.3 million winner’s share of the $6.5 million purse.
World No. 1 Brooks Koepka shot a 4-under 69 on Sunday that left him in 24th place at 4 under for the tournament. It was his only round in the 60s for the tournament.
The Tour moves over to Oahu for next week’s Sony Open.
–Field Level Media