Xander Schauffele beats Tony Finau in Shanghai play-off

American lands $10 million prize in China with Rory McIlroy carding a Sunday 74

Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off in China. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off in China. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

 

Xander Schauffele celebrated his 25th birthday week in some style by beating fellow American Tony Finau in a play-off to win the $10 million WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International course on Sunday.

The 2017 PGA Tour rookie-of-year picked up birdies on the last two holes of his final round to join Finau on 14-under-par and sank a birdie putt on his second trip to the 18th green before watching Finau come up short with a longer effort.

Schauffele, who turned 25 on Thursday, mixed six birdies with two bogeys for a fourth round four-under 68 to rein in Finau, who started the day with a three-stroke advantage and finished with a 71.

Defending champion Justin Rose shot a 72 to finish four shots behind the leading pair in third place, which was only just insufficient for the Briton to replace Brooks Koepka as world number one.

It was a third victory on the PGA Tour for Schauffele after his wins at the Greenbrier Classic and Tour Championship in 2017 and earned him a cheque for $1.7 million along with a big kickstart in the race to the 2019 Fedex Cup.

“It means a lot, last season I really wanted to justify my rookie year by winning but I wasn’t able to do it,” the Californian said.

“This wasn’t the same season but it’s the same calendar year so I’ll take it.”

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) shared fourth with American Andrew Putnam (72) at eight-under - an impressive feat for both in an exclusive field featuring all three 2018 major winners as well as five of the top six golfers in the world.

Koepka shot a final round 69 to finish in a share of 16th and retain the number one ranking he claimed for the first time after winning the CJ Cup in South Korea last weekend.

Rory McIlroy’s hopes of reining in Francesco Molinari at the top of the Race to Dubai standings were not realised as the Northern Irishman finished in a tie for 54th at 10-over-par, three shots behind the Italian.

Rory McIlroy shot a final round of 74 in Shanghai. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty
Rory McIlroy shot a final round of 74 in Shanghai. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty

Schauffele, Finau and Rose played together in the final group and for much of the day it looked almost like a matchplay contest with the trio only separated by two or three strokes.

With high winds and firming greens making low scores difficult, Finau’s overnight lead gave him the upper hand heading into the back nine.

Schauffele could have taken the lead as Finau bogeyed the 12th only for his birdie putt to all-but curl around the hole. A huge tee shot at the 13th, however, saw him edge a shot ahead at 13-under.

Finau got back in front with a birdie as Schauffele bogeyed 15th and the two ran neck-and-neck as Rose faltered over the final few holes to drop out of contention.

Schauffele summoned up a brilliant tee shot and an equally good birdie putt at the par-three 17th and could have claimed the prize without a playoff after sending his eagle putt inches past the hole after flirting with the water at the 18th.

“I felt like I was playing great all day... I felt like I was in control of my ball and kept my head down,” Schauffele added.

“When I signed my card I went ‘Oh wow, I went birdie-birdie to get into this playoff’. I was in a world of my own out there.”

Collated final round scores & totals in the World Golf Championships — HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

274 Xander Schauffele (USA) 66 71 69 68 (Schauffele wins at the first extra play-off hole),Tony Finau (USA) 66 67 70 71
278 Justin Rose 69 67 70 72
280 Andrew Putnam (USA) 70 71 67 72, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 71 70 71
281 Keegan Bradley (USA) 69 70 70 72
283 Tommy Fleetwood 68 68 72 75, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 75 69 67 72, Patrick Cantlay (USA) 70 68 73 72, Patrick Reed (USA) 64 72 70 77
284 Jason Day (Aus) 71 70 69 74, Haotong Li (Chn) 73 72 69 70, Billy Horschel (USA) 68 72 71 73
285 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 70 69 74 72, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 68 73 73 7
286 Brooks Koepka (USA) 72 74 71 69, Paul Casey 73 68 74 71
287 Alex Noren (Swe) 74 69 71 73, Adam Scott (Aus) 69 73 72 73, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 75 64 74 74
288 Ian Poulter 69 71 74 74
289 Kyle Stanley (USA) 70 69 78 72, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 72 71 69 77, Jon Rahm (Spa) 73 76 69 71, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 68 76 70 75, Tyrrell Hatton 72 70 74 73, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 76 72 71 70
290 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 70 75 70 75, Alexander Levy (Fra) 71 70 76 73
291 Dustin Johnson (USA) 74 73 73 71, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 72 70 77 72, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 70 75 76, Adam Hadwin (Can) 74 68 74 75, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 75 76 68 72
292 Yechun Yuan (Chn) 78 71 70 73, Chez Reavie (USA) 70 73 75 74
293 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 72 73 70 78, Sang Hyun Park (Kor) 77 71 72 73, Pat Perez (USA) 70 69 80 74, Scott Vincent (Zim) 73 73 73 74
294 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 75 71 74 74, Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 71 76 75
295 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 76 75 75 69, Charley Hoffman (USA) 74 75 74 72, Wen-chong Liang (Chn) 72 73 76 74
296 Sihwan Kim (Kor) 72 74 75 75, Justin Harding (Rsa) 76 71 72 77, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 72 72 81 71, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 74 80 71 71
297 Jason Norris (Aus) 74 73 73 77, Matt Wallace 69 75 74 79, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 72 76 74 75, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 74 76 78
298 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 73 77 75 73, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 75 74 75 74, Kevin Na (USA) 75 74 77 72, Cameron Smith (Aus) 76 72 72 78, Adam Bland (Aus) 72 76 73 77, Rory McIlroy 72 77 75 74, John Catlin (USA) 75 71 76 76, Matthew Fitzpatrick 67 80 70 81
299 Andy Sullivan 72 71 79 77, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 72 75 75 77
300 Julian Suri (USA) 74 75 76 75, Yuta Ikeda (Jpn) 75 74 71 80, Ashun Wu (Chn) 73 80 72 75
301 Patton Kizzire (USA) 74 71 76 80
303 Russell Knox 74 77 76 76
304 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 80 80 72 72, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 77 74 79 74, Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 77 71 73 83
305 Brian Harman (USA) 73 73 81 78
306 Yuki Inamori (Jpn) 74 82 73 77, Yan-wei Liu (Chn) 75 79 77 75
309 Brett Rumford (Aus) 73 80 78 78
310 JC Ritchie (Rsa) 71 76 81 82
317 Bowen Xiao (Chn) 76 79 80 82

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.