Xander Schauffele wins WGC-HSBC Champions in playoff

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 28: Xander Schauffele of the United States celebrates with the winner's trophy after the final round of the WGC - HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 28, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Xander Schauffele wins WGC-HSBC Champions in playoff

PGA Tour

Xander Schauffele wins WGC-HSBC Champions in playoff

Here is a recap of the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International GC in Shanghai, China.

WINNER: The quick burst onto the scene for Xander Schauffele continued Sunday.

Schauffele closed in 4-under 68 for a 14-under total to reach a playoff with Tony Finau and proceeded to birdie the first extra hole to capture the title. It is the 25-year-old’s third PGA Tour win and first WGC title.

It was a winless 2017-18 campaign for Schauffele, but that was preceded by a fast jump that saw him go from fighting for his PGA Tour card during the 2016-17 season to a two-time PGA Tour winner that same campaign (including a triumph at the Tour Championship).

While he didn’t win last season, Schauffele still posted five top-3 finishes worldwide. That included a deep run at Carnoustie that almost saw him win the British Open (he would finish T-2).

Schauffele began the final round in China three behind Tony Finau but had taken the solo lead by the time they reached 14 tee. Schauffele had played 3 under golf to that point while Finau was 1 over thanks to three bogeys.

A Finau birdie at the 14th squared it up and he took back the solo lead when Schauffele bogeyed No. 15. Schauffele fired 10 feet short of the flag, though, at the par-3 17th and drained the birdie putt to square it up again heading to the 72nd hole.

Both birdied the par 5 to set up a playoff.

The pair returned to 18 for the playoff, with Schauffele playing it perfectly. He left himself some 25 feet for eagle on the green, while Finau had 20 feet for birdie from the fringe. Schauffele lagged to inches and tapped in for birdie.

Finau had to make to extend and his putt was on line, but it came up a few inches short.

It’s yet another win for the vaunted Class of 2011. Watch out for Schauffele in the majors in 2019.

JUST MISSED: Finau was the 36- and 54-hole leader and seemed ready to grab that second PGA Tour win that he has been waiting patiently for since his opening triumph at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. But it was not to be. This is his second runner-up in his last six starts, though, and he still hasn’t finished worse than T-15 since the PGA Championship.

SHOT OF THE DAY: He never threatened the winner’s circle Sunday, but Thomas Pieters had a glorious moment…

SHORT SHOTS: Defending champion Justin Rose was in the mix late, but a pair of late bogeys relegated him to a 72 and a solo third finish at 10 under. Still, not a bad title defense. … Patrick Reed, the first-round leader, closed in 77 to drop five spots to T-7 at 5 under. … Jason Day also struggled on Sunday. His more mild 74 saw him place T-11 at 4 under. … In his first start at World No. 1, Brooks Koepka never contended. But a final-round 69 allowed him a T-16 showing at 2 under. … Dustin Johnson finished 3 over for T-30. … Rory McIlroy failed to break par in any round and came in at 10 over. That’s a rough T-54 showing.

UP NEXT: The Tour heads back to the U.S. as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is on tap. The field is stellar, as it includes Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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