WGC-HSBC Champions grades: Xander Schauffele gets third win of young career

WGC-HSBC Champions grades: Xander Schauffele gets third win of young career

Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off to win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Finau made eight birdies at Sheshan International Golf Club to move above Ryder Cup team-mate Patrick Reed and would have been in an even stronger position but for a double-bogey at the 11th after his ball took an unfortunate bounce off a sprinkler head. "But one thing I learned from this game is you take the good with the bad", Finau said with a laugh.

Reed, whose comments were chief among the recriminations in the USA camp after their 17.5 to 10.5 loss at Le Golf National, had alleged that Spieth refused to play with him. "I didn't have an incredible Asian Swing up until this point, so I think that flight home will be a little bit more special". The U.S.is trying to become the first country to have four players win all four World Golf Championships in one year after Phil Mickelson won the Mexico Championship, Bubba Watson won the Match Play and Justin Thomas won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.

After a dominating opening-round 64, reigning Masters champ Reed had to scramble on Friday as he found water three times. McIlroy's problems at his 11th, the second, came after he had hit a flawless drive that left him only a short iron into the par five.

Defending champion Justin Rose, who a year ago rallied from eight shots behind to win after Johnson closed with a 77, hit a few wild drives of his own but atoned for those with plenty of birdies in his round of 69.

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That meant Brooks Koepka, who closed with a 69 and tied for 16th, stayed at No. 1 in the world for at least another week. He also missed several short putts and shot 74, leaving him 13 shots back.

"I'm really pleased. I played nicely and was happy with the way I finished". After a solid 66-71 start, he shot in the 60s twice on the weekend when only 11 total players did so (Schauffele represented two of them).

He is joined on the score by Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. Then, his 4-iron to the par-5 18th was too far right and tumbled down the hill and into the water.

Finau kept motoring along, as he has been doing the last few months. But he couldn't quite hold on for what would have been his second PGA Tour victory, and certainly his biggest, after winning the Puerto Rico Open in 2016.

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