Schauffele wins HSBC for U.S. sweep of World Championships
SHANGHAI — Xander Schauffele gave the Americans a sweep of the World Golf Championships and quickly put a winless sophomore season behind him.
Schauffele made birdie on his final three holes Sunday, the last one a two-putt birdie from about 30 feet on the par-5 18th hole to beat Tony Finau in a sudden-death playoff and win the HSBC Champions.
"When I was signing my card, I was like, 'Oh, wow. I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the playoff," Schauffele said. "I was just in my own world out there."
He began the tournament by celebrating his 25th birthday. He ended it with one clutch shot after another in the closing stretch at Sheshan International for a 4-under 68, the lowest score of the final round, and his first victory in 13 months.
Schauffele won twice in his first year on the PGA Tour to win rookie of the year. Last season featured high finishes, but only one good chance at winning when he was a runner-up in the British Open at Carnoustie.
Now he has three victories, the last two at the Tour Championship to end the 2017 season and now a World Golf Championship.
Finau, who started the final round with a three-shot lead in his bid for a second PGA Tour-sanctioned victory, was ahead by one shot until Schauffele made an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, only the fourth player to make birdie on that hole Sunday.
Defending champion Justin Rose missed a 10-foot birdie chance on the 17th and went to the final hole two shots behind. Trying to make eagle, he went from the bunker to the rough to over the green and into the water, making a bogey for a 72 to finish four shots behind.
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.
Then, it was a battle between the two Americans.
Finau faced a risky shot from his ball sitting high in the rough by going for the green. It narrowly cleared the water, leaving him an eagle putt from about 35 feet that he placed to a few feet from the cup. Schauffele's second shot into the par-5 18th landed on the putting surface and rolled just over the back as the 25-year-old American said, "Sit!" six times before it settled just off the green.
He ran his eagle putt 3 feet by and made that for birdie. He and Finau finished at 14-under 274.
In the playoff, Schauffele again hit the fairway and hit a 5-iron to the middle of the green. Finau went into the face of the bunker on the left, had no choice but to lay up, and his third shot was 20 feet on the fringe. He missed his birdie putt to extend the playoff.
"Definitely feel like I let one get away," said Finau, whose only PGA Tour victory was at the Puerto Rico Open two years ago. "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."
The United States becomes the first country to have four players win the four World Golf Championships. Phil Mickelson won the Mexico Championship, Bubba Watson won the Dell Match Play and Justin Thomas won the Bridgestone Invitational.
The Americans also won all four WGCs in 2013 when Tiger Woods won two of them, Matt Kuchar won the Match Play and Dustin Johnson won in Shanghai. Americans now have won 41 of the 69 events since the World Golf Championships series began in 1999. Woods has won 18 of them.
Champ takes PGA event
JACKSON, Miss. — Cameron Champ birdied five of the last six holes to win the Sanderson Farms Championship, recovering for his first PGA Tour victory after giving up a four-shot lead.
The 23-year-old Champ won in his ninth career tour start, closing with a 4-under 68 for a four-stroke victory. He finished at 21-under 267 in the wire-to-wire victory at the Country Club of Jackson.
Champ began the day four shots ahead, but played the front nine in 1 over to fall into a tie. Corey Conners pulled even on No. 9 with a 13-foot birdie putt, but Champ pulled away on the back nine with four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16. Conners had a 68 to finish second.
Carlos Ortiz (64) and Sam Burns (68) were six shots back.
Korda claims first LPGA Tour crown
TAOYUAN, Taiwan — Nelly Korda won the Taiwan Championship for her first LPGA Tour victory, closing with a 4-under 68 to beat Minjee Lee by two strokes.
The 20-year-old Korda, the younger sister of five-time tour winner Jessica Korda and daughter of tennis major champion Petr Korda, finished at 13-under 275 at Ta Shee Golf and Country Club.
The Kordas are the third set of sisters to win on the LPGA Tour, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam and Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn.
Lee shot a 66. Ryann O'Toole was third at 10 under after a 67.
Parel wins Invesco QQQ title
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Scott Parel won the Invesco QQQ Championship, taking the PGA Tour Champions playoff event for his second victory in two months.
Parel shot a 4-under 68, parring the final five holes at Sherwood Country Club to hold off Paul Goydos by a stroke. The 53-year-old Parel jumped from sixth to second in the season standings, with the top 36 qualifying for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in two weeks at Phoenix Country Club. He won the Boeing Classic in late August for his first tour victory.
Parel finished at 11-under 205.
Goydos parred the final four holes in a 67.
Kenny Perry shot 67 to tie for third with David McKenzie (70) and Stephen Ames (71) at 8 under. Season points leader Bernhard Langer had a 70 to get to 7 under. Miguel Angel Jimenez, the second-round leader, shot a 73 to also finish at 7 under.