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Schauffele reels in Finau to win HSBC title in playoff

Xander Schauffele sealed the biggest win of his career to date in Shanghai.

Image: Ng Han Guan

XANDER SCHAUFFELE BAGGED the biggest victory of his young career on Sunday, chasing down Tony Finau to win the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in a play-off.

Schauffele, the 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, started the day three strokes off the lead but shot a roller-coaster 68 at Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club to catch Finau.

Schauffele, 25, birdied the par-3 17th to move level with Finau as the two Americans went to the 18th tee tied at 13 under par.

Both hit outstanding approaches to the reach the green on the par-5 hole in two, and each sank birdie putts to go to 14 under after 72 holes.

China HSBC Champions Golf Source: Ng Han Guan

Replaying the 18th for the playoff, Finau, 29, was up against it after he drove his tee shot into a fairway bunker.

Schauffele, meanwhile, reached the green in two, putting pressure on Finau to sink a birdie putt from the fringe of the green to stay alive.

The putt just missed, handing Schauffele the win.

A few holes earlier, the pair had pulled away from playing partner Justin Rose, the defending champion and world number three, who faltered late and finished four strokes back at 10 under.

Schauffele’s previous wins came in 2017 at the Greenbrier Classic and the Tour Championship.

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The WGC-HSBC Champions title bears a winner’s purse of $1.8 million.

© Agence France-Presse

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