Justin Rose falters at WGC-HSBC Champions

31 October, 2018, 07:45 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick

America's Xander Schauffele beat compatriot Tony Finau in a play-off to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

He began the tournament by celebrating his 25th birthday.

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.

The Englishman, who could have returned to world No 1 with victory in Shanghai, carded a final-round 72 to end the week in third spot and four strokes behind play-off victor Xander Schauffele.

Finau started Sunday's round with a bogey at the first hole, but came back with a birdie at No. 2.

"Even when I was signing my card I was like, "Oh, wow, I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the play-off".

Rory McIlroy also had an 8 on the 14th hole as he continued a big slide with a 75, leaving him 21 shots behind Finau.

"It felt really good, because if you can go out and shoot rounds like that in these kind of conditions, you know you're going to have confidence when the wind dies down and there are flawless conditions out there", Reed said.

"It was great to birdie the last three".

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"I definitely feel this is one that got away", said Finau.

Finau entered the final round with a three-stroke lead over Schauffele and Justin Rose.

The Muskerry player (35) finished on four-over par as Joshi birdied the last for a 68 to edge out Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman and win his maiden title by one stroke on 17-under. "I know he's going to win a lot soon, obviously, because he's playing so well".

Sharma, who was 80-80 for the first two days, opened superbly from the 10th with three birdies in first five holes, but then had a start-stop-start kind of a round.

Replaying the par-5 18th meant that each player would likely need birdie or better to move forward.

"I was doing everything that I needed to do".

The Holywood star was 74th in the 78-man field for driving accuracy and now lies 1.89 million points behind Molinari with just next week's Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai remaining for him in the race to become European number one.

The HSBC Champions was the fourth and final WGC event of the calendar year, but it's part of the PGA Tour's 2018-19 schedule. At the Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland, Schauffele and Finau played together for two rounds and both finished in the top 10, with Schauffele edging Finau by two shots, finishing in a tie for second while Finau tied for ninth.

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