In the last elite Tour event of the 2018 calendar year, Xander Schauffele shot a final-round 4-under par 68 in difficult conditions, and prevailed in a playoff against proverbial bridesmaid Tony Finau at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.
On his 25th birthday, Schauffele began the week in Shanghai with a stellar opening round of 66, and followed it up with a Friday 71 and a 69 on Saturday, which secured a spot in Sunday’s final pairing alongside Finau, and defending champion Justin Rose.
With high winds drying out Sheshan International Golf Club, leading to few red scores in the field, Schauffele again proved himself as one of the PGA Tour’s premier big-game players, carding six birdies on the day, and hitting clutch shot after clutch shot down the stretch to erase what was a three-shot advantage for Finau to start the day.
His Sunday 68 was the low-round in the field, and with birdies on Nos. 17, 18, and 18 again (playoff hole), Schauffele snagged the third victory of his young career – his first since his surprising triumph at the 2017 Tour Championship.