Saturday, 14 December, 2019

Schauffele ties course record and wins at Kapalua

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Cary Erickson | 09 January, 2019, 16:24

All four of his victories have been achieved playing the final round from behind.

Woodland leads four-time major champion Rory McIlroy (68) by three shots.

"This one will sting", Woodland said.

Five off the pace at the start, Schauffele, pictured left, looked to have little chance of tasting victory after opening the fourth round at Kapalua with a bogey.

He wound up winning the first PGA Tour event of the year with a final round that not even he could have imagined. While the Plantation course lends itself to wild swings in scoring, no one has ever lost a three-shot lead after 54 holes since the winners-only tournament moved here in 1999.

While it was an impressive finish in Hawaii, it was the 29-year-old's 19th tournament in a row that he has failed to win.

This year will be McIlroy's 11th appearance at Augusta, and he has finished in the top 10 during the last five years.

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Xander Schauffele picked up his second title of the 2018-19 season with a brand new Callaway Epic Flash driver and Apex Pro 19 Irons, which were both only launched last week! Schauffele promptly eagled the 12th, regained a share of the lead with a birdie at 14 and took the solo lead for the first time with a birdie at 15.

Schauffele won the Greenbrier Classic and the Tour Championship to lock up the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year award in 2017, finished second in The Open last year and won the WGC-HSBC Champions after a play-off with Tony Finau last October.

"My attitude was much better today. We kept our head down and made a run for it".

Gary Woodland admitted that he used to come to the Tournament of Champions to "enjoy the views" and the Maui life.

None of those shots were better than the 200-yard approach he fired into the green at the par-four 17th, the hardest hole on the course, before reading the breaking nine-foot birdie putt perfectly. "But I knew I wanted to be prepared coming in". "Frustrated right now but Xander played great, hat's off to him. Hats off to him". "This was in sort of dramatic fashion and it turned into a birdie fest coming down the stretch", said Schauffele as he savoured a fourth PGA Topur triumph and one that lifted him to world No 6. The season will be brought to a close with the streaming of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta.

"It was nice to get a start in this early and see where my game's at and definitely something to build and improve on", he said.

As for Leishman, a two under 71 left him feeling like he'd had a bad day in comparison to Schauffele.