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Schauffele stuns Woodland with Hawaii 6-2

Schauffele stuns Woodland with Hawaii 6-2

Just when you thought the new Rules of Golf were going to be the big talking point, up steps Xander Schauffele. Alex Perry wraps up the action from Kapalua
 

What happened at the Sentry Tournament of Champions?

Xander Schauffele didn’t seem to be much of a threat to Gary Woodland, especially when he bogeyed the opening hole – at which point he was six off the lead.

But birdies at 3, 5, 6 and 7 were followed by eagles at 9 and 12 before further gains at 14, 15, 17 and 18 meant a final round 62 – a course record-tying 11-under on this par-73 Hawaii track –and a one-stroke victory.

A closing 68 from Woodland, who had started the final round at Kapalua three shots clear of the rest of the field, was only good enough for 2nd place at 22-under-par.

Full leaderboard

It means Schauffele now has four PGA Tour wins in his first 64 starts – including a WGC and the Tour Championship – and now this victory against a stacked field of 2018’s champions.

Justin Thomas had a 65 to finish 3rd, while defending champion Dustin Johnson, whose week was derailed by a 1-over 74 on Friday, and Rory McIlroy, Woodland’s closest rival going into Sunday, both finished T4 at 15-under, alongside Marc Leishman.

Talking point

This was, of course, the first event under the newly-updated 2019 Rules of Golf.

And it didn’t disappoint – largely thanks to a certain Bryson DeChambeau, who left the flagstick in throughout:

…and entertained everyone when taking a drop from knee height, which he described as “a little absurd”:

Mark Townsend has taken a much deeper dive on how the Tournament of Champions field dealt with the new Rules of Golf, and you can read that here.

And the world rankings?

Justin Rose will move back to World No. 1, despite not playing in Hawaii, due to Brooks Koepka failing to finish in tied-8th or better.

Schauffele’s win, meanwhile, will bump him from 10th to 6th in the world.

Highlights

This was Schauffele’s approach to the 18th on Sunday:

He would two-putt from there to take the title. Full highlights to follow.

Best quote

I just still feel like an underdog. They keep putting that flag way out there for me to go and chase and I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing.

Watch Schauffele’s full press conference here:

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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