Finau rues missed opportunity after playoff agony

Tony Finau led for much of the WGC-HSBC Champions, but was frustrated after Xander Schauffele denied him the title in a play-off.

WGC-HSBC Champions runner-up Tony Finau   -  Getty Images

Tony Finau felt he "let one get away" after missing out on the WGC-HSBC Champions title in a playoff with compatriot Xander Schauffele

The 29-year-old started the final round at Sheshan International Golf Club with a three-shot lead and was two up through 10, but finished level on 14-under with Schauffele following a one-under 71 on Sunday.

Schauffele birdied the first extra hole to claim the victory, with Finau only able to make par after having to chip out from a bunker following a stray tee shot.

READ: Schauffele denies Finau in Shanghai playoff

It is over two-and-a-half years since Finau won his only PGA Tour title and he was left to rue a missed opportunity in Shanghai, where Justin Rose faded to finish third on 10-under after battling it out with the two Americans.

"I definitely feel like I let one get away. Xander played incredible golf today. It was playing tough out there. He posted a number and made birdie on a play-off hole when it counted. Hats off to him, he played nicely and deserved to win," said Finau.

"It seemed like we separated ourselves with nine holes to play. Kind of a three-man tournament - definitely felt that way coming down the stretch - and it was cool to have a chance to win, a real chance to win. I'll definitely learn from this and keep moving forward."

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Schauffele savoured a third PGA Tour triumph - and his first since September 2017 – a win that came just three days after his 25th birthday.

"I felt like I was playing great all day. We kept our heads down. Even when I was signing my card I was like, 'Oh, wow, I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the play-off'. I was just in my own world out there," he said.

"It means a lot, it was my birthday this week. To have my family out here, especially with the win, it's really special."