Schauffele denies Finau in Shanghai playoff

Xander Schauffele birdied the first extra hole to win in Shanghai, with long-time leader Tony Finau only able to make par.

WGC-HSBC Champions winner Xander Schauffele   -  Getty Images

Xander Schauffele gave himself a late birthday present by holding his nerve to claim his first victory for over a year in a playoff with Tony Finau at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Finau started his final round on Sunday with a three-shot lead at Sheshan International Golf Club, but a one-under 71 was not enough to get the job done.

Schauffele, who turned 25 on Thursday, finished level on 14-under with his fellow American courtesy of a closing four-under 68 to force a play-off.

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Both players had birdied the 18th, Schauffele's coming on the back of another gain at 17 as he kept his bid for a third PGA Tour title alive.

A seventh birdie of the day for Schauffele back on 18 then gave him a first tournament triumph since the Tour Championship last September, with Finau only able to make par after having to lay up from a bunker following a stray tee shot.

Having led for much of the lucrative event in Shanghai, Finau was left to rue a huge missed opportunity as his birdie putt from the edge of the green came up just short.

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Schauffele found the green in two and came close to an eagle, but a birdie was enough to seal a victory which moves him into fourth in the Race to Dubai Rankings.

Finau had led by two when he birdied the 10th following a magnificent approach shot, but bogeyed the next two holes to put Schauffele in a share of the lead and there was no separating the two after 72 holes.

Defending champion Justin Rose failed to return to the top of the world rankings, finishing third on 10-under following a level-par 72.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Andrew Putnam were a further two shots back in a tie for fourth, Keegan Bradley was sixth on seven under, while Patrick Reed and Tommy Fleetwood were among a quartet of players on five under.