Schauffele Stuns In Hawaii With Closing 62

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Xander Schauffele tied the Plantation course record with an 11-under 62 on Sunday, and he needed every shot to beat Gary Woodland by one shot and win the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Schauffele went into the final round five strokes back and slipped further behind with an opening-hole bogey, only to fire a course record-equalling 62 and claim a one-shot victory. He holed out for an eagle from 107 yards out in the fairway at 12, birdied 14 and 15 and capped his round with back-to-back-birdies to edge his fellow American, who had led four-time major victor Rory McIlroy by three strokes coming into the final round. The 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year opened with a bogey, but reeled off four birdies and an eagle to make the turn in 6-under 31. Needing a birdie on the par-5 18th hole, Woodland was unable to capitalize despite hitting his second shot within 50 yards of the green.

In his final round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Rory McIlroy hit 9 of 15 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation, and had a great day on the green leaving no misses on putts within 10 feet. He started the final round with a three-shot lead and closed with a bogey-free 68.

"I don't think anyone could have lived with Xander today". I knew it was going to be back and forth.

"When you're trying to play for a trophy, it's not easy to defend leads", four-time PGA Tour victor Leishman said of Woodland.

Justin Thomas finished the week in third following nine birdies in his final round. His only mistake on Saturday was coming up just short of the green on No. 12 and missing a 5-foot par putt.

He missed it but his birdie was enough to earn a fourth PGA Tour victory and a rise to No.6 in the world rankings. But it wasn't until he reached his second shot at the par-5 ninth hole that he started to consider his title chances.

"I played really good this week and I'm glad I still finished fourth". I had killed the par-5s all week this week, which is what you got to do out here.

Now in his very first event of a new year on the PGA Tour and McIlroy again finds himself in familiar territory after posting a second straight five-under par 68 to move to 14-under par and remain in second place heading to Hawaiian final round. I got that phone call late last night.

A run of pars along the closing stretch left McIlroy eight strokes adrift alongside defending champion Dustin Johnson and Marc Leishman, while Brooks Koepka lost his world No 1 status after finishing in 24th position.

"I gave myself plenty of chances, just couldn't get anything to drop", McIlroy said.

Woodland was at 17-under 202, and would love nothing better than to secure another trip to Kapalua in the first tournament of the year.

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