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Week 43: Schauffele jumps to a career best of World No.12

October 29, 2018

WGC HSBC Champions

Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off to win the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Finau entered Sunday at Sheshan International Golf Club with a three-shot lead but Schauffele carded the lowest round of the day with a 68 to reel him in and the duo were locked together at 14 under after 72 holes.

Schauffele found the green in two on the first trip back up the last and with Finau having to lay up after finding a bunker off the tee, a birdie was enough to hand Schauffele the victory.

Defending champion Justin Rose was right in it throughout the day but had to settle for a 72 after a bogey on the last to finish four shots out of the play-off at ten under.

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat and American Andrew Putnam were then at eight under, a shot clear of another American in Keegan Bradley.

PGA Tour - Sanderson Farms Championship

Cameron Champ birdied five of the last six holes to win the Sanderson Farms Championship, recovering for his first PGA TOUR victory after giving up a four-shot lead Sunday.

The 23-year-old Champ won in his ninth career tour start, closing with a 4-under 68 for a four-stroke victory. He finished at 21-under 267 in the wire-to-wire victory at the Country Club of Jackson.

Champ began the day four shots ahead, but played the front nine in 1 over to fall into a tie. Corey Conners pulled even on No. 9 with a 13-foot birdie putt, but Champ pulled away on the back nine with four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16. Conners had a 68 to finish second.

"The front side, there were some nerves, but on the back side I brought it all together and finished strong. It was awesome," Champ said.

Carlos Ortiz (64) and Sam Burns (68) were six shots back.

Champ's made a name for himself during his short career on TOUR by being extremely long off the tee, but it was his putter that saved him on Sunday. He made a 38-foot birdie putt on No. 16 that gave him a two-shot lead and he saved par on No. 17 with a 15-foot par putt.

He cruised through the first six holes at 1 under, but back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 brought him back to the pack.

Asian Tour - Panasonic Open India

India's Khalin Joshi produced a dramatic finish when he fired four birdies in his closing five holes to sign for a four-under-par 68 and clinch his maiden Asian Tour title by one shot at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India on Sunday.

Despite dropping two bogeys in this opening three holes, the 26-year-old Joshi withstood stifling pressure to bounce back with six birdies on his way home, including a seven-footer on the last to hold off the challenge of Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, at the Delhi Golf Club.

Joshi, who held a share of the overnight one-shot lead thanks to a superb third-round 64, would match the lowest winning score of the tournament with his four-day total of 17-under-par 271 in the event, which celebrated its eighth edition on the Asian Tour this week.

Delhi expert Siddikur fell short of his title bid after missing a 10-footer birdie putt on the last to settle for a par and a closing 69. He ended the week in second place on his own to mark his best result so far this season.

Young Thai talent Suradit Yongcharoenchai and Ajeetesh Sandhu of India shared third place on 274 following respective rounds of 69 and 70 while Aman Raj, also of India, recorded his career-best result on the Asian Tour after carding a 69 to settle a further shot back in fifth.

Joshi will take home a winner's prize purse of US$72,000 courtesy of his victory, which saw him become the fifth Indian to win on the region's premier Tour this season. He is also the 13th player to win for the first time on the Asian Tour in 2018.

Japan Golf Tour – Mynavi ABC Championship

32 years old Yuta Kinoshita claimed his first victory at the Japan Golf Tour's Mynavi ABC Championship moving from World No. 548 to World No. 250.

Sunshine Tour - Sibaya Challenge

Louis de Jager ended his four-year winless run with a come-from-behind one-stroke victory over CJ du Plessis and Breyten Meyer in the Sibaya Challenge held at Mount Edgecombe on Friday moving from World No. 423 to World No. 365.

“It has been long,” he exclaimed, “I think it's about four years since my last win, so it's a real relief to get it done.”

In a season where he has played solid golf, missing just one cut – at last week's tournament in Parys – De Jager says he has been expecting to win for a while but will not complain about how long it took to win his fourth title now that it has finally come.

“I've felt like it was coming for a long time,” he said, “and, even last week, I played quite well but the scores just didn't reflect it. So, coming here my spirit was high and I was comfortable and confident in my game and it showed this week because I played some really good golf.”

Indeed, he played his heart out, especially in the final round where he came trailing overnight leader, Meyer, by four shots. While, for the better part of the round, Meyer and Du Plessis didn't show any signs of slowing down, De Jager kept at it, making significant gains as he piled the pressure.

KPGA Korean Golf Tour - Hyundai Insurance KJ Choi Invitational

Sungkug Park won the Hyundai Insurance KJ Choi Invitational moving from 1698 to World No. 663.

PGA Tour of Australasia - Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open

Victorian amateur Zach Murray has stormed into the clubhouse recording an emphatic victory at the Nexus Risk Services WA Open.

A wire-to-wire winner, Murray fired rounds of 64, 70, 69, 69 for a tournament total 16-under 272 to win by two shots from fellow amateur David Micheluzzi.

Murray put on a show for the crowds on the back-9 reeling off birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to ensure he headed to the 18th tee with a four-shot lead.

“I am sort of starting to calm down now; the adrenaline has been running high all day. I came home really strong which was really nice under the pressure,” added Murray.

“I holed a really big putt on 12 for birdie and that calmed me down. I hit a great shot into 13 and missed it. Then hit probably one of my worst shots for the week on 14 and made bogey. That made me re-set.

“I had finished well on the last few holes all week so in the back of my mind, I knew I could do it, which was crucial.

“It was nice to birdie 15 and 16. Then I hit probably two of the best shots I hit all week on 17 to have a two-putt birdie. It definitely made it a lot easier having a four-shot lead going down the last.

While his playing partner, Micheluzzi, made a birdie on the 72nd hole of the tournament and Murray made a bogey, the trophy still went to the 21-year-old who had his dad caddying for him.

EuroPro Tour – Tour Championship

Nick McCarthy carded rounds of 67, 64, and 68 in a must-win finale at the Andalusian PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Desert Springs Golf Club, Spain jumping to a career best of World No. 857.

McCarthy (Moortown Golf Club) started the week 24thin the Order of Merit, needing a win and nothing less if he was to play his 2019 season on the Challenge Tour.

A second-round tournament low of 64 put him in the driving seat but with plenty of work and high-class golfers just a few shots behind as he embarked on what he anticipated to be a grueling round. However, McCarthy showed no signs of nerves as he flew out the tracks, picking up five birdies in his opening seven holes to open a three-shot cushion over the field.

But, the birdie train de-railed at the ninth, as McCarthy dropped shots on the 9thand 11thwhilst Surry (Cumberwell Park Golf Club) drew level for the first time in the round. McCarthy remained unphased and bounced back with an excellent birdie at the 12th, before collecting his final birdie of the day on the 17th.

A stunning approach shot into a tricky pin, positioned at the back of the green, gave him an easy birdie and a four-shot cushion heading down the 18thas Surry could only manage a bogey to fall back to -14 with the chasing Coupland.

And with the ball in McCarthy's court, barring complete disaster on the last his mission was achieved, a bogey was enough to give him a three-shot win, and more importantly the coveted Challenge Tour card he was chasing.

“To go out leading, and to now be standing here with this trophy is the best feeling ever.” Said McCarthy.