Finau fights off defending champ Rose in Shanghai

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       Highlights from the opening round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai

2:42 Highlights from the opening round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai

Xander Schauffele celebrated his 25th birthday week in some style by beating fellow American Tony Finau in a playoff to win the $10 million ($A14.1 million) WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International course on Sunday.

The shot Schauffele on the par-5 18th was a great one and it led to a birdie he could have made left-handed with his eyes closed. "Just play some good golf coming down the stretch and I was able to do that", Finau said. "I think I'll stay in attack mode", he said.

The birdie was enough to see Finau regain the lead and his length off the tee allowed him to take advantage of the par five last.

Third-ranked Justin Rose of England, the defending champion, shot 69 and is tied for 10th with Adam Scott of Australia, Ian Poulter of England, Keegan Bradley, George Coetzee of South Africa and Matt Wallace of England.


On the second nine, he bogeyed five times and also had a double and just one birdie on Par-5 second.

Rose has a chance to return to No. 1 with a victory, and it doesn't look as though Brooks Koepka can put up much of a fight.

"I didn't have a lot going my way for the first half of the day and Rosey was making his run".

Reed opened with a pair of quick birdies in a swirling wind that came out of the opposite direction of the first round.


His double bogey on the 17th hole sent him from a two-shot lead to a one-shot deficit, and then he compounded it with another mistake on the 18th. "Tony (Finau) played well, as well, but it's tricky to try and fend off when everyone is chasing you". A second-place finish in a World Golf Championship event in China continued Finau's upward trend in the game, only without the reward of a prestigious victory.

The HSBC Champions was the fourth and final WGC event of the calendar year, but it's part of the PGA Tour's 2018-19 schedule.

Rose, who came from eight shots back in the final round a year ago to lift the trophy, was feeling good after not dropping a shot all day on the way to a five-under 67.

If Xiong, who turns 20 on November 9, triumphs Sunday, he would become only the second teenager to win on the PGA Tour since 1931. He posted a number and made birdie on a playoff hole when it counted.


The 29-year-old American took only four putts over the last four holes, starting with a tough up-and-down from a bunker behind the 15th green that barely reached the fringe and trickled down to about 4 feet.

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