Xander Schauffele beat Tony Finau in a play-off to win his first European Tour title at 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.
Schauffele’s victory comes in just his 14th European Tour event and moves the Affiliate Member up to fourth in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after top ten finishes at the US Open and Open Championship.
Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjørn Olesen, Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay completed the top ten at five under.
Belgian Thomas Pieters made the first ever hole-in-one at the 12th hole at Sheshan as his six iron off the tee from 197 yards took two bounces and rolled into the cup.
Xander Schauffele: “It was as nice of a final group as I’ve ever played in, not that I’ve played in a whole lot but Rosey and Tony are great guys and you know, I think we were genuinely pulling for each other, even though we were playing against each other. My hat’s off to both of them.
“It’s a lot to take in honestly. I didn’t have an incredible Asian Swing up until this point, so I think that flight home will be a little bit more special.
“Probably having my family out. It’s the first time we’ve been together in a pretty long time. That was pretty special and I’m happy to share this with them. Other key moments, it’s tricky. Everything we do is really repetitive, so it’s hard to really pick out a specific moment. There are a few out on the course which were clutch, but besides that, I can’t think of anything too significant.
“I felt really good about every part of my game mentally, physically. So with a 68, obviously, it was just enough. Tony played well, as well, but it’s tricky to try and fend off when everyone is chasing you.”
Tony Finau: “Just walking off the green, haven’t had a lot of time but 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 playoff hole when it counted. Hats off him to. He played nicely today and deserved to win.
“Seemed like we kind of separated ourselves with nine holes to play. Kind of a three-man tournament. So definitely felt that way coming down the stretch, and it was cool to have a chance to win, a real chance to win, and you know, I’ll definitely learn from this and keep moving forward.”
Justin Rose: “Tough day for everybody. You just look at the scoreboard. Seems like everyone fell apart. There was no chasing pack today. Obviously it was a three-horse race all day. It was hard to kind of keep the mistakes off the card completely today.
“It was a fun battle. I was always just one or two shots behind, it felt on the back nine, but I birdied 13 and 14 to give myself a chance, and still had a chance I felt when I hit my iron shot into 17.
“Hit a good iron shot into there and Xander made his putt. I missed my putt. I was two behind playing the last trying to force something there. I was in the hunt, and a decent defence. Yeah, solid week.
“I have events I’ve got to defend between this week, two left Turkey and Indonesia, and I’ve never defended a tournament before, so that’s the goal for this run is to defend one of them.”