Ireland’s Rory McIlroy defeated American Xander Schauffele on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff today to win the WGC-HSBC Championship at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.
Both players had tied in the regular 72 holes of competition at 19-under par when Schauffele, who was fighting off flu symptoms all week, birdied the par-five 18th hole today to force the playoff. Sweet-swinging Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa was contending until he dropped out on the back nine.
This was the first time the regular PGA Tour had ever held one of its tournaments in China. It was the same last week in Japan. Following the political dustup weeks ago involving the National Basketball Association in the USA and China, this tournament went smoothly.
As U.S. captain of the Presidents Cup, Tiger Woods will make his captain’s pick next Thursday. Having won the Masters this year and the Zozo Championship in Japan last week, he may be forced to pick himself. If so, then he can use one of his favorite phrases, “and that’s a good thing.”