Sheshan International Golf Club
Winner’s Share: $1,745,000
Playing out of the final threesome, overnight leader (by one) Rory McIlroy, a pre-tourney 6/1 fave outright, smoothed a bogey-free 4-under-par 68 in the final round to match defending champ and playing competitor Xander Schauffele (66) on 19-under 269, and then defeated him with a two-putt birdie on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th.
The reigning FedExCup champion and in some circles, controversial Player of the Year, bags his 18th PGA TOUR victory in 170 events, first since the 2019 TOUR Championship just two starts ago, and his third WGC title in 38 tries.
After Tiger Woods won No. 82 last week in Japan – to match the all-time TOUR record – McIlroy, who finished T3 to Tiger (six adrift), stated that it inspired him to win more often.
Well done sir.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
P1- (-19) Rory McIlroy (6/1) fave
P2- (-19) Xander Schauffele (14/1)
3- (-17) Louis Oosthuizen (55/1)
4- (-15) Victor Perez (225/1)
4- (-15) Matthias Schwab (110/1)
4- (-15) Abraham Ancer (110/1)
Note: Consecutive top-10 finishers in the event: Schauffele (P2-P1); Patrick Reed (8-7)
Note: No ShotLink, so no Strokes Gained stats. If there were, McIlroy and Schauffele would’ve posted a 16.705 SG: Total.
McIlroy’s Position by Round:
R1: T7 (3 back)
R2: 2 (1 back)
R3: 1 (by 1)
Schauffele’s Position by Round:
R1: T3 (2 back)
R2: T3 (2 back)
R3: T3 (2 back)
Matching Tiger’s score to par from last week’s inaugural ZOZO (-19), the 30-year-old records his 25th top 10 in 38 WGCs (65.7%) and third win (7.8%), first since the 2015 Match Play, 15 WGC starts ago.
It’s his second WGC triumph in stroke play, joining the Bridgestone (now FedEx St. Jude) in 2014, where he came from three back with 4-under 66 to win by two.
That win at Firestone CC was his second of three straight W’s in 2014, sandwiched by The Open and PGA Championships, the latter his most recent of four major titles.
McIlroy played his final 36 holes this week in bogey-free 9-under.
The newly revamped Asia Swing (subtract CIMB, add ZOZO) wraps with three of the TOUR’s most-prolific winners taking home the trophies:
CJ CUP: World No. 5 Justin Thomas (13/2 fave): Win %: 7.8
ZOZO: World No. 10 Tiger Woods (33/1): Win %: 22.8
HSBC: World No. 2 Rory McIlroy (6/1 fave); Win %: 10.5
Thomas has won three times in his last 28 starts (10.7%)
Woods has won three times in his last 13 starts (23.0%)
McIlroy’s won three times in his last 15 starts (20.0%)
It’s going to be a fun season.
McIlroy in WGCs:
Top 10s: 25 (65.7%)
Wins: 3 (7.8%)
Last season, McIlroy sputtered to a T54 here, his worst finish at the HSBC – previously five top 10s in his last six HSBC’s – but, had taken three weeks off on the lead-in after going 2-3-0 in the Ryder Cup.
That T54, to Schauffele, was on 10-over 298, 24 shots adrift of a 2-man playoff involving 54-hole leader Tony Finau, and Schauffele, who caught playing competitor Finau (71) with a day-low 68, and then defeated him with birdie on the first playoff hole.
This week, Schauffele, who paced the field in birdies with 28, caught McIlroy with birdie at the 72nd hole of regulation (to McIlroy’s par), but McIlroy flipped the script on him in extra time.
The duo, who also finished 1-2 at the TOUR Championship back in August, played all 73 holes together this week.
18th Hole in Regulation:
McIlroy was forced to layup after an errant tee ball nearly found the water right. He hit his third from 130 yards to about 20 feet and missed.
Schauffele, battling the flu all week, found the fairway off the tee while his second from 232 yards barely cleared the water hazard fronting the green but found the surface. Schauffele 2-putted (from distance) for birdie to extend the proceedings.
18th Hole in Playoff:
McIlroy, first off the tee, hit a much better tee shot this time, leaving 224 yards from the fairway. Majestic 4-iron to about 25 feet. Missed eagle on the high-side but after the Schauffele miss, canned the come-backer from three feet.
Schauffele overdrew his tee ball into the left rough and was forced to layup. Third from fairway from 126 yards out to about 12 feet, just past pin-high, but missed right.
Schauffele, going for his fifth TOUR title, all in come-from-behind fashion, settles for his fifth runner-up instead. He owns two top 10s now in 10 WGC starts, both here in China.
McIlroy on Sunday:
After kicking off trip-67s, he began with a one-shot lead over Oosthuizen (69), two clear of Schauffele and 36-hole leader Matthew Fitzpatrick (71).
The Ulsterman landed 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, taking 28 total putts.
He ticked four birdies at holes 5, 8, 9 and 14, posting 1.714 putts per GIR and going 4-for-4 in scrambles.
OUT: 3-under 33 (3 birdies, NO bogeys); leads by one (over Schauffele)
IN: 1-under 35 (1 birdie, NO bogeys); WINS in playoff
For the week, McIlroy totaled one eagle and 22 birdies against five bogeys, T1 in the latter stat.
How McIlroy Won the Tournament:
Ranked 1st (or T1) in: Total Bogeys; Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Par-3 Scoring
Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Birdie or Better Percentage
Note: See “Leaders in Selected Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.
Lowest-Ranked Stat(s): Driving Accuracy (T30)
McIlroy’s TOUR Career:
Cuts Made: 147 (86.4%)
Top 25s: 113 (66.4%)
Top 10s: 83 (48.8%)
Top 3s: 31 (18.2%)
Wins: 18 (10.5%)
Wins by Season:
By the Numbers:
5/6: McIlroy’s revised outright betting entering R4.
1: This is McIlroy’s first conversion of a 54-hole lead/co-lead at WGC events. He had been 0-for-2 (2019 FedEx St. Jude; 2016 Cadillac Championship-Doral).
2: Through nine (non-team) events this season, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won two times: Rory McIlroy (6/1) at WGC-HSBC, and Justin Thomas (13/2) at THE CJ CUP. Last season, two fave/co-faves won (in 45 non-team events): Rory McIlroy (12/1 co-fave) at THE PLAYERS, and Collin Morikawa at the Barracuda (10/1).
3: Of his 18 TOUR wins, this is McIlroy’s third outside the USA, joining the 2019 RBC Canadian Open, and the 2014 Open (England).
3: McIlroy is now 3-for-3 outside the USA converting 54-hole leads/co-leads, joining the two events mentioned above.
6: This is McIlroy’s sixth win in no-cut events, second straight (2019 TOUR Champ)
5: Defender Schauffele, who checked in off a T10 at the ZOZO, records his fifth career runner-up in 80 events. The five have come at the WGC-HSBC, TOUR Championship, Masters, The Open, and THE PLAYERS, further cementing his status as a big-game hunter.
13: Oosthuizen’s solo 3rd was his 13th career top-3 finish in 173 events, first since T2 at the 2019 Valspar. It’s his 11th top 10 in 40 WGC’s (27.5%) and his best stroke-play finish, eclipsing a solo 4th at the 2012 Bridgestone. The South African’s best overall finish is runner-up at the 2016 Match Play.
0: Of 21 TOUR rookies, zero qualified for the first WGC of the season.
472: Non-member and World No. 472 Yechun Yuan (Carl to some), was top-finisher of six China flags with T17 on 9-under 279 (69-70-74-66), Rounds 1 and 4 bogey-free.
T4: There were 24 first-timers at Sheshan with non-member Victor Perez (France), non-member Matthias Schwab (Austria), and Abraham Ancer (Mexico) sharing top debutant with T4s, four short of the playoff. Perez was making his TOUR debut, Schwab his WGC debut, and Ancer his tournament debut.
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 15thHSBC, 11th as a WGC event, and 10th at Sheshan Int’l, seventh consecutive.
Par 72 (36-36)
Rory McIlroy: 67-67-67-68
Xander Schauffele: 66-69-68-66
NO DRAW; limited-field, no-cut event
6 (of 49) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:
EARLY/late: 5 (Brendon Todd; opposite-field Bermuda winner)
Strength of Field:
With a Strength of Field rating of 484 (down 91 from last season), McIlroy banks 60.00 world-ranking points and 550 FEC points:
OWGR: From 2 to 2 (no change)
FedExCup: From 35 to 1 (up 34)
Note: McIlroy was later bumped to No. 2 in the FEC by the leader coming into the week Lanto Griffin, who regained the top spot (by 24 points) with a T18 in Bermuda.
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: HaoTong Li (finished: T24): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Matthew Fitzpatrick (7th): Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Rory McIlroy (P1): Improves to 8-for-13 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
R4: Rory McIlroy (P1): Playoff Record: 2-2
R4: Xander Schauffele (P2): Playoff Record: 1-1
R1: 64: HaoTong Li
R2: 65: Paul Waring
R3: 65: Louis Oosthuizen
R4: 65: Tyrrell Hatton, Yosuke Asaji
R1: (2): Yechun Yuan (69); Bryce Easton (70)
Multiple Bogey-free Rounds:
McIlroy, Yuan (x2)
4 winners were in their 20s
4 were in their 30s (McIlroy age: 30; Todd age: 34)
1 was in their 40s
(Opposite-field) Bermuda Championship (inaugural):
Playing out of the final threesome, second-round tri-leader and World No. 525 Brendon Todd erased a two-shot deficit with a career-low 9-under 62 for a 72-hole tally of 24-under 260 (68-63-67-62), up one spot on the day and good for a four-shot victory over runner-up, playing competitor and overnight leader Harry Higgs (68).
The Georgia alum, a pre-tourney 110/1 outright, matched the low round of the week en route to his second TOUR victory in 177 events, first since the 2014 Byron Nelson (as a 36-hole leader and 54-hole co-leader) 100 starts ago.
Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:
2: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Brian Gay, Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Gary Woodland, Charles Howell III, Danny Lee, Justin Thomas, Mark Hubbard, Xinjun Zhang, Carlos Ortiz, Denny McCarthy, Adam Hadwin, Dylan Frittelli, Sebastian Munoz
Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:
3: Rory McIlroy (P1-3-1)
3: Xander Schauffele (P2-10-2)
2: Gary Woodland (5-3)
2: Danny Lee (10-2)
Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended at:
2: Hideki Matsuyama (11-2-3)
2: Byeong Hun An (14-8-6)
2: Denny McCarthy (15-9-9)
McIlroy’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 77 players):
Birdies: 22 (T3)
Bogeys: 5 (T1)
Birdie or Better Percentage: 31.94% (T2)
Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 4.60 (1st)
Par-3 Scoring: 2.69 (1st)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.85 (T8)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.50 (T9)
Driving Accuracy: 34/56 (T30) at 60.71%
Putts per GIR: 1.635 (T15)
Total Putts: 106 (T8)
Putts by Round: 25-26-27-28
Scrambling: 15/20 (4th) at 75.00%
Leaders in Selected Stats:
1. Xander Schauffele (28)
2. Tyrrell Hatton (23)
3. Abraham Ancer (22)
3. Louis Oosthuizen (22)
3. Rory McIlroy (22)
Birdie or Better %:
1. Xander Schauffele (38.89)
2. Tyrrell Hatton (31.94)
2. Louis Oosthuizen (31.94)
2. Abraham Ancer (31.94)
2. Rory McIlroy (31.94)
Birdie to Bogey Ratio:
1. Rory McIlroy (4.60)
2. Matthias Schwab (3.80)
3. Louis Oosthuizen (3.29)
4. Xander Schauffele (3.11)
5. Jason Kokrak (3.00)
1. Jason Kokrak (81.94)
2. Patrick Reed (80.56)
3. Louis Oosthuizen (77.78)
4. Corey Conners (75.00)
4. Adam Scott (75.00)
8. Rory McIlroy (72.22)