McIlroy Leads The Chase At Tournament of Champions

Elena Summers
January 10, 2019

Those who did birdie 18 included Woodland along with Aussie Marc Leishman (68) and in third place at 13-under par and also the American duo of Bryson DeChambeau (70) and sharing fourth place at 12-under par with American Xander Schauffele (68) who also ended with a last hole birdie. Two eagle chips he almost made, one hitting the left edge of the cup, the other stopping inches away in the heart.

Woodland, one of the most athletic figures in golf, gave him a smile and a playful push on the shoulder.

"This is the stuff you dream about", Schauffele said.

But, Woodland wasn't the only to fearless the course known for its howling winds.

Following a bogey at the first hole that dropped him six strokes off the lead, Schauffele rebounded with four birdies over five holes.

The trailer was just behind the grandstands on the 18th hole.

Schauffele, who won the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions in China in October, became the first multiple-time victor on the PGA Tour this season and took over the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings.

"Try not to make any mistakes and pick off my birdies when I can. We kept our head down and made a run for it".

Xander Schauffele picked up his second title of the 2018-19 season with a brand new Callaway Epic Flash driver and Apex Pro 19 Irons, which were both only launched last week!

It still will depend on Woodland, a three-time victor on the PGA Tour who wants more victories to show for his improved all-around game.

Turning professional less than four years ago, he has bagged four PGA Tour victories during the past 18 months. He never shot worse than 68 all week and was the only player in the winners-only field to have all four rounds in the 60s.

It was good enough to win all but three tournaments held at Kapalua.

"It was frustrating early", Woodland said. He's tied for the lead with Gary Woodland.

"I've just got to go about my business". It was the first birdie on No. 17 in the final round. In the group behind him, Woodland made his long eagle putt to regain the lead.

But he couldn't keep up at the end. Justin Thomas, who carded an impressive eight-under 65, finished in third on 18-under-par. He rolled it in for his 62 to finish at 23-under 269, and then had to wait. It stayed out to the right, he hit a pitch-and-run to 10 feet and missed the putt. But he found no consolation in losing to a guy who shot 62 in the tougher of the two wind directions on the west end of Maui. "I didn't have a bogey today and I can go out and make that a goal tomorrow", he said. I had killed the par-5s all week this week, which is what you got to do out here.

"I played really good this week and I'm glad I still finished fourth". I want my driving accuracy to get up into the 60 percent number.

He played in the final group with Woodland, three shots behind, knowing he had played in the final group six times previous year without winning.

"I wish I had a shot that comfortable, say, at the Tour Championship past year, something where you can just put it in play and get it on the fairway".

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