Sentry Tournament of Champions: Rory McIlroy chasing down Gary Woodland in Hawaii

Ross Houston
January 9, 2019

The scoring average on Sunday dropped to 69.72, compared to averages for the first three days that hovered above 71, and just a single player in the field (Francesco Molinari) shot over par on Sunday. He was just a shot off the Kapalua course record and remarkably, his round included a bogey at the first hole when he pulled his drive way left. He got off to a hot start with two birdies in his opening five holes to get to within two shots of his playing partner, but could only find a solitary bogey for the remainder of the round to end up in a tie for 4th with Dustin Johnson and Schauffele's playing partner Marc Leishman.

But two eagles - the second from 105 yards at the par-four 12th - and eight birdies catapulted the American to his fourth victory on the PGA Tour, his second in a couple of months after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in late October. I was hitting different shots, left to right, right to left, high to low - some things I wasn't maybe quite as comfortable doing previous year.

"Obviously I could have shot a better score, but I did what I wanted to do". Schauffele, the 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, has won all four of his titles in come-from-behind fashion. The next day, all it took was one big putt.

Schauffele briefly moved within one of the lead after following three straight gains from the fifth with a pitch-in eagle from off the ninth green, only for Woodland to get up-and-down from the rough to make a close-range birdie on the par-five.

Winner Xander Schauffele shot 62.

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

Justin Thomas, who also bogeyed the first hole, ripped off nine birdies over his final 16 holes to post an 8-under 65. I had killed the par-5s all week this week, which is what you got to do out here.

As for Leishman, a two under 71 left him feeling like he'd had a awful day in comparison to Schauffele.

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!

'So just pushing a little too much too early and trying to really force myself to hitting shots or hitting it into positions where I don't really need to and just being patient, it's 18 holes. "I didn't have a bogey today and I can go out and make that a goal tomorrow", he said. "So to get myself right back in contention and see if I've learned anything from past year and try to put that into practice is great".

Other reports by iNewsToday