Rory McIlroy’s Shanghai success after play-off win over Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy edged out Xander Schauffele in a play-off to win the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The world number two won at the first extra hole at the Sheshan International Golf Club after both finished on 19 under.
Schauffele, the defending champion, had birdied the 18th to take the event into a play-off but he could only score par as the pair played it again in sudden death.
McIlroy, who had to lay up after flirting with water on his first playing of the 18th, duly sank a birdie putt to claim his 27th career title.
It was also McIlroy’s third win in a World Golf Championships event, his fourth win of 2019 and the first in his defence of the FedEX Cup title. It lifted him to the top of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and fifth in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings.
McIlroy told Sky Sports: “It’s a tough closing stretch even though there are holes you think you should birdie. There are dangers waiting around every corner.
“I played conservatively when I needed to and thankfully it paid off.”
McIlroy now hopes to round off 2019 with success on the European circuit’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai later this month.
The Northern Irishman said: “I’m going to take two months off after I play in Dubai in a couple of weeks’ time.
“I am looking forward to that break but I have still got one tournament left this year at a place where I’ve had some success.”