Schauffele Tracks Down Finau
Another weekend of late-night PGA tour watching, and it was another tournament that ended in a playoff. It seems like a tournament can only finish one of two ways this year so far, Either a run away or in a playoff. The WGC – HSBC Champions was no different. Xander Schauffele knocked off Tony Finau in a 1-hole playoff to capture his 3rd win on tour in his career and wrap up the Asian swing of the 2018 Schedule. There was nothing special or dominant with how Schauffele maneuvered himself around the Sheshan International Golf Course but he kept himself in the mix all week and when Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau faltered late on Sunday (or Saturday for those watching at home) Schauffele was able to take advantage, cash a cheque for 1.8 million and have some extra carry-on luggage for the flight to Hawaii.
He Did It Again?!!!
Speaking of Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau, when will this guy get a win? At this point it seems like he is trying not to win, just to see how much money he can make and top 10s he can accumulate before actually hoisting a trophy again. Because how can someone play this good for this long and not have a win during this span? This is a serious question that someone needs to explain to me because it boggles my mind that Tony Finau does not have a win in the last 12 months.
Surprise, Surprise Justin Rose finished in the top 5 of another tournament. Is there a more consistent golfer in the world right now? DJ and Brooks might have the sex appeal, but Justin Rose is legit. Fun fact: Going back to July 2017 Justin Rose has finished outside the top 20 four times in tournaments he has played. So, it should be no surprise he finished in solo 3rd place at this tournament and was in contention on Sunday.
Rounding out the top 5 was the “Muffin Man”/ “The Barn Rat”/ the furthest thing from a Thai lady boy; Kiradech Aphibarnrat and a guy most would think was the service manager at their local Chevy dealership if they heard his name; Andrew Putnam. Both those guys were solid all week to finish in a tie for 4th.
This leads us to the other notable finishes at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Keegan Bradley continued his redemption tour to become relevant again with a 6th place finish. I cannot comment on whether he has shed any more weight though. Tommy Fleetwood who is quickly becoming one of, if not the coolest guy on tour (the video of Justin Rose saying Tommy Fleetwood’s name to the beat of 2 Unlimited – no limit is a must find if you haven’t seen it) stumbled on Sunday with a 3 over but still finished in a tie for 7th.
Another guy who finished tied for 7th was Media villain number 1 Patrick Reed. In an effort to keep up his least likable guy on tour persona Fatso brushed off the media who asked him about the Ryder cup this week saying he is only focused on the race to Dubai now. Oh, and he also shot 77 on Sunday to completely fall out of the running for this tournament LOL. In a shocking result, Thomas Pieters didn’t break any clubs this week even though he finished 74 74 on the weekend.
I am sure if someone would have told lone Canadian in the field Adam Hadwin, he would be tied with Dustin Johnson at the end of the tournament he would be pumped. That tie happened, unfortunately it was for 30th place with a four-round total of three over par. Race to Dubai leader Fran Molinari had a disappointing week finishing +7 and in a tie for 43rd.
Rory McIlroy STUNK and cost me the weekly DTG pickem win….but I can’t stay mad at him. Finally, I didn’t think anyone would touch the 34-stroke gap from last week but these tourneys with no cuts can really take a toll on a guy. This week’s thanks for coming out winner is Bowen Xiao who got progressively worse as the tournament went on (76, 79, 80, 82) to finish dead last at +29 and 43 strokes behind the leaders. WOOF
Asia Tour 2018 Complete
That wraps up the Asian swing of the PGA tour and it is the end of night time golf watching for another year. I kind of feel like they ended with the worst tournament the course looked bad in comparison to the last 2 weeks and maybe I just got used to the low scores but this week seemed a little boring even though the big names were playing and two of them went to a playoff. Congratulations go out to Xander Schauffele and I wish I could give Tony Finau something for his efforts, but I can’t. I know Matty B and Bronel will want to give him a made up “Best Dressed” award for the pink hat and shirt combo in round 3 but until he fixes the pants situation that is just another category he is coming up short in.