Golf

Rory McIroy wins HSBC Champions in playoff

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland raises the trophy after winning the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland raises the trophy after winning the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. AP Photo

Rory McIlroy thought he did everything he needed to win the HSBC Champions on Sunday, and then Xander Schauffele made him do a little more.

McIlroy delivered all the right shots in the playoff, smashing driver down the fairway and hitting 4-iron into 25 feet on the par-5 closing hole at Sheshan International to set up a two-putt birdie. Schauffele, who birdied the 18th in regulation to force a playoff, had to lay up from the rough near a bunker, and his 12-foot birdie putt stayed just right of the hole.

McIlroy won for the fourth time this year. It was his third World Golf Championships title, and his first since the Match Play at Harding Park in 2015. McIlroy played bogey-free over the last 39 holes and closed with a 4-under 68, taking trouble out of play down the stretch because he had the lead.

"Bogey-free on the weekend. I thought it would be enough to get the job done," McIlroy said.

Schauffele turned in a bold performance in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the HSBC Champions. He spent all week battling remnants of the flu, started the final round two shots behind and never let McIlroy feel in control.

Two shots behind with four to play, Schauffele birdied two of the last four holes for a 66, two-putting from the front of the green to a pin toward the back on the 18th in regulation, calmly making the 5-footer to force overtime at Sheshan for the second straight year.

They finished at 19-under 269.

Phil Mickelson closed with a 68 and tied for 28th. With Shugo Imahira finishing second on the Japan Golf Tour, Mickelson will drop out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since Nov. 28, 1993, the longest consecutive streak in the top 50 since the Official World Golf Ranking began in 1986. "It was a good run," Mickelson said. "But I'll be back."

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PGA TOUR

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (AP) — Brendon Todd ran away with the Bermuda Championship for his second PGA Tour title, shooting a 9-under 62 after flirting with a sub-60 round at mostly calm Port Royal Golf Club.

"I'm thrilled, over the moon," said Todd, his career once nearly ended by full-swing yips. "A year ago, I was talking to my manager about potentially opening up another business and not sure if I was going to keep playing. So, to turn it around in one year and regain status and then have a big win this like this is just a dream come true and hopefully a springboard to a really long, successful career out here."

Two months after regaining his tour card in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, Todd earned a two-year exemption, $540,000 and spots at Kapalua, The Players Championship and the PGA Championship. He won the 2014 Byron Nelson for first PGA Tour title, then went 100 starts before breaking through again.

Needing to birdie the final two holes to shoot 59, Todd missed a 20-foot birdie try on the par-5 17th and closed with a bogey after taking three shots to reach the green on the par-4 18th. He finished at 24-under 260 for a four-stroke victory over Harry Higgs in the first-year event.

Two strokes behind Higgs entering the round, Todd opened with a par, then birdied the next seven. The 34-year-old former University of Georgia player also birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 15. Higgs closed with a 68.

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LPGA TOUR

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — American Nelly Korda successfully defended her title in the LPGA Swinging Skirts, birdieing the first hole of a playoff with Australia's Minjee Lee and Germany Caroline Masson.

The 21-year-old Korda reached the par-5 18th in two in the playoff and two-putted for her third LPGA Tour victory.

Three strokes ahead entering the round, Korda birdied the par-5 18th in regulation for an even-par 72. Lee also birdied the last in a 69, and Masson shot 68. They finished at 18-under 270 at Miramar.

Korda had a three-stroke lead after a birdie on the par-5 12th, but bogeyed three of the next five to fall a stroke behind Masson.

"It just gets away from you so fast," Korda said. "And Caroline made a couple putts and she was one ahead of me on 17. I was like, 'Geez, I have to make a birdie here.'"

Korda won the Women's Australian Open in February.

Brooke Henderson (68), Sei Young Kim (69) and Mi Jung Hur (71) tied for fourth at 14 under.

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Colin Montgomerie won the Invesco QQQ Championship with a par on the first hole of a playoff after Bernhard Langer took four strokes to get out of a greenside bunker.

With Langer finally on the par-4 18th green in six shots, Montgomerie two-putted for the victory, with the 56-year-old Scot tapping in from 2 feet to end the second of three events in the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.

Playing five groups ahead of Langer, Montgomerie made a 40-foot birdie putt in regulation on 18 for a tournament-record 9-under 63. Langer parred the final four holes in regulation for a 67, leaving a 15-foot birdie try short on 18. They finished at 15-under 202.

Montgomerie won for the seventh time on the 50-and-over tour. The 62-year-old Langer has 40 senior victories, winning a playoff at Sherwood in 2017.

Retief Goosen and Tommy Tolles were a stroke back. Goosen, the second-round leader, shot a 69. He missed a 12-foot birdie try on 18. Tolles closed with a 66.

The top 36 in the season standings advanced to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week in Phoenix. Points leader Scott McCarron closed with a 77 to tie for 43rd at even par.

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OTHER TOURS

South Korea's Jung-Gon Hwang won the Mynavi ABC Championship for his fourth victory on the Japan Golf Tour. He closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 19 under, a stroke ahead of Shugo Imahira. ... Home favorite Alejandro Tosti shot an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke victory over Spain's Mario Beltran and American Justin Suh in Argentina in the PGA Tour Latinoamerica's Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational. ... South Africa's George Coetzee won his 10th Sunshine Tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a three-stroke victory at Simola in Knysna, South Africa. ... Hye-jin Choi won the Korean LPGA's SK Networks Ladies Classic by three strokes, finishing with a 3-under 69 for a 15-under 273 total. ... Ai Suzuki took the Japan LPGA's Mitsubishi Electric Ladies for her fifth victory of the season. She finished with a 4-under 64 for a one-stroke victory.

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