Monday, November 04, 2019 1:00 am
McIlroy captures WGC tourney
SHANGHAI – Given another shot at winning the HSBC Champions, Rory McIlroy delivered his best of the day.
Even though he never trailed over the last 14 holes Sunday, and he didn't make a bogey all weekend, McIlroy felt fortunate to be standing on the tee at the par-5 18th in a playoff with defending champion Xander Schauffele.
On the final hole in regulation, McIlroy thought his drive was in the water, relieved to find it was a foot from the red hazard line.
After five hours of an exquisite battle among McIlroy, Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen, the pivotal moment was when Schauffele reached into a hat on the 18th tee for a white slip of paper with “2'' written on it. That meant McIlroy would go first in the playoff.
And there was no doubt about his next two shots.
He followed a soaring drive down the middle of the fairway with a 4-iron from 223 yards into the wind to 25 feet that set up a two-putt birdie for the victory.
“If anything over the last few years ... for the most part, I've been able to get the best out of myself when I've needed it, and that's been a learning curve for me,” McIlroy said. “But I've had enough experiences, and I've got a lot of great memories to draw back on. There's so many shots that I've hit under pressure that I can draw on.”
McIlroy did everything right, closing with a 4-under 68 and going bogey-free over the last 39 holes he played.
McIlroy won for the fourth time this year. It was his third World Golf Championships title.
PGA: In Southampton, Bermuda, Brendon Todd ran away with the Bermuda Championship for his second PGA Tour title, shooting a 9-under 62 at mostly calm Port Royal Golf Club.
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. Todd finished at 24-under 260 for a four-stroke victory over Harry Higgs in the first-year event.
LPGA: In Taipei, Taiwan, 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. Korda, 21, reached the par-5 18th in two in the playoff and two-putted for her third LPGA Tour victory.
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.
CHAMPIONS: In Thousand Oaks, California, 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.