Justin Rose soared back to the top of the world rankings after edging out Haotong Li in a thrilling finish at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Schauffele and Champ claim landmark victories – are they USA’s next major winners?
Xander Schauffele won the WGC-HSBC Champions trophy against a stellar field in Shanghai yesterday, cementing his place as one America’s brightest golfing talents. But it was matched in significance by Cameron Champ, clinching his maiden PGA Tour victory in only his second start on tour.
The 23-year-old shredded the Country Club of Jackson course to claim a wire-to-wire victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship, averaging an astonishing 330 yards off the tee – 25 yards more than his nearest competitor.
Both Schauffele and Champ will go into 2019 with high hopes of claiming an early major victory – adding to the USA’s recent domination of golf’s grand slams. Despite a humbling defeat in the Ryder Cup, American players have won seven of the last nine majors.
What happened at the WGC-HSBC Champions?
Tony Finau led by three shots going into the final round after a birdie-birdie-birdie finish on Saturday. But at the 72nd hole he was level with playing partner Xander Schauffele and the pair were two clear of defending champion Justin Rose.
Finau and Schauffele had eagle putts at the par-5 finishing hole, only for Rose’s approach to knock Schauffele’s ball into the water. The crowd fell silent. They did not have the advantage of a commentator like the rest of the watching world. Schauffele’s ball, we were told, would of course be replaced.
While Rose got up and down from the edge of the drink for a 6 to finish at 10-under, the American pair both two-putted to force extra holes. They returned to the 18th tee, from which Finau found the sand and was forced to lay up. It proved to be the shot that handed the title to his opponent as Schauffele tapped in for birdie which proved enough.
Cameron Champ – what’s in the bag?
Cameron Champ birdied five of his final six holes to close out a four-under par 68 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, finishing four strokes clear of compatriot Corey Conners.
It was a dominant display of power hitting, but his campaign was almost derailed on the driving range 30 minutes before the final round when he cracked the crown of his driver. Fortunately for Champ, who averaged 340 yards off the tee in last season’s Web.com Tour, he had a replacement in the back of his car which he then used to close out victory. Here’s a closer look at his equipment set-up: