Sentry Tournament of Champions: Xander Schauffele shoots 11-under 62 to claim first victory of 2019

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Xander Schauffele shot a course record-tying 11-under 62 to edge out 54-hole leader Gary Woodland for the first victory of the 2019 PGA Tour season.

Schauffele, who was invited to the exclusive Sentry Tournament of Champions after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in October 2018, climbed up the leaderboard behind eight birdies and two eagles. The only blemish on his scorecard was a bogey on the par-4 first hole. But, he followed that by firing off four birdies in five holes on the front nine and made the turn after an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Schauffele finished the tournament 23-under 269.

It’s Schauffele’s fourth tour victory. However, the win wasn’t easy.

He had to hold off Woodland, who was fighting to get back on top. It seems, though, Schauffele works best under pressure because he has birdied the 72nd hole to either win by one stroke or force a playoff in each of his career wins.

Woodland, who started the day with a three-shot lead, didn’t have a single hiccup with five birdies in the final round at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Lahaina, Hawaii. His mistake-free round was enough to keep him neck-and-neck with Schauffele as the two were tied going into the final hole.

But, Woodland ultimately finished the final day 5-under 68 and the tournament 22-under 270. Unfortunately, this is familiar ground for him. He has held the lead going into the final round on tour six previous times in stroke-play events, but he has never gone on to win.

Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson climbed up the leaderboard to claim third and fourth place, respectively. Thomas finished the week 18-under 274 after nine birdies in his final round — like Schauffele, he also opened with a bogey. Johnson was mistake-free in his last round shooting par or better to finish 15-under 277.

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Marc Leishman and Rory McIlroy joined Johnson in a tie for fourth.

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