Finau rues missed opportunity after play-off agony

Tony Finau felt he “let one get away” after missing out on the WGC-HSBC Champions title in a play-off with compatriot Xander Schauffele

The 29-year-old started the final round at Sheshan International Golf Club with a three-shot lead and was two up through 10, but finished level on 14 under with Schauffele following a one-under 71 on Sunday.

Schauffele birdied the first extra hole to claim the victory, with Finau only able to make par after having to chip out from a bunker following a stray tee shot.

It is over two-and-a-half years since Finau won his only PGA Tour title and he was left to rue a missed opportunity in Shanghai, where Justin Rose faded to finish third on 10 under after battling it out with the two Americans.

“I definitely feel like I let one get away,” said Finau. “Xander played incredible golf today.

“It was playing tough out there. He posted a number and made birdie on a play-off hole when it counted. Hats off to him, he played nicely and deserved to win.

“It seemed like we separated ourselves with nine holes to play. Kind of a three-man tournament – definitely felt that way coming down the stretch – and it was cool to have a chance to win, a real chance to win.

“I’ll definitely learn from this and keep moving forward.”

Schauffele savoured a third PGA Tour triumph – and his first since September 2017 – a win that came just three days after his 25th birthday.

“I felt like I was playing great all day,” he said. “We kept our heads down. 

“Even when I was signing my card I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the play-off’. I was just in my own world out there.

“It means a lot, it was my birthday this week. To have my family out here, especially with the win, it’s really special.”