2018 HSBC Champions

Words by BGB
BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat enjoyed his best-ever finish at a World Golf Championships by signing off with a one-under-par 71 to end his week in tied-fourth place at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday.

The US$10 million event also welcomed a new champion in American Xander Schauffele after he defeated compatriot Tony Finau with a birdie in the first play-off hole to lift the Old Tom Morris Cup at the Sheshan International Golf Club.

Schauffele, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, closed with 68 to finish with a 14-under-par 274 total for the tournament.

On his second trip back to the 18th for the play-off, Schauffele found the green in two and duly sank his short birdie putt.

He was confirmed as the newest champion of the WGC-HSBC Champions when Finau’s birdie putt from the edge of the green stopped just short of the hole.

Defending champion Justin Rose of England had to settle for third place after two bogeys in his last four holes saw him finish four shots back of Schauffele and Finau on 72.

China’s Li Haotong justified his position as the country’s best golfer when he posted a 70 to share 11th place with Australia’s Jason Day and Bill Horschel of the United States while India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who leads the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity standings, signed for another 72 and will turn his attention towards strengthening his pole position on the money list now.

Did you know?

– Kiradech Aphibarnrat hit 32/56 fairways and 36/72 greens the entire week. He made a total of 25 putts on the final day.

– The Thai was playing in his fourth WGC-HSBC Champions. His previous results include T55 (2013), T30 (2015), T24 (2017).

– His tied-fourth finish at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions is his best result in a WGC event and also the best ever finish by a Thai.

– He is the first player from Thailand to gain full-time membership on the PGA TOUR.

– Prior to his win at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Xander Schauffele’s best result at WGCs was a tied-13th finish at the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

– Schauffele was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60s in both of the third and fourth rounds.

– The playoff was the second in the event’s history as a World Golf Championship. Bubba Watson defeated Tim Clark with a birdie on the first extra hole in 2014.