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Monday, October 29, 2018

The Limerick Summary: 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions

Winner: Xander Schauffele

Around the wider world of golf: Nelly Korda picked up her first LPGA win at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship; Scott Parel won the Invesco QQQ Championship, the second of the Champions Tour playoff events; Khalin Joshi won the Panasonic Open India on the Asian Tour; and Cameron Champ got his first PGA Tour win at the Sanderson Farms Championship, the alternate event on the PGA Tour.

Xander Schauffele hoists the WGC trophy

Everybody talks about how far Xander Schauffele hits a golf ball, how he's up there with DJ and Rory and Brooks, etc. But it seems to me that Xander won his first WGC event because he managed his game better than anybody else and made a bunch of putts.

Especially on those last two holes that tortured the field all week. I don't know who had the fewest strokes on 17 and 18 for the week, but Xander was 5-under for the regular rounds and 1-under in the playoff. By comparison, defending champion Justin Rose was 4-over for the week while Tony Finau was also 5-under on the regular rounds... and more importantly, only even in the playoff.

I do know that Xander's 68 was the best round of the day on Sunday, enough to track down Tony's three-shot lead and force the playoff. As crucial as the final two holes were, it was Xander's game management on the tough Sheshan course that got him the win.

As I recall, Xander got passed over for the Ryder Cup team this past time. I passed over him as well, feeling that Tony was in better form. But I don't think Xander will have to worry about making teams in the future -- at least, not if he keeps playing like this. With three PGA Tour wins in less than 18 months -- two of them big titles (a Tour Championship and a WGC) -- plus three Top6s in only seven major appearances, Xander is going to be getting a lot of attention going forward.

And of course, he gets all the Limerick Summary attention this week.
The final two holes in each round
Seemed destined to drag the field down.
Not Xander, of course,
Who felt zero remorse
As he scored while the others’ hopes drowned.
The photo came from the front page at

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