Sentry Tournament of Champions: Xander Schauffele wins with course record

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The Plantation Course has some the widest fairways and largest greens on the PGA Tour primarily because of the winds that buffet the layout, like those that gusted to 35 miles per hour for the first three days at this year's Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Xander Schauffele won the event after starting the final day five strokes off the lead with a almost historic performance.

"This is the stuff you sort of dream about", Schauffele said after shooting a course record tying 62 to win.

He holed out for an eagle from 107 yards out in the fairway at 12, birdied 14 and 15 and capped his round with back-to-back-birdies to edge his fellow American, who had led four-time major victor Rory McIlroy by three strokes coming into the final round. He already has two multiple-win seasons in his third year on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy, who has chose to focus on the PGA Tour this year, a decision which ruffled some feathers in Europe, has struggled to convert opportunities to victories.

"I was hitting different shots, left to right, right to left, high to low".

The victory was the second of the season for Schauffele, who won his first World Golf Championships title in the fall at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

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"Just one of those days where it just didn't happen". Two eagle chips he almost made, one hitting the left edge of the cup, the other stopping inches away in the heart. "It's just something I'm going to have to persist in, just keep putting myself in these positions and, honestly, I don't think anyone could have beaten Xander today".

"I'll use all those experiences to my advantage and take what I can from them", he said.

Justin Thomas hit nine birdies in his final round to finish in third place, four shots behind Woodland.

On six occasions around the world previous year McIlroy played in the final group in the final round and in all six he failed to win. He got within two shots early, but didn't make a birdie after a two-putt on the par-5 fifth and closed with a 72 to tie for fourth. He set tournament marks with the lowest closing round by a victor and the largest 18-hole comeback (five shots).

After his bogey-free 68, Northern Ireland's McIlroy said staying patient would be crucial if he was to notch his 15th career PGA Tour victory. "But I knew I wanted to be prepared coming in".

Given a chance to watch on TV, Schauffele figured there would be a camera on him.

"I gave myself plenty of chances, just couldn't get anything to drop", McIlroy said. "I got nervous coming down the stretch but I was able to pull off some shots".

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