McIlroy adds 'low driver' to his arsenal for windy Kapalua and beyond

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Tied with Woodland over the closing holes, Schauffele finished birdie-birdie to match four players for the record.

Having opened with rounds of 69-68-68 to find himself in the final group on the last day at Kapalua, the Northern Irishman was a touch disappointed to sign off with a one-under-par 72 in the event for 2018 winners on the U.S. circuit. This moved McIlroy to 2 under for the round.

Schauffele holed-out from 107 yards on the 12th fairway for eagle and picked up another shot at the driveable 14th to join Woodland on 20 under, before adding a close-range gain at the next to take the outright lead.

Xander Schauffele never had a better round or a more peculiar ending. His chip-in for eagle at the ninth boosted him into second place, just one shot back. "So they keep putting that flag way out there for me to go and chase and I feel like that's what I've been doing".

Schauffele took another step toward joining the young elite in golf with his second victory this season, and fourth in the last 18 months. Still, he starts the new year playing in the final group, having not played a tournament in almost two months.

He played in the final group with Woodland, three shots behind, knowing he had played in the final group six times past year without winning.

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"This one will sting", Woodland said.

Schauffele hammered a 5-wood onto the par-5 18th green to 12 feet, narrowly missing his third eagle of the final round. I was hitting different shots, left to right, right to left, high to low - some things I wasn't maybe quite as comfortable doing previous year. "So us being in a position where we can provide that information and better educate and better inform and allow people to form their own opinions based on that information, I see that developing".

"I don't think it will ever be easy because I still believe I was playing well enough to shoot 66 today", Woodland said. I want my driving accuracy to get up into the 60 percent number. "And unfortunately, I didn't get it done". 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.

McIlroy, meanwhile, could do no better than a one-under 72 that saw him finish a full eight strokes back in tied-fourth place - the worst score of the top 10 finishers at Kapalua. "I wish I had a shot that comfortable, say, at the Tour Championship past year, something where you can just put it in play and get it on the fairway".

Despite not playing in the event, Justin Rose reclaimed the world No 1 spot from Brooks Koepka after he ended up 24th in the 33-player field.

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