Rory McIlroy Wins WGC-HSBC Champions

The four-time Major winner beat Xander Schauffele in a playoff to win his fourth title of the year

Rory McIlroy Wins WGC-HSBC Champions

The four-time Major winner beat Xander Schauffele in a playoff to win his fourth title of the year

Rory McIlroy Wins WGC-HSBC Champions

Rory McIlroy is turning 2019 into one of his best ever seasons after winning his fourth tournament of the year.

The four-time Major winner held the 36 and 54-hole leads in China and eventually beat Xander Schauffele with a birdie at the 1st extra playoff hole to win the WGC-HSBC Champions.

With the win, he becomes the first European to win three World Golf Championship titles after wins at the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and 2015 WGC-Match Play.

The Northern Irishman began the day two ahead of Schauffele and a bogey-free four under par round of 67 got him to 19 under par.

However, the American, who played every single hole of the week with McIlroy, shot six under to tie the World No.2.

McIlroy hit what he described as two of his best shots of the day on the playoff hole, the par-5 18th, to find the green in two and two-putt for a winning birdie.

Rory is now almost within one point of Brooks Koepka in the Official World Golf Ranking with a real possibility of regaining the top spot early next year.

"It was so hard. I felt after shooting 10-under par for the first two days, thinking going bogey-free over the weekend, I thought that would probably be enough to get the job done," he said.

Related: Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?

"I played 73 holes this week with Xander, and I have to give credit to him. He's battled the flu all week and he's played unbelievably well considering how he's been feeling.

"18 has been good to me over the week. Had an eagle Friday, a great birdie yesterday, and got lucky in regulation not to go in the water and it was a relief to hit those two shots in the playoff."

McIlroy has won four times now in 2019 with wins at the Players Championship, Canadian Open, the Tour Championship and now the WGC-HSBC Champions.

"It's definitely up there," he said of his 2019.

"I've had some great seasons. 2012, I won five times. That's still the most I've ever won in a calendar year. I won four times in 2014, four times in 2015. I won my first FedExCup in 2016.

"But this is definitely -- 2017 and 2018, I had a couple injuries and went through changing equipment, as well, and there was just a couple of things. I was a little unsettled, I guess.

"But the last 18 months, I've been very settled. I've been comfortable with everything, my game, my equipment, my body's been healthy, or healthier. It's actually -- I struggled with some back problems in my early 20s, and knock-on-wood, my body feels as good as it ever has at 30.

"I'm excited for the future. I feel like this year compares to 2014, 2015, but I don't see any reason why I can't go ahead and have an even better year next year."

Watch: McIlroy's winning round -

WGC-HSBC Champions Leaderboard 2019

1 Rory McIlroy -19

2 Xander Schauffele -19

3 Louis Oosthuizen -17

T4 Victor Perez -15

T4 Matthias Schwab -15

T4 Abraham Ancer -15

7 Matt Fitzpatrick -14

T8 Patrick Reed -12

T8 Jason Kokrak -12

T8 Paul Waring -12

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV