By Jay Betsill
Hideki Matsuyama went into Sunday’s final round with a big lead and closed with a 6-under 66 to win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shaghai. His 23-under total gave him a seven-shot victory over Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger.
In picking up his 10th career victory, Matsuyama became the first Asian winner in the 18 years of the World Golf Championships’ existence.
Rory McIlroy closed with a 66 to share fourth with Bill Haas.
Notables in the field included Rickie Fowler (T6, -14), Sergio Garcia (T9, -12), defending champion Russell Knox (T9, -12), Adam Scott (T14, -9), Dustin Johnson (T35, -1), Martin Kaymer (T40, E) and Bubba Watson (T54, +5).
Next up on the PGA Tour is the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Familiar faces in the field include Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley, Billy Horschel, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, Vijay Singh, Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker, Nick Watney and Davis Love III.
— With the WGC limited field event in Shanghai, the PGA Tour concurrently held the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, MS and it was won by former University of Texas golfer Cody Gribble.
The 26-year-old Dallas resident was a teammate of Jordan Spieth on the 2012 UT national championship golf team. He picked up his first PGA Tour win and earned $756,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points, plus exempt status on Tour through the 2018-19 season.
— Rory McIlory has pulled out of the Turkish Airlines Open. According to the Associated Press, McIlroy’s WD is presumably withdrew over security concerns. By pulling out of the event in Turkey, it hurts his chances to win the Race to Dubai on the European Tour as he currently sits in third place.
Masers champions Danny Willett and The Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson are ahead of McIlroy in the Race to Dubai standings and are both playing in Turkey.
“I guess it’s out of my hands,” McIlroy said. “I took the decision not to go to Turkey next week. Those boys can battle it out. If I have somewhat of a chance going into Dubai, that’s great. If not, they’ve had big wins over the course of the season. They’ve played well, two major championships. I’m OK with that.”