McIlroy remains in contention in Hawaii

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Rory McIlroy believes he showed "a little more versatility" in his game as he launched his 2019 campaign with a top-five finish on his debut in the PGA Tour's Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. He holed a wedge from 107 yards for another eagle on No. 12.

He followed up that opening bogey with a birdie on the third, and added three in a row from the fifth before he chipped in for eagle on the 9th hole to card a front-nine 31. Schauffele was glad that's all it was.

"You kind of look around and realize you have nothing to lose", Schauffele said, who is now the first multiple victor of the 2018-19 season.

Woodland knows there wasn't much he could have done.

Woodland, who held a three shot lead heading in to the final round, managed a five-under 68 to close out solo second, but came up a shot short of converting his 54-hole lead after failing to birdie the final hole. It still wasn't enough, not against the final round the 25-year-old Schauffele put together.

The big-hitting American is seemingly on autopilot around the windswept, 7,500-yard Maui golf course and at 14 under he now leads by two over four-time major champion Rory McIlroy and Kevin Tway. "We kept our head down and tried to run for it".

Woodland, seeking his fourth PGA Tour win, used a streak of five consecutive birdies, beginning at the No. 11, to reach 12-under 134.

His other two victories in his rookie season of 2017 all featured comebacks, including two shots at the Tour Championship. He moved to No. 6 in the world.

Playing in the final group with Woodland, McIlroy got within one shot of the lead with a birdie on the par-4 third hole. He was the only player to post all four rounds in the 60s, and 68 was his worst score all week.

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"It was a insane day", Schauffele said.

The trailer was just behind the grandstands on the 18th hole.

Woodland was at 17-under 202, and would love nothing better than to secure another trip to Kapalua in the first tournament of the year.

But he couldn't keep up at the end. He rolled it in for his 62 to finish at 23-under 269, and then had to wait.

Woodland had a chance to force a playoff, but he hit his drive on the par-5 18th so far - 390 yards downhill but into a Kona wind - that he was between clubs. I was hitting different shots, left to right, right to left, high to low - some things I wasn't maybe quite as comfortable doing past year.

"I don't think anyone could have lived with Xander today".

"You have an iron into the par-5 in the middle of the fairway on the last hole and you expect to make birdie". I had killed the par 5s all week this week, which is what you've got to do out here. This time, all he needed was one big putt. "And unfortunately, I didn't get it done".

"I obviously could have shot a better score, but I did what I wanted to do, gave myself plenty of chances, just couldn't get the ball to drop", said McIlroy, after finishing equal fourth on 277, eight strokes behind Schauffele.

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