An anxious Xander Schauffele, tied for the lead on the final hole of the WGC–HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Sunday, exhaled when his second shot on the par-5 18th hole at Sheshan International stopped just behind the green. Trickle a little farther, and it was in danger of rolling down a shaved bank into a water hazard that would have dampened his comeback chances as he was attempting to chase down Tony Finau. The potential for disaster was illustrated moments later when Justin Rose hit his third shot to the green and did this:
Insert your favourite back-stopping joke here, although Rose could only wish that Schauffele’s ball might have kept his out of the hazard. Rose had to take a drop and made a bogey 6 en route to a third-place finish, four off the lead.
Thankfully for Schauffele, under the Rules of Golf, he was able to replace his ball where it had stopped and without penalty. He proceeded to make a birdie that propelled him into a playoff with Tony Finau, then birdied the hole again in sudden death to claim his third career title.
Seriously, though, the odds of the two balls hitting are pretty slim, so to see this sight added an interesting twist to the dramatic charge that Schauffele was putting together.