This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
While much of the United States was asleep Saturday night into Sunday morning, two remarkable stories emerged from the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. One up, one down.
1) Rory McIlroy won for the fourth time in 2019 to continue his hard charge back toward No. 1 in the world rankings.
2) Phil Mickelson made a charge of his own on Sunday. It just wasn't enough. Mickelson shot a 4-under 68 that moved him into a tie for 28th, though when the Official World Golf Rankings are officially released on Monday morning, he will not be in the top-50, ending an unfathomable 26-year run.
In a riveting duel half a world away, McIlroy defeated Xander Schauffele on the first playoff hole, adding to remarkable run this year that has moved him to within shouting distance of world No. 1 Brooks Koepka.
It was the type of pressure-filled scenario against another world-class player that has been McIlroy's undoing the past few years. Schauffele delivered a gutty birdie on the 72nd hole to force the playoff. No matter, McIlroy went right back to the tee on the par-5 18th at Sheshan International, piped one down the middle, landed his approach on the green and two-putted for a quick knockout.
This was the third big win of the year for McIlroy, adding to The PLAYERS and the Tour Championship (plus the Canadian Open). He really seems primed to win another major for the first time since 2014 (yeah, we know, you've