American Xander Schauffele, the 2017 Tour Championship victor, jumped out of the pack and ran down Woodland with an wonderful final-round of 11-under par 62 that included two eagles - one from a chip-in at the par-five ninth and then a 100-metre wedged hole-out at the par-four 12 hole. They are three clear of the field.
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.
He holed out for an eagle from 107 yards out in the fairway at 12, birdied 14 and 15 and capped his round with back-to-back-birdies to edge his fellow American, who had led four-time major victor Rory McIlroy by three strokes coming into the final round. He had a close call on the 16th, when he tried to atone for the missed birdie on the previous hole by going at the flag and landing just over the green.
The four-times major champion, playing for the first time on Maui, seemed ideally placed to put the heat on overnight leader Gary Woodland but once again failed to deliver in the final pairing, a one-under 72 the worst score of the top 10 finishers at Kapalua.
Woodland bogeyed hole 12 to give hope to McIlroy, 29, but came back with an eagle on the 15th with a 64-yard putt.
"My attitude was much better today".
"It turned into a birdie-fest coming down the stretch", said Schauffele after the lowest round of his PGA Tour career. Schauffele promptly eagled the 12th, regained a share of the lead with a birdie at 14 and took the solo lead for the first time with a birdie at 15.
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"Just one of those days where it just didn't happen".
Rookie Cameron Champ (68) and Xander Schauffele (67) are keeping Thomas company at seven under, five adrift of Woodland. Justin Thomas carded a 65 to finish alone in third on 274.
"I don't think it will ever be easy because I still believe I was playing well enough to shoot 66 today", Woodland said about not being able to convert a 54-hole lead for the seventh time. "I didn't press at all, I was very patient", McIlroy told reporters.
"The front nine's the tough nine on this golf course, and I had a couple opportunities, but I just thought if I could get through that first nine under par, I would have a few chances on the back nine".
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Xander Schauffele figured he had nothing to lose.
'So that's the sort of mindset I need to try to get back into'.