Justin Rose was playing his third-shot approach into the par-5 18th during Sunday's final round at the WGC-HSBC Champions likely hoping to hole it for eagle to give himself a slim chance at a playoff.
Schauffele savoured a third PGA Tour triumph - and his first since September 2017 - a win that came just three days after his 25th birthday.
Finau made eight birdies at Sheshan International Golf Club to move above Ryder Cup team-mate Patrick Reed and would have been in an even stronger position but for a double-bogey at the 11th after his ball took an unfortunate bounce off a sprinkler head.
Finau, who closed with a 71, hit into a bunker in the playoff, had to lay up and narrowly missed a 20-foot birdie to extend the playoff. "I was just really pleased I was able to finish that way and get some momentum". Schauffele and Finau were tied on 18, playing alongside Justin Rose in the final group. Then again he lapsed with three bogeys in last four holes for a 72.More news: Ninth Child Dies in Virus Outbreak at NJ Center
Teeing off with a three-stroke lead over Rose and Reed, Finau faltered with a pair of early bogeys and couldn't get back to par for most of his round, as four birdies on the front nine put Rose in front. Then, his 4-iron to the par-5 18th was too far right and tumbled down the hill and into the water.
He made his first bogey of the tournament on the fifth hole of the second round by missing a 4-foot putt after a smart chip shot from deep rough.
"The issue's obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me", he told the New York Times after the US were thrashed by Europe in Paris.More news: Inside Samsung's bid to challenge Apple with 5G, folding phones
The Holywood star was 74th in the 78-man field for driving accuracy and now lies 1.89 million points behind Molinari with just next week's Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai remaining for him in the race to become European number one. "So I knew that I still needed to pull off a shot and hit the green".
Finau's only victory was in 2016 at the Puerto Rico Open, an event held opposite the Match Play in Texas.
TAOYUAN, Taiwan (AP) - Hsu Wei-Ling rode the support of her home crowd to shoot a 5-under 67 and take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
In his first start since featuring in the usa team's losing Ryder Cup cause, Reed tried to keep the focus on the future rather than open old wounds.More news: Mourners pack emotional vigil for victims of U.S. synagogue attack