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Posted July 10, 2017 in "Watts" In The Bag by Trevor Cigich
By: Global Golf Post
Until the U.S. Open at Erin Hills Last month, Xander Schauffele was a virtual unknown on the PGA Tour but his fifth-place finish there was a hint of some things to come from the 23-year-old.
Schauffele, who earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour Finals last year, emerged from a crowded group of players near the top of the Greenbrier leaderboard, hitting a brilliant 161-yard pitching wedge to set up his winning birdie at the par-3 finishing hole.
Until the end, it seemed likely Sebastián Muñoz, who led after each of the first three rounds, or Robert Streb would win. But the script flipped.
The tournament swung on the back nine when Streb, after taking a one-stroke lead, double-bogeyed the par-4 13th hole, bringng several players, including Schauffele, back into contention. Schauffele birdied the 16th hole to thrust himself into the mix and when neither Streb nor Muñoz birdied the par-5 17th hole, he snuck away with the victory with his dramatic closing birdie.
It left Schauffele struggling for words. “Extremely nervous,” Schauffele described himself at the end. “It’s a typical first victory. I’m at a loss for words. It changed my life really. I need a bit of time to take it all in.”
Schauffele, who played at San Diego State, was taught by his father, Stefan, who still works with his son. After college, Schauffele played the 2015-2016 season on the Web.com Tour, where he finished 26th on the money list, falling approximately $100 shy of earning his PGA Tour card. He persevered and got through the finals, and he has played solidly since the end of April.
Along with Schauffele and Streb, Jamie Lovemark and Muñoz earned spots in the Open Championship by virtue of their top-three finishes.
Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 7X shaft), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 8X shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade UDI (2-iron; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft), TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (4-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (53-08F, 57-10S and 61-08M degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
Putter: Odyssey Works Versa Big-T #5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Republished with permission from Global Golf Post