Sunday, June 17, 2018

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Xander Schauffele (Credit: GoAztecs) Xander Schauffele (Credit: GoAztecs)

Schauffele Wins First PGA Tour Title

Former SDSU golfer Xander Schauffele won The Greenbrier Classic for his first PGA Tour title.
By GoAztecs

“The U.S. Open was a huge moment in my career.”

Former San Diego State University men’s golfer Xander Schauffele captured the first PGA Tour title of his career after winning The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

A rookie on the PGA Tour this season, Schauffele fired a 3-under-par 67 during the final round, finishing the tournament at 14-under 266 to edge out runner-up Robert Streb (-13) by one stroke on the par-70, 7,286-yard Old White TPC course at Greenbrier Resort.

With his victory, Schauffele clinched a spot in the British Open at Royal Birkdale later this month, as well as berths in the 2017 PGA Championship, the 2018 Masters and the 2018 Players Championship. In addition, the Aztec alumnus earned a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and climbed from the 94th position to 27th in the latest FedExCup standings.

On the final day of the tournament, Schauffele owned a share of the lead with Streb before stepping up to the par-3, 161-yard 18th hole, where he used a pitching wedge to stick his tee shot to within three feet of the pin. The three-time all-Mountain West honoree subsequently drained his birdie putt, while Streb and third-round leader Sebastian Munoz (T-3rd, -12) misfired on birdie opportunities at No. 17.

Shortly thereafter, Streb had a chance to force a playoff, but his chip from the left rough on No. 18 went awry. Likewise, Munoz needed an ace to extend the round, but had to settle for par, sealing the win for Schauffele, who tied for fifth at the U.S Open last month in Erin Hills, Wisconsin.

“The U.S. Open was a huge moment in my career,” Schauffele said in the post-tournament press conference. “It was one of the biggest stages and for me to kind of be calm and collected throughout the week, and just kind of hang on and come in tied fifth was huge for me mentally, so it kind of gave me the confidence and allowed me to play and win this week.”

At age 24, Schauffele becomes the 12th player under 25 to win on Tour this year, the highest total since 1970. The three-time All-Mountain West Conference performer also led all players this week in greens in regulation at 81.94 percent (59-for-72), becoming the third rookie to win the event, joining Ted Potter Jr. (2012) and Scott Stallings (2011).

A two-time PING All-West Region honoree, Schauffele garnered All-America accolades following a stellar senior campaign at SDSU in 2015, receiving third-team recognition from the both the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Golfweek magazine.

In his three years on Montezuma Mesa, Schauffele compiled 21 top-10 finishes, 16 top-five efforts and two individual titles before graduating with a degree in social science. He also owns the school record with a 71.50 career scoring average in 118 rounds played, as well as the program’s single-season standard of 171 birdies set in 2014-15.