Xander Schauffele made a historic win at the Sentry Event of Champions in Hawaii, edging past Gary Woodland with one shot to seal a solid victory and a place among golf’s rising stars.
He wowed the crowds as he tied the Plantation Course record and set tournament records for the lowest closing round by a winner and largest comeback over the last 18 holes (five shots).
Schauffele clinched his fourth PGA Tour victory as the 25-year-old tied the course report at Kapalua with an 11-under 62 for a total of 23-under to beat Woodland.
Woodland got into the ultimate spherical of the Sentry Event of Champions with a three-shot lead, shot five-under, but nonetheless misplaced and defeated with a single stroke short.
“This one will sting tonight,” Woodland, runner-up for the second time this season, said bravely after shooting the second-lowest aggregate score at Kapalua. “I knew what he was doing, and the competitor in me knew I needed to do one better, and, unfortunately, I didn’t get it done.”
For the seventh time in his PGA Tour career, Woodland could not get out of his losing rut even after holding a 54-hole lead.
Initially tailing behind Woodland, a stroke of resilience as well as a seized opportunity over Woodland’s mediocre putts landed him sixth place in the world.
Sharing a high school class of 2011 with Golf sensations Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, who have both already risen to first places and won majors, this had motivated him ceaselessly in reaching the top in tournaments.
‘I just still feel like an underdog,” Schauffele said. ”I feel like until you’re No. 1, you’re chasing. So guys like Bryson and Justin … JT has put together a ton of good years. Brooks (Koepka) has been crushing it. They keep putting that flag way out there for me to go chase, and I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Schauffele had played 18 times on the PGA Tour and missed the cut in half of them. However, this career-high win has indeed paved the way and direction that Schauffele is aiming for in the subsequent tournaments.
“It’s by far the best final round I ever played, I can tell you that much.”
Schauffele moved up to No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings following his win in Hawaii.Leave a comment