What will the future hold for Xander Schauffele? The 23-year-old San Diego native burst onto the PGA TOUR scene in 2017, primarily adjusting his game to a high level in the late spring and into the summer. He earned his first win at the Greenbrier Classic, then finished off the season in style, becoming the first rookie to ever win the TOUR Championship.
That victory earned Schauffele the TOUR’s Rookie of the Year honor, and now it’s up to him to ensure that he doesn’t suffer the dreaded “sophomore slump”. Thankfully, since there’s hardly any “offseason” anymore – a whole week, if you don’t play in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup – there’s also hardly been any time for Schauffele to lose his momentum.
Dating back to his victory at the Greenbrier Classic in July, Schauffele has proven to be more than just a flash in the pan, with six top-25 finishes and two wins in eight starts. He’s never played at Kuala Lumpur GCC, but he also hadn’t played the Greenbrier or East Lake before last season. Those didn’t turn out too badly, did they?
Schauffele may be a bit of a long shot considering just how incredibly he was able to finish last season, but we’ll find out very soon just what kind of staying power he has. My bet is on Schauffele to stick around at the top of several PGA TOUR leaderboards this year.