When I think of Xander Schauffele, I think of strong performances against great fields. Of his four career wins, the 26-year-old’s won a World Golf Championship, the Tournament of Champions and the Tour Championship.
Schauffele enters The Northern Trust in very steady form. His last outing at the PGA Championship was T-10th. That was good for his fifth straight top-20 and 10th top-25 in his last 11 starts going back to January.
The Californian contended at the Charles Schwab Challenge (T-3rd) and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (T-6th).
Schauffele can flex his muscles with the driver this week. He ranks sixth on Tour in strokes gained off the tee (.721 per round).
More impressive stats include sixth in scoring average (69.282), 11th in birdie average (4.28) and seventh in greens in regulation (71.74%). His mid to long iron play helps him sit second in par-5 scoring (4.47).
Schauffele finished T-53rd at TPC Boston in 2017 and T-49th in 2018. Dueling 68s to open the tournament a couple years ago are at least some encouraging signs for a guy who rarely has duds like he’s had here.
The San Diego State alum’s success at the PGA came in spite of some tinkering he’s done of late. A week of practice to hammer out the details should have him ready to roll this week.
“I felt really uncomfortable over a lot of shots today, just a couple grip changes. I sat there and was Sergio-esque circa 2000,” Schauffle joked after the PGA as quoted by ASAP Sports. “A little tense over certain shots and wasn’t completely comfortable. But other than that, I’m pretty happy with the week and glad I played well today.”