Xander Schauffele remains one of the hottest players in the world as he heads to the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club.
While there may not be a player in the world hotter than Tyrrell Hatton, if there is someone who is in the neighborhood, it is Xander Schauffele. Luckily for golf fans around the world, both Hatton and Schauffele are in the field this week at the Zozo Championship.
The main difference between the two players over the last couple of months is that Hatton has a win (at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour) and Schauffele does not. But it’s not that Schauffele hasn’t been very close to winning.
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Going back to the final official event of the 2019-20 season, the Tour Championship, Schauffele was the best player in the field. He shot the lowest score all week but did not win. That’s because Dustin Johnson started the week with a seven-shot lead over Schauffele, due to his lead in the FedEx Cup standings. Still, Schauffele’s week was very impressive as he rallied from 11th place to a tie for second at East Lake.
As the 2020-21 season started, Schauffele continued to play well. At the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, Schauffele started with a 68 to put himself right in the mix. His second-round 72 kept him there and his third-round 70 looked to have him in position to win his first major.
But in the final round, Schauffele slipped to a 74 and into fifth place. Still, that allowed Schauffele to finish in the top five in a major for the fifth time in 13 starts. He has two other top 10s in majors in his career.
Schauffele let one get away from him last week in Las Vegas. He shot a 66 on Thursday and a 64 on Friday. At that point, he had a three-shot lead and appeared to be on his way to his fifth PGA Tour win.
However, things fell apart for Schauffele on Saturday.
He shot a 74 and his three-shot lead turned into a three-shot deficit. At that point, he needed a rally on Sunday to win.
Schauffele did all he could on Sunday. Indeed, he did rally, and in a big way. He shot a 6-under par 66 in the final round and caught 54-hole leader Russell Henley. However, he couldn’t keep up with Jason Kokrak, who was the hottest player on the course on Sunday and who topped Schauffele by two shots in the end.
It’s been one bad round that has affected Schauffele in his last couple of starts. If he can get that right this week, he will win at the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club in his home state of California.