Xander Schauffele is part of the vast SoCal crew assembling this week in familiar climes at Los Angeles Country Club.
The former San Diego State Aztec obviously did not compete here at the 2013 Pac-12 Championship. Schauffele was also already a pro when the 2017 Walker Cup came to town.
Despite no competitive reps, he’s still familiar with the venue. Schauffele will have some support from the local galleries.
He’s hungry for a win with four top-fives in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season without a victory. Schauffele continues to be one of the most consistent players in the world with a PGA Tour-leading active streak of 26 consecutive made cuts.
More statistical superlatives show him first in approach proximity from 150-175 yards (23’3”), one of the most common second-shot yardages in the pro game.
Schauffele’s top-60 in every per-round strokes gained category, including fourth in total SG (1.971) and sixth in approach-the-green (.888).
He’s also 12th in bogey avoidance (13.27%).
The 29-year-old seemingly has tons of time left to pick off that first major championship. However, the pressure will continue to mount with each miss.
Schauffele has 10 top-10s and 22 made cuts in 24 major starts. Not all saw him contend down to the wire, but he’s had his fair share of close calls.
Schauffele has been particularly impressive at the U.S. Open. He’s never finished worse than T-14th in six appearances. All but one of those six were top-10s.
I anticipate that trend to continue for the La Jolla, California, native.