Xander Schauffele is a past champion at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He plays well most years at Kapalua. The low point came last year, though, when he was forced to withdraw during the second round with a back injury.
He’ll look to forget about that day and gear his thoughts toward 2019. That’s when he overcame a pedestrian 1-under 72 in round one to finish in 67-68-62. His Sunday round set the course record at the time.
Schauffele nearly went back-to-back in 2020. The San Diego State alum owned a one-shot lead through 54 holes. Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed caught him to force a three-man playoff won by Thomas.
Schauffele recorded three rounds in the 60s in 2021 but had to settle for T-5th and four shots off Harris English’s winning pace. Schauffele was quarantined with COVID right before leaving before the event, so that was an impressive result given those circumstances.
“I don't know what it is, it just kind of fits my eye,” Schauffele said of Kapalua in 2020, as transcribed by ASAP Sports.
"Usually it's a little more windy, you got to sort of do all things in your game correctly and it's just like, to me, it's just a lot of fun to play, because you're on these massive hills and a ton of wind and kind of weird breaking putts, so it's just kind of fun."- Xander Schauffele
In 2022, Schauffele dipped down to T-12th but still shot 22-under and had four sub-70 scores (69-67-68-66).
Schauffele comes to Hawaii thirsty for a win. His last was 18 months ago at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open. The X-Man has racked up plenty of high finishes in the interim.
Schauffele tied for the low gross score at the Tour Championship but had to settle for second place in the official net scoring that crowned Viktor Hovland the champ.
In 2023, the 30-year-old had a solo second at a designated event, the Wells Fargo Championship, as well as T-3rd at the American Express.
Schauffele’s 34 straight made cuts is the longest active streak on the PGA Tour.Given the Tour’s new schedule, cut-making isn’t as essential as it used to be, but it’ll still be a skill come major championship time.
He finished last season ranked third in Strokes Gained: Total (1.869), third in SG: Approach (.88), and fifth in SG: Putting (.667). Schauffele led in average approach proximity from 150-175 yards (22’11”).