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DEFINING MOMENTS

GOING LOW, SCHAUFFELE STARTS 2019 ON A HIGH By Dave Shedloski

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“Honestly a bit speechless. It was a crazy day,” said Schauffele, 25, who began the final round five strokes behind Woodland. “It’s by far the best final round I ever played.” Schauffele tends to go crazy on Sundays. In his previous start at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, he birdied his final two holes and posted a closing 4-under 68, the day’s low round at Sheshan International Golf Club, to erase a three-stroke deficit to Tony Finau. He then triumphed with a birdie on the first playoff hole. And in the 2017 TOUR Championship, Schauffele birdied the 72nd hole for a 2-under 68 at East Lake Golf Club, rallying from two back to become the first rookie to capture the season finale. It’s all about his mindset, which appears perfect for the comeback challenges he has overcome. “I’m a pretty mellow guy,” he said, “but I’ve got a fire burning inside.” Based in Columbus, Ohio, Dave Shedloski contributes to a number of publications, including Golf World and Golf Digest. He has covered every Presidents Cup since 2005.

Schauffele began the final round five strokes behind Woodland, but went on to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

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ome guys know how to play with a lead. Xander Schauffele knows how to lead from behind, if you will. If that wasn’t evident in the 2016-17 season, when he won twice in comeback fashion and received the Arnold Palmer Award as PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, he left no doubt at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions. In the first event of the calendar year, Schauffele fired the lowest final round at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course, an impeccable 11-under-par 62, and surged past third-round leader Gary Woodland for his fourth career title. The round included two eagles with a wedge, the second a hole-out from 107 yards. He nearly had a third eagle, missing a 12-footer at the par-5 home hole after finding the green from 272 yards. Nevertheless, the birdie completed a breathtaking rally that tied the course record and was the lowest round of Schauffele’s pro career. He finished at 23-under 269 to beat Woodland by a stroke. And to think the California native started the round with a bogey.

PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2019, Part 2

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