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After ‘kind of stupid’ performance, Xander Schauffele comes to Memorial with new focus

DUBLIN, Ohio – Things weren’t going very nicely for Xander Schauffele, however they by no means ought to’ve gone that badly.

The final time Schauffele took the course was on the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Course close to Charleston, South Carolina. He had posted top-15 finishes in every of his three earlier competitions, a stretch that started with a third-place end on the Masters.

But on the PGA, he shot 6-over and failed to make the minimize.

“My missed cut at the PGA was a bit of a bummer,” he stated Tuesday at Muirfield Village. “Wasn’t really in the right frame of mind. Game was okay, a little exposed by some severe winds at times.”

Not in the precise body of thoughts?

“Honestly, I had somewhat of a bad attitude about the golf course,” he stated. “I just didn’t really like it. I’m not saying I had enough game to win that week, but I definitely had enough game to compete, and for me to miss the cut was a bit reckless and kind of stupid.”

His first probability for atonement begins Thursday as half of the Memorial Tournament. With 4 PGA Tour victories since turning professional in 2015, Schauffele, 27, comes to city in search of some extra consistency, one other sturdy end and one other step nearer to that elusive first main win.

He’ll achieve this by embracing the function of an underdog, albeit one which appears somewhat ill-fitting for a golfer who sits sixth within the FedEx Cup standings. Most not too long ago, he gained the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2019.

It requires some psychological gymnastics for a participant all the time trying to push himself regardless of being close to the highest of the standings most of the time. Doing so requires what Schauffele described as attempting to reprogram how his mind works, focusing not on what he has to do however how he has to do it.

“Once you’re at the top of a leaderboard, you can’t chase a ghost, you know what I mean?” he stated. “So there’s no one in front of you to sort of bite at and so I think mentally it’s such a new realm for my brain that I’m just trying to process it all and really get more comfortable and think differently, once I’m at the top.”

Dating to the 2020 U.S. Open performed final September, Schauffele has six top-five finishes, together with consecutive runner-up finishes earlier this yr on the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego and the Waste Management Phoenix Open one week later.

But then there’s the missed minimize on the PGA Championship.

“It was a good time to sort of reboot and kind of recheck where I’m at kind of midway through the year,” he stated. “This is always a decent time of year for me, usually when I kind of catch my stride.”

His subsequent probability begins Thursday.


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