Rookie Xander Schauffele birdied the 72nd hole on the Old White TPC to win for the first time on the PGA Tour at The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
X marks the spot, AMIRITE?
I tried to be a bit more clever than that when we wrote headlines at Rotoworld.
The Tour almost needed a playoff for the third week running but Xander Schauffele squashed that idea. Playing the par-three, No. 18 the rookie staked his approach to three feet and holed the putt to take the clubhouse lead at 14-under-par. Robert Streb was unable to do the same in the final group and the former San Diego State All-American picks up first prize and a two-year exemption on Tour.
Not bad for a guy who finished 31st on the Web.com priority list.
Not bad for a guy who had one top 25 from November until the U.S. Open.
Your eyes should have been open after T-5 at Erin Hills and T-14 the following week at the Travelers. He shouldn’t have caused you to bail out at a difficult TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm with T-35 either.
He only made two bogeys on the weekend (66-67) and just six for the week.
He led the field in GIR as he found 59/72 and was sixth in both putting metrics.
Chuck in T-14 in fairways and it’s hardly a surprise why he won.
He didn’t stumble after the U.S. Open and has now rattled off six weekends in a row and nine of 12.
He’ll be joined by Robert Streb, Sebastian Munoz and Jamie Lovemark at Royal Birkdale in two weeks along with these fellas:
18 Things I Learned?
1.) Poor Robert Streb. In 2015 he finished P-2 because he broke his putter on Sunday on the back nine. In 2017 he snap-hooked his driver into an unplayable lie late on Sunday afternoon. I learned he really likes Greenbrier as his last two finishes are P-2 and second.
2.) Sebastian Munoz can really putt. He learned that putting on Sunday with a two-shot lead is vastly different than rolling them in from everywhere in the first three rounds. He’s now made four cuts in a row and T-3 is his career-best on Tour.
3.) The next guy to win for the first time on Tour should be Jamie Lovemark and he might just do it next week at JDC. He made 20 birdies this week and only had two bogeys in his last 59 holes. His double on the first Sunday could have ruined his day but he rallied to T-3.
4.) After MC in 8 of 12 after his solo second at Pebble Beach, Kelly Kraft poked his head up this week finishing T-5 at his Greenbrier debut.
5.) On paper Russell Henley should be in the mix each week. His stats are fantasy gold. This was his first top 25 since winning at SHO seven events (for him) ago. Fantasy golf is hard.
6.) Ryan Blaum’s bogey-free 64 on Sunday tied the low round of the day and was his first on Tour in his 33rd start. He led the field in SG: Around the Green and SG: Putting and he needed to as he was 65th in GIR. His 64 was his low round of the year and he’s going to an EASIER course next week.
7.) Make it five top 10’s in 17 events this season for Finau. That should surprise absolutely nobody in the world of fantasy golf.
8.) Don’t look up Alex Cejka’s stats; just enjoy the 64 from yesterday.
9.) One-third of his 18 starts have hit the top 15 including two of his last three. #Chadders.
10.) I rarely get a read on J.B. Holmes so I just tip my cap when he shows up in the top 10. Maybe if I did some research before the event I would have known he’s never finished worse than T-27 in four weekends! Bah!
11.) Noble defense from Danny Lee came to the surprise of absolutely nobody this week. He’ll be right back in the top 10 in the preview for the JDC I would guess. #Hot.
12.) Canadian Nick Taylor now has three top 10’s in his last seven.
13.) Bryson DeChambeau might be right behind Lovemark in the race for next first-time winner. He’s found something as he has improved for the third week in a row.
14.) Shares of Curtis Luck should be all off the shelves as he backed up his big week at Avenel Farm with another solid T-20 this week.
15.) Lyme disease or not, Jimmy Walker (T-18) always seems to find a low one (65, Sunday) at Greenbrier to cash a nice check.
16.) Patrick Reed is doing Patrick Reed things with T-20. Even his bad is good right now.
17.) You call me on when it’s safe to take Bubba Watson back.
18.) Are Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas the same dude? Both blow boiling hot and freezing cold just as easy and are a headache for gamers. The good news is there is more good than bad but you better time it right…David Lingmerth’s fire-cracking run seems to have fizzled out after his opening 64 (T-64) so I hope you had a piece of it when it was on…I’m going right back in with Ben Martin next week at JDC after 64-67 to open this week (T-37)…Don’t look but that’s another top 25 (T-20) for #NappyFactor Mackenzie Hughes…It only took 11 shots for Grayson Murray’s streak of 10 weekends in a row to stop as he WD on Thursday…The Man with No Hat signed an incorrect scorecard which sent him for an early Blizzard at DQ…NCAA champ Braden Thornberry (a) posted T-5 at TPC Southwind in his first Tour start. He shot 74-74 and MC this week at The Old White TPC…The No. 1 amateur in the world Joaquin Niemann steamed home with 64 on Sunday, his third round in the 60’s for the week.
If I can find the motivation to preview the Steve Stricker Challenge Presented by Zach Johnson, look for it Tuesday afternoon. My next gig for BetTheBoardPodcast.com will be my Open Championship preview in two weeks so that prep might take precedence over the JDC. Forgive me if my interest doesn’t yearn to see who will post 20-something under to win this week. 19-under is the highest winning score in the last seven years! NINETEEN!
I’m hoping that my E-Pal Chadders will manage my fantasy rosters this week in both Yahoo! and the PGA Tour Fantasy game. Since I don’t have a fecking clue I figured I’d let him have a pop. I’ll pick the players but he’ll tell me when to play them. This has disaster written all over it but I’m interested in seeing how this works.