Even before Xander Schauffele played the Genesis Scottish Open, he was one of the favourites to capture the claret jug at the Old Course at St Andrews. Now, after winning overnight, expect more of the smart money to move his way for the Open Championship.

Much like his win at his most recent PGA Tour start at the Travelers Championship, Schauffele made things more difficult than they needed to be. Seemingly in control of the tournament with a four-shot lead after opening with back-to-back birdies to begin his final round, Schauffle sputtered with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch, allowing Kurt Katayama to grab the lead and a host of others to get close enough to sniff it.

Schauffele, however, steadied himself, making four straight pars to start the final nine before striking a pitching wedge from 144 metres on the par-3 14th to 15 feet then dropping the putt to re-take a one-shot advantage over Katayama who had finished at six-under par. A two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th extended the cushion, a stroke that allowed for a safe-play bogey to win on 18.

A power-precision combination served Schauffele well at the Renaissance Club in winning his seventh PGA Tour title. Despite having some accuracy issues, Schauffele averaged 283.8 metres (310.4 yards) off the tee with his 10.5-degree Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond driver with a Mitsubishi Kai’li White 70 TX shaft.

That driver features a more compact head (450cc) that appeals to better players. A very low centre of gravity produces extremely low spin and a flatter flight.

Into the greens Schauffele ranked T-6 in greens in regulation, hitting 51 of 72 greens with his Callaway Apex TCB irons with Nippon Modus Tour 130X shafts and Golf Pride ZGrip Cord grips. In all Schauffele made 17 birdies to rank third in the field.

That’s the kind of production that wins claret jugs – or at least makes you a favourite to win one.

What Xander Schauffele had in the bag at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open:

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (Mitsubishi Kai’li White 70 TX), 10.5 degrees

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed, 15 degrees

Irons (3): Mizuno MP-20 HMB; (4-PW): Callaway Apex TCB

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM6 (56 degrees): Titleist Vokey SM9 WedgeWorks (60 degrees)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works Red 7 CH

PHOTO: Paul Devlin – SNS Group