Just last month, US PGA Tour rookie Xander Schauffele was making his presence felt in the US Open at Erin Hills. He shot a six-under 66 in the first round and was just one behind leader Rickie Fowler. The San Diegan went on to finish T-5 in his first appearance in a Major championship. If that wasn’t enough proof he was here to stay, his win on Sunday at the Greenbrier Classic should do it.
A final-round three-under 67 at the Old White TPC earned him a one-stroke victory at 14-under 266, making him the ninth first-time winner on the US Tour this season.
Schauffele, 23, began his round by sticking his 108-metre approach shot to three feet on the par-4 first hole and holing the birdie putt. Over the next 16 holes he recorded just two birdies and one bogey, giving him a share of the lead at 13-under heading to the par-3 18th. He ended his round the way it began, sticking an iron to three feet and rolling in one final birdie that would end up being enough to beat Robert Streb by a shot.
Check out that clutch final iron shot here:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 9, 2017
Schauffele is making a strong case for the tour’s Rookie of the Year, with a victory to add to a resume that features two top-10s, five top-25s and more than $US2 million in earnings. He joins Wesley Bryan, Cody Gribble and Mackenzie Hughes as the four tour rookies with a win in 2016-’17. The victory comes in just his 23rd start on the US Tour and earns him a spot in the 2018 Masters, where he will be making his first appearance.
Streb, 30, got to 14-under after making a birdie on the par-5 12th hole, but he made a double-bogey 6 on the following hole. He bounced back on the next with another birdie, but it would be his last of the day and he finished at 13-under 267 in solo second. It was Streb’s second-straight second-place finish at the Greenbrier Classic. In 2015, he made it to a four-way playoff, eventually losing to Danny Lee.
Jamie Lovemark and 54-hole leader Sebastian Munoz finished in a tie for third at 12-under 268, the best performance of the season for each. Schauffele, Streb, Lovemark and Munoz are now exempt into the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Davis Love III turned back the clock over the first 54 holes, but a final-round five-over 75 dropped him into a tie for 29th at five-under 275.
Curtis Luck’s T-20 finish was the best of the Aussie contingent and helps the West Australian on his quest to gain full US PGA Tour playing rights or, at very least, direct entry into the secondary circuit Web.com Tour Finals.