Schauffele hails “big win” at Travelers Championship

Cantlay cautious despite electric start

Xander Schauffele (22/1 The Open Championship 2022) believes winning the Travelers Championship will prove to be a big mental boost as he finished two strokes clear of Sahith Theegala.

A double-bogey on his 18th hole from then-leader Theegala gave Schauffele, who was one behind at the time, a perfect opportunity to win the tournament and, needing only a par, he duly converted a birdie putt to collect his first individual PGA Tour event of the season.

He had not won on his own since his Olympic gold medal display in Tokyo last year though did win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans pairs event with Patrick Cantlay (28/1 The Open Championship 2022) back in April.

Sunday’s victory marked Schauffele’s first solo victory on the PGA Tour since January 2019 but the world number 11 displayed his class throughout the tournament.

He began the day with a one-shot lead but trailed by a shot heading to the 18th with three birdies spoiled by two bogeys going into the par-four last.

Theegala landed his tee shot in the bunker and took two attempts to get the ball out before slipping to a double-bogey, dropping him down to 17-under par.

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Schauffele duly cleaned up with a beautiful approach shot and a simple three-foot putt.

The 28-year-old can now look confidently to the rest of the season with the Open at St Andrews coming up next month.

He finished tied for second in the tournament in 2018 when two shots adrift of Francesco Molinari at Carnoustie.

Schauffele was thrilled to secure the win and believes he overcame a mental hurdle at TPC River Highlands.

“I’ve been out here long enough, this is my sixth year on Tour, and you just know that no-one’s going to hand you a win,” Schauffele said.

“I was very aware of that and ready to birdie the last and I thought that was going to be to get in a play-off so I was just lucky it was to make me on top.

“I really think this was, in a small way, a big win for me mentally just because I sort of had to check myself. When you’ve been out here and things are going easy you just expect to play well all the time. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back – and I thought I did that this week.”

Next on the PGA Tour schedule is the John Deere Classic in Illinois.

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Author: Lucille White