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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Xander Schauffele’s loopy Tour Championship streak has him contending


ATLANTA — Xander Schauffele ought to be named the proprietor of East Lake Golf Membership.

Each time he steps foot on the property for the Tour Championship, he dominates the place.

He did so once more Friday, carding a bogey-free, 6-under 64 to shoot up the leaderboard and into rivalry for the FedEx Cup, simply as our editor, Kendall Capps, predicted. He’s now 12-under for the match.

“You need to type of plot across the property properly, and if you will get your putter going, the greens are so pure you’re feeling like you can begin rolling something in,” Schauffele stated Friday. “It simply suits my eye… I play fairly properly [here], and I’ll want extra of that magic right here on the weekend.”

Xander Schauffele, PGA Tour, Tour Championship

Xander Schauffele hits a tee shot in the course of the second spherical of the 2023 Tour Championship.
Photograph by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Pictures

Schauffele has invoked magic upon East Lake for his total profession. Since his first Tour Championship in 2017, Schauffele has performed 26 rounds. His scoring common is 67.11, which ranks lowest in PGA Tour historical past amongst these gamers with not less than 10 profession rounds at East Lake.

What’s even crazier about Schauffele’s dominance is he has by no means carded an over-par rating on the Tour Championship.

The important thing to dominating East Lake, in line with Schauffele, is discovering the brief grass.

“If you happen to’re hitting the green, you may be [aggressive],” Schauffele stated. “However the course will eat you alive in case you’re not within the fairway. You may handle your approach across the property, however for essentially the most half, in case you attempt to run up this leaderboard, you need to begin from the green.”

Schauffele discovered 8-of-14 fairways Friday, which isn’t nice, however he nonetheless led the sphere in general strokes gained in the course of the second spherical.

He made six birdies, and he discovered the brief grass on every of these holes.

However the former San Diego State Aztec teetered on the point of catastrophe down the stretch.

“The ending was a little bit little bit of a scramble,” he admitted. “I made a few good mid-range putts on 16 and 18. That par on 17 was large for me.”

On the dogleg left par-4 seventeenth, Schauffele hooked one properly left of the green and was obscured by timber.

He hit his second shot into the entrance bunker however simply acquired up and down from there.

That’s how gamers ‘handle’ their approach round East Lake, taking their drugs from mishits and taking part in for pars when wanted.

However Schauffele should play for birdies on Saturday, as he faces a four-shot deficit to Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa after 36 holes of play.

“I simply [have to] preserve my head down,” he stated. “I lookup on the [leaderboard], and I’m simply barely selecting up floor, so I nonetheless [have] so much to do.”

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By. You may observe him on Twitter @jack_milko for extra golf protection. Be sure you try @_PlayingThrough too.


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