In-form Schauffele ready for first taste of St Andrews
Scottish Open champion Xander Schauffele heads to St Andrews this week hoping to continue his rich vein of form in the 150th Open Championship.
The American prevailed by one shot at the Renaissance Club after an up-and-down day on the sun-kissed East Lothian links to capture his third successive tournament victory.
The Olympic champion won the Travelers Championship in the United States before flying across the Atlantic to come out on top in the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in County Limerick prior to North Berwick.
Schauffele’s closing round of 70, level par, saw him finish the tournament on a seven-under-par total of 203, just ahead of Kurt Kitayama and two clear of Korea’s Joohyung Kim. Patrick Cantlay and Tommy Fleetwood finished their tournament tied for fourth place on four-under.
“This was stressful,” he said, after banking a cheque for £1.16m.
“I’m not going to put makeup on the pig here. It was a very average day, probably my worst stuff this week. You can’t get ahead of yourself in links golf. I was ahead, behind, ahead, behind. I just kept my head down.
“It’s an incredible feeling, a big sense of relief.
“It’s the first of many co-sanctioned (between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour) events and it’s a real thrill to win the first one.”
Schauffele has never set foot on the Old Course before but will soon be putting that right.
“You know, I’m not really one to get too excited to go to a new golf course, but I’m pretty excited to go to that one,” he added.
“It’s going to be nice to just walk on property. It would have been cool to go with no fans and then to see it with fans; I missed out on that, which I’m totally fine with. But I’m just excited to walk the course and have a lot of homework to do.
“I’m tired. I’ve played a bit and I need a rest, and I need to get ready for the week.”
Connor Syme and Russell Knox finished as joint top Scots at the Renaissance Club, the pair closing on a three-over-par total of 283.