Xander Schauffele Wins Gold in Men’s Individual Golf At Tokyo Olympics
Xander Schauffele held on to win the fourth-ever men’s Olympic event with a final-round 4-under 67. It was Schauffele’s first win anywhere in the world since the 2019 Tournament of Champions on Maui.
“Just in shock,” Schauffele, 27, said afterward. “I was trying so hard to just stay calm. Hit a terrible drive on 18, had to make a sort of sloppy par, and fortunately hit it close enough to sort of have a high percentage putt at roughly four, five feet. But, man, it was stressful. And I made that putt, and it was just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and just very relieved and happy, of course.”
Schauffele’s win was in peril with Rory Sabbatini, who set an Olympic record with a 61, with two bogeys on his card, that nearly was good enough for a sudden-death playoff for the gold. Schauffele held the lead but on the 14th hole with a two-shot lead, he drove the ball into a thicket of trees. He took an unplayable lie, thinned his third shot when he clipped a tree branch but escaped with a bogey after a clutch putt.
The putt for par and a 4-under 67 was stressful for the golfer. All he had to was score from four feet away to win gold for the U.S.
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Xander Schauffele took home gold for Team USA
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“I just reminded myself, this is just a 4-footer,” he said Sunday. “All you have to do is make it. No big deal.”
Schauffele took gold, Sabbatini, who represented Slovakia happily took silver, and C.T. Pan of Chinese Taipei won bronze.