The Greenbrier Classic
White Sulphur Springs, WV
Making his tournament debut and beginning the final round three shots back, PGA TOUR rookie and World No. 159 Xander Schauffele authored a 3-under-par 32-35=67 to conclude on 14-under 266, good for a one-shot win over Robert Streb.
The 23-year-old, a pre-tourney 40/1 outright, claims his first PGA TOUR title in his 23rd career start, 21st as a member.
Field Scoring Average:
7,286 yards; par 70 (34-36)
R1: 69.923 (preferred lies)
R2: 70.020 (preferred lies)
Schauffele posted 13.213 Strokes Gained: Total
Schauffele's Position by Round:
Prior to the final result, Schauffele had not led/co-led after any round this season. However, in his previous four starts (16 rounds), he’d been in the top 10 five times after any round and the top 25 eight times.
1st- Xander Schauffele: 64-69-66-67 (-14) *
2nd- Robert Streb: 65-68-65-69 (-13) *
T3- Jamie Lovemark: 69-64-66-69 (-12) *
T3- Sebastian Munoz: 61-67-68-72 (-12) *
T5- Kelly Kraft: 67-66-67-69 (-11)
T5- Russell Henley: 68-64-68-69 (-11)
*: As an Open Qualifying Series event, Schauffele, Streb, Lovemark and Munoz all qualified for The Open in two weeks.
How Schauffele Won on Sunday:
Schauffele’s stats in Round 4 (rank):
SG: Off-the-Tee: 1.070 (8th)
SG: Approach-the-Green: 1.583 (11th)
SG: Around-the-Green: -0.281 (46th)
SG: Putting: -0.236 (44th)
SG: Total: 2.135 (T8)
Greens in Regulation (GIR): 16 (1st)
Proximity: 24’6” (2nd)
Putts: 31 (T56)
After kicking off in 64-69-67, the SDSU alum began T3 on 11-under, trailing leader and fellow-rookie Munoz by three.
Playing out of the penultimate twosome, he landed 10 (of 14) fairways and pelted 16 GIR, No. 1 in GIR in R4 and No. 1 for the week at 81.94 percent (59/72).
While Munoz was laboring to a 3-over 37, Schauffele went out in bogey-free 32, circling holes 1 (from 3’6”) and 8 (17’3”), now co-leading with Streb and two clear of Munoz and Nick Taylor.
The La Jolla, California, native squared a lone bogey-5 at 11 (failed scramble), and didn’t circle either of the two par 5s (12th, 17th), but birdied two of his final three holes, the par-4 16th from 12’4”, and the par-3 18th, knocking in the eventual clincher from 39 inches.
With a Strength of Field rating of 174, Schauffele banks 34.00 world-ranking points and leaps 77 places to a career-high 82ndin the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
He collects 500 FedExCup (FEC) points for the victory and jumps 67 spots to a career-high 27thin the FEC standings.
Schauffele earns a two-year exemption on TOUR (thru 2018-19) and invites to the 2017 Open Championship, PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone, and the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions, Masters and THE PLAYERS.
This was Schauffele’s fifth straight week of competition:
T52- FedEx St. Jude
T5- U.S. Open (major debut)
T35- QL National (last week)
Note: Schauffele was the top-rookie finisher in two of the above-four starts, including the T5 at the U.S. Open and the T35 at the QLN, which was best among 14 rookies at the challenging TPC Potomac.
He is the NINTH straight winner on TOUR that checked in off T35 or worse in their previous start.
The most-recent winner to record a top 10 in the start prior to their respective win was Kevin Chappell 11 events ago at the Valero Texas Open (T7, Masters).
None of this week’s top-10 finishers arrived off a top 10. Defender Danny Lee (T9) was closest with T22 at the QLN.
This was Schauffele’s 21st start of the season, is a sixth top 25, third top 10, and third top 5, brushing aside a pair of previous-best T5s at the U.S. Open and the opposite-field Sanderson Farms back in October.
Schauffele’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 74 players):
Eagles: 1 (T3)
Birdies: 18 (T7)
Bogeys: 6 (T6)
Par-3 Scoring: 2.81 (T2)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.85 (T6)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.50 (T19)
Driving Distance (all drives): 300.0 yards (11th)
Driving Accuracy: 42/56 (T14) at 75.00 percent
GIR: 59/72 (1st) at 81.94 percent
Proximity to hole: 31’10” (18th)
Putts per GIR: 1.678 (6th)
Total Putts: 118 (T49)
Putts by Round: 28-29-30-31
Scrambling: 7/13 (68th) at 53.85 percent
SG: Off-the-Tee: 4.896 (2nd)
SG: Approach-the-Green: 2.212 (30th)
SG: Around-the-Green: 0.373 (39th)
SG: Putting: 5.732 (6th)
SG: Tee-to-Green: 7.480 (6th)
Robert Streb: The Kansas State alum was chasing a second TOUR title in 126 career events, winning the 2015 McGladrey Classic (playoff) 77 starts ago.
He began the final round in solo 2nd, two back of playing competitor Munoz, and carved out a 1-under-par 33-36=69 on 11 (of 14) fairways and 11 GIR, good for a season-best solo 2nd on 13-under 267.
The Oklahoma native was 2-under thru 12 holes, cancelling bogey-5 at four with birdies at Nos. 3, 6 and 12, but then ate double bogey-6 at 13 (tee ball OB). He bounced back with a 32-footer for birdie-3 at 14, but finished with four straight pars, including a missed birdie at the par-5 17th from 11'9".
It’s the 30-year-old’s third career runner-up, second at the Greenbrier in four tries, and second straight (T2/2015), which was also his most recent runner-up.
He vaults 65 spots in OWGR from No. 199 to No. 134, and jumps 69 places in the FEC standings from 137th to 68th. The Shawnee, Kansas, resident’s earned spot in The Open in two weeks will be his third consecutive appearance.
Streb’s stats in Round 4 (rank):
SG: Off-the-Tee: -0.250 (50th)
SG: Approach-the-Green: -0.816 (T53)
SG: Around-the-Green: 0.166 (33rd)
SG: Putting: 1.036 (24th)
SG: Total: 0.135 (T30)
Putts: 28 (T19)
Schauffele (age 23):
14 made cuts
6 top 25s
3 top 10s
3 top 5s
Streb (age 30):
14 made cuts
4 top 25s
2 top 10s
1 top 5
A total of 73 pros and one amateur from a field of 153 pros and three amateurs made the 36-hole cut of 1-under 139:
36 (of 75) EARLY/late; 2 WDs, 1 DQ
38 (of 76) LATE/early; 2 WDs
13 players finished in the top 10 with EIGHT of those LATE/early, including the CHAMPION.
24 tourneys this season with a traditional draw:
EARLY/late: 16 (66.6%)
*Schauffele is third straight LATE/early winner on TOUR
Yahoo! Low Rounds:
R1: Sebastian Munoz* (61)
*career lows: Munoz, Niemann, Blaum
Weekend Bogey-free Rounds:
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Sebastian Munoz: Drops to 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Sebastian Munoz: Drops to 0-for-2
R3: Sebastian Munoz: Drops to 0-for-1
8 of the Top 50 in OWGR were in the field
0 finished in the top 10:
Best: No. 38 Jimmy Walker with T18 (68-70-70-65)
No. 21 Patrick Reed (T20): top-ranked and pre-tourney fave outright (12/1)
No. 24 Kevin Kisner (CUT)
No. 25 Phil Mickelson (T20)
No. 31 Si Woo Kim (CUT)
No. 36 Bill Haas (T37)
No. 42 Bubba Watson (T70)
No. 49 Gary Woodland (57th)
No. 159 Xander Schauffele (Won)
No. 199 Robert Streb (2nd)
No. 98 Jamie Lovemark (T3)
No. 410 Sebastian Munoz (T3)
No. 185 Kelly Kraft (T5)
No. 57 Russell Henley (T5)
No. 359 Ryan Blaum (T7)
No. 67 Tony Finau (T7)
No. 243 Alex Cejka (T9)
No. 174 Chad Campbell (T9)
No. 51 J.B. Holmes (T9)
No. 194 Nick Taylor (T9)
No. 81 Danny Lee (T9); defender
Average world ranking of top-10 finishers: 175th
Average world ranking field: 433rd
First-timers and/or Rookies:
Top-10 finishes: 4
TOUR Rookies: 20
Top-10 finishes: 3
Schauffele took top honors in both categories. It’s the fourth time this season in 21 starts (second straight) where he’s been low rookie (T24, Wells Fargo; T5, U.S. Open; T35 Quicken Loans). The other top 10s:
Sebastian Munoz: After kicking off his tourney debut in 61, 67, 68, the rookie led by three, two and two shots, respectively. He back-pedaled to a 2-over-par 37-35=72, dropping two spots to a career-best T3 on 12-under 268, two swings adrift.
The Colombian hit eight (of 14) fairways and 15 GIR, +2.100 strokes approaching-the-green but -0.506 around-the-green.
He outbalanced birdie-3 at five with bogeys at holes 4 (3-putt from 15'11"), 6, 8 (3-putt from 42'11") and 9, now trailing the leaders by two shots.
The North Texas alum re-joined the top spot with back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12, but stalled out from there, squaring a final bogey at 16.
His three circles were all from inside of four feet, posting a dismal 1.933 putts per GIR and -4.867 SG: Putting, taking 35 total putts.
Making his 12th career TOUR start – all this season – the 24-year-old records his first top 25 and first top 10, supplanting a previous-best T27 at the VTO.
Two starts ago at the FedEx St. Jude, he was a first- and second-round co-leader (64-67), before fading to T60 with 75-76.
Munoz leapfrogs 142 spots in OWGR from No. 410 to a career-high 268, and moves 58 places from 198th in the FEC standings to 140th.
Kelly Kraft: Making his tournament debut, the second-year man closed with 1-under-par 35-34=69 to post 11-under 269, good for a two-way T5, three adrift.
After opening in 67-66-67, he began T5, four back, and found 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 GIR, +2.059 strokes approaching-the-green and +2.952 tee-to-green, No. 1 for the week in both of the latter at 10.860 and 14.697, respectively.
The SMU alum was -2.817 on-the-green however, finishing 71st(of 74) in SG: Putting with a cumulative -4.485.
Making his 22nd start of the season, this is his fifth top 25 among just nine made cuts, third top 10 and third top 5, joining a career-best 2nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach and solo 3rd at the Zurich Classic, teamed with Kevin Tway.
The 28-year-old jumps 25 spots in OWGR from No. 185 to a career-high 160, and bumps nine places from 56th in the FEC standings to 47th.
Ryan Blaum: Making his second appearance (MC/2013), the rookie and World No. 359 painted a career-low bogey-free 6-under-par 32-32=64 in the final round to wrap on 10-under 270 (68-67-71-64), up 13 places to a career-best T7.
The finale was the 33-year-old’s 103rd career round and eclipses a previous-best 65, which he shot two times, most recently at the 2017 Honda/R3.
It was his 33rd career start, 24th this season, and first top 10, eclipsing a previous-best T24 at the DEAN & DELUCA four starts ago.
Blaum was No. 1 for the week in SG: Around-the-Green (5.666), and No. 1 in SG: Putting (8.035).
Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:
Rickie Fowler (T3-T5)
Charley Hoffman (T3-8th)
Consecutive top-10 streaks ended:
Keegan Bradley (T50-T5-T8)
Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:
Justin Thomas (8 in 18 events)
Jordan Spieth (7 in 16 events)
Rickie Fowler (7 in 14)
Jon Rahm (7 in 16)
Brian Harman (6 in 22)
Dustin Johnson (6 in 12)
Kevin Kisner (6 in 18)
Consecutive Top 25s on TOUR:
Patrick Reed: (T20-T17-T5-T13); eight in last nine
Danny Lee: (T9-T22-T3)
Phil Mickelson (T20-T9-T22)
Bryson DeChambeau (T14-T17)
Webb Simpson (T14-T8)
Curtis Luck (T20-T5)
Matt Kuchar (T16-T4-T12-T9)
Louis Oosthuizen (T23-T18-T2-T24)
Sergio Garcia (T21-T12-T20)
Marc Leishman (T5-T17); three in last four
Anirban Lahiri (T17-T2)
21 winners were in their 20s; five straight (Schauffele: 23)
11 were in their 30s
4 were in their 40s
13 winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (none since Chappell went T7, Masters and 1st, VTO)
20 of the 33 winners (minus Match Play and team-Zurich) have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday. Schauffele was in the penultimate twosome.
Updated Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finish):
1. Dustin Johnson (idle)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (T14 on Euro Tour)
3. Jordan Spieth (idle)
4. Rory McIlroy (CUT on Euro Tour)
5. Sergio Garcia (idle)
6. Jason Day (idle)
7. Henrik Stenson (idle)
8. Jon Rahm (Won on Euro Tour); UP three; career high
9. Alex Noren (idle); DOWN one
10. Rickie Fowler (idle); DOWN one
Note: Brooks Koepka (idle), dropped from No. 10 to No. 11
Updated Top 10 in FedExCup standings (points):
1. Dustin Johnson (2,270)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (2,145)
3. Justin Thomas (2,060)
4. Jordan Spieth (1,979)
5. Jon Rahm (1,708)
6. Rickie Fowler (1,592)
7. Brooks Koepka (1,534)
8. Kevin Kisner (1,458)
9. Daniel Berger (1,450)
10. Pat Perez (1,426)
The TOUR heads to Silvis, IL, for the 46th playing of the John Deere Classic, 18th consecutive at TPC Deere Run (7,268 yards; par 71).
Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR readies for its 36th tournament of the season (of 47).