'Beaming' Johnson Wagner Struggles To Replicate Xander Schauffele's Clutch PGA Championship Shot After Funny Shanks

Golf Channel analyst Johnson Wagner proved just how impressive Schauffele's clutch shot out of the rough was on 18 on Sunday...

Xander Schauffele (right) hitting out of the rough on 18 in the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship while Johnson Wagner tries to recreate the shot later on (left)
(Image credit: Getty Images/Golf Channel)

On his way to securing a first Major title at the 2024 PGA Championship, Xander Schauffele hit an awful lot of impressive shots - especially during the final round. 

Yet, there was one strike of club on golf ball that arguably sealed the deal and proved just how special a talent Schauffele is.

Stood on the par-5 18th tee box tied on 20-under with LIV Golf's Bryson DeChambeau and knowing that a birdie would be enough to taste glory, Schauffele drilled his drive down the left and watched his ball just come up short of the fairway bunker but roll into the first cut of rough.

It wasn't ideal, with the World No.2 perhaps preferring to end up fully entrenched in the sand. As it was, Schauffele's feet were inside the bunker while his golf ball was almost a foot higher on the grass in front.

The shot he was faced with was a treacherous one given there was a creek running right down the middle of the 72nd hole and plenty of hungry rough just waiting to gobble up an errand strike.

Neither of those nasty situations materialised, thankfully, as Schauffele hooked his ball 219 yards and into the middle of the fairway left of the green. One tidy pitch shot and a successful putt later, and the Californian was a Major champion at last.

The key shot along the final hole was the second, though, so - as he has become accustomed to doing - Golf Channel analyst Johnson Wagner skipped down to the 18th after the celebrations had died down to see if he could recreate Schauffele's genius.

Wagner - who is a three-time PGA Tour winner and once a member of the World's top-100 - had little luck, however. And not for the first time this week. On Thursday, the Texas-born golfer-turned-entertainer suffered from the chipping yips as he tried to reproduce a chip from Schauffele on the fourth.

The 44-year-old fared slightly better this time, but it was far from perfect still - proving just how difficult Schauffele's shot was. And that isn't even taking into account the nerves of trying to close out your first Major.

But Wagner gave it a good go. Starting off by explaining Schauffele's thought process, the Golf Channel analyst stated that the PGA Championship winner was trying to aim so far right because "he knew it was going to hook."

Wagner preferred a different shot path, though, preceding his shot with: "I think it's possible, if I can keep this right, to chase it up on that right side." However, he didn't manage it.

Admitting instantly that "it's not going to get on the green," Wagner watched on as his golf ball - which he caught reasonably well - dipped into the right rough on the left portion of the split fairway, short and right of where Schauffele's effort had ended up a little while earlier.

He continued: "That wouldn't have been a very good shot, I caught it a little high on the face. But, hey, I'm kinda of beaming right now. I made contact and I've got a little crowd out here."

Wagner has become a real favorite for golf fans in recent months with his engaging reenactment segments receiving rave reviews, and even leading to ad-hoc requests on social media at times.

Earlier in the season, Wagner analyzed what might have happened to Rory McIlroy's controversial drive at The Players Championship after the Northern Irishman found water off the tee, but only after it had bounced somewhere near the yellow stakes line.

There was a long debate about where the ball had bounced before it sunk into the penalty area on the seventh tee, with the World No.2 eventually dropping in the rough rather than taking a third shot from back on the tee.

The Golf Channel analyst returned to the same spot after play had ended for the day and threw golf balls into a bank to try and prove - with the help of two different camera angles - what might have actually happened.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.