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As one of the strongest fields descended on The Renaissance Club, it was one of the in form players in the world that took the title, as Xander Schauffele secured his second victory in two starts at the Genesis Scottish Open.
After a stunning four-under-par third round on Saturday, the 28-year-old looked to be cruising to the title after two birdies at the first two holes. However, three bogeys to finish his front nine made it look like the trophy was slipping from his grasp. But, in a mature back nine that included two birdies, the American held on to claim the title and take some serious momentum into The 150th Open Championship next week at St Andrews.
"It's an incredible feeling", stated Schauffele following his win, "It's a big sense of relief. It was a very stressful day, but very rewarding. I was trying to find something. Every time I wanted to cut it, I hit it way left and every time I wanted to draw it, I hit it way right.
"This one is extra special. The fans have been pushing me around all day. This is the first of many co-sanctioned events and it's an honour to win the first one."
The moment @XSchauffele became a Rolex Series winner 🏆#GenesisScottishOpen | #RolexSeries pic.twitter.com/QEnuq3cOa9July 10, 2022
It had been set up for an exciting day at The Renaissance Club, with many players looking to secure the first title of a landmark week, with the DP World Tour and PGA Tour coming together for the first time in a co-sanctioned event.
With two birdies to begin his day, Schauffele took a four-shot lead early on. However, a poor bogey at the sixth hole was followed up with further bogeys at the seventh and ninth, as he found himself one back of Kurt Kitayama going into the final nine holes.
Kitayama would rue a costly bogey at the 17th though, with the American setting the clubhouse target at six-under-par as he waited for his fellow countryman to finish. Schauffele has been one of the best players in the world of late and, at the 14th, it showed, as he picked up a birdie to pull one ahead.
An important birdie then followed at the 16th, as a par at the 17th meant he held a two shot cushion going down the last. Two iron shots followed and, despite the 28-year-old failing to get up-and-down, he would tap in for bogey. The victory moves him up to around fifth in the world and secures his third PGA Tour title since April 2022.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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