Weekly Recap: Schauffele Strikes Gold

Weekly Recap: Schauffele Strikes Gold

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

Xander Schauffele's long winless drought was bordering on Tony Finau-esque proportions. It was going strong at two and a half years when he arrived in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics. There were numerous times Schauffele was in position to end it, but there also was a growing list of improbable, self-inflicted implosions.

So, when leading by a stroke and finding himself in the woods off the tee of the par-5 14th – one of the easiest holes on the Kasumigaseki Country Club course – it would've been easy for a little voice in his head to say, "Uh oh, here we go again."

(A personal moment, please: As someone who drafted Schauffele and pinned success in the season-long RotoWire staff league largely on this one golfer, my head went to "Uh oh, here we go again" even faster than it could have for Schauffele.)

While Schauffele bogeyed the hole to fall into a tie with Rory Sabbatini, it was actually a miraculous bogey, and he never looked like he lost his composure. His gold-medal dreams could've end there, but they didn't. When he delivered an extraordinary up-and-down on 18, Schauffele became the fourth golf gold medalist in Olympic history.

Sabbatini finished with the silver after an out-of-nowhere Olympic-record 10-under 61. C.T. Pan captured the bronze by surviving a whopping seven-man playoff in which he was by far the lowest-ranked golfer.

Schauffele had been in or around the top five in the world rankings for much of his

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Len Hochberg has covered golf for RotoWire since 2013. A veteran sports journalist, he was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years. He was named 2020 "DFS Writer of the Year" by the FSWA and was nominated for the same award in 2019.
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