After his Sunday near-miss at The Players Championship, golfer Xander Schauffele responds to fans calling him a “choker.”

Xander Schauffele is an Olympic gold medallist and seven-time PGA Tour winner, but that hasn’t stopped some golf fans on social media from calling the American player a “choke artist” after his most recent near-miss at The Players Championship this past weekend.

Before the final round of the PGA Tour’s main event of the season, Schauffele, 30, had a slim one-stroke lead.

Even though he was still in that position with five holes remaining, Schauffele made double bogeys on holes 14 and 15, which allowed World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to pass through and become the first player in The Players Championship’s 50-year history to successfully defend the title.

Schauffele finished one shot back in T2 after recording a final-round score of 70.

In Schauffele’s defense, Scheffler did shoot an 8-under 64, scorching the renowned Sawgrass turf.

For a large portion of the back nine, he was also under pressure from reigning US Open champion Wyndham Clark and reigning Open champion Brian Harman.

But those two expensive bogeys at 14 and 15, when he was challenging for his first Players title, combined with a lost seven-footer for birdie on the Island Green Par-3 17th, were enough to make Schauffele’s detractors turn out in large numbers.

Schauffele finished second at The Players Championship for the second time in his career. He is still vying for his first major championship, having gone close at The Masters and The Open in the past.

Schauffele is currently ranked fifth in the world and is the top player without a major title having not won one since the July 2022 Scottish Open.

On Sunday night, the tweet “Xander Schauffele: Hall of Fame choke artist” from one golf fan seemed to be trending.

What then does Schauffele have to say after losing out on yet another title?

Schauffele responded as follows when a reporter questioned him about his detractors’ claims that it’s just another major tournament where he couldn’t seal the deal:

Yes, I will tend to my wounds. Right now, I’ll probably join them in their hatred, but that’s just the way things are. These are awful. That’s not exactly how I imagined myself walking off the 18th green when I went to bed last night. Next week, I’ll get back to it after tending to my wounds.”

This week at the Valspar Championship, where he begins as a warm 7/1 tournament favorite ahead of course specialist and two-time Valspar winner Sam Burns (11/1), Schauffele will try to get back on his high horse and win an eighth PGA Tour title.

Schauffele stated that, despite his most recent near-miss at The Players Championship, he plans to look forward rather than back.

Schauffele said:

Yes, I do take a lot of pride in that. Since they shifted this tournament to this time of year, I haven’t cracked an egg. It’s good to know that you can hang in there with the best of them. I finished in second place, but I think I lost to Webb [Simpson] by a significant margin when it was hard and quick. Something felt different in that second. This one is a little bit worse, but it’s still very near.”

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