“He’s Rory McIlroy you know?” Xander Schauffele hits back after ‘choker’ comments

Though Xander Schauffele feels that he was let down by his short game at the Wells Fargo Championship, he was unable to stop a scorching Rory McIlroy on Sunday.

For the first time in almost two years, Xander Schauffele acknowledges that he needs to “clean up” his short game in order to return to the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour.

After losing to Rory McIlroy, 35, in the final round, Schauffele, 30, was left to lament another chance lost to complete an eighth championship on the PGA Tour. McIlroy went on to win a record-tying fourth Wells Fargo Championship.

In 65 shots, McIlroy scorched the Charlotte turf, while Schauffele shot a drab 71.

All of it caused Schauffele’s detractors to explode on social media on Sunday night, calling him the “biggest choker” on the PGA Tour right now.

After his last PGA Tour victory at the Genesis Scottish Open in July 2022, Schauffele has now recorded 21 top-10 finishes.

At Quail Hollow, he had a commanding four-shot lead going into the weekend, but McIlroy had closed the gap to just one shot by Sunday.

After Schauffele made a birdie on the first, McIlroy closed the gap to two shots, but Schauffele took a two-shot lead on the par-5 7th after draining an eagle from 10 feet.

Sadly for Schauffele, everything went wrong after that.

At the driveable par-4 eighth, Schauffele missed the pin with a straightforward chip, which opened the door for McIlroy, who birdied from 12 feet to cut the deficit to one.

Then, at nine and ten, McIlroy surged into the lead with another birdie, taking Schauffele’s wind out of his sails. At nine, he made an eagle from thirty feet.

Schauffele then gave McIlroy the championship on a platter by completely botching the 12th and 13th holes with consecutive bogeys.

Then, at 13 and 14, the Northern Irishman made birdies, and at 15, he holed out from the greenside bunker for another eagle, guaranteeing that the competition would turn into a procession.

McIlroy won the tournament by five shots on 17-under par, even with a double on 18.

Schauffele wants his detractors to know that, despite knowing that his short game contributed significantly to his loss of another title, he did not have much of an opportunity to match McIlroy on Sunday.

After the round, a somewhat dejected Schauffele spoke to reporters and stated:

You know, he’s Rory McIlroy. He has shorter clubs into firm greens than anyone else and hits it 350 yards downwind. He’s all in when he’s on. Bravo to him on his victory. Yes, he performed incredibly well.

He added:

“I thought I had pretty good ball control off the tee; some of those fairways are really intimidating.” Hit some amazing iron shots, left to right and right to left, that I haven’t been able to do in a long time.

“I just need to improve my short game overall; it hurt me today and has always been a deciding factor in whether I win a tournament or not. It’s like a trigger stat for me.”

Over the past 18 months, Schauffele has let several tournaments slip through his fingers, but none more so than this season’s Wells Fargo Championship and the Players Championship, where he also addressed his detractors.

As he attempts to win his first major championship at the US PGA, Schauffele has moved up one spot to third in the Official World Golf Rankings following his most recent runner-up performance.

He also made a meager $2.1 million.

Schauffele is currently the favorite to win this week’s Wanamaker Trophy at 18/1.

Scottie Scheffler, the top player in the world, is once again the overwhelming favorite to win back-to-back majors in 2024 at 4/1.

With his wife Meredith expecting their first child, there had been some uncertainty regarding the reigning Masters champion’s ability to play on the US PGA.

However, over the weekend, Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated revealed that Baby Scheffler is now a real person, and as such, Daddy Scheffler can now compete at Valhalla.

With his 26th PGA Tour victory and his second straight on the circuit, McIlroy’s odds to win the US PGA have dropped from 12/1 to 6/1.

He is vying for his first major victory in almost a decade and his fifth overall.

The defending champion, Brooks Koepka of LIV Golf, is third in the betting market at 14/1 after winning in his most recent start on the breakaway league.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.