Mo Yoshimoto

The Takeaway

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Schauffele heists Sentry by 1

Monday, January 7, 2019


Sentry Tournament of Champions

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii



Playing out of the penultimate twosome, World No. 10 Xander Schauffele overcame a five-shot deficit with a week-low, 11-under-par 31-31=62 on Sunday at The Plantation Course at Kapalua to heist the winners-only event by one over 54-hole leader and runner-up Gary Woodland, who closed with bogey-free 68, and five better than 3rd-place finisher and past champion Justin Thomas (65).


The 25-year-old, a pre-tourney 20/1 outright, bags his fourth PGA TOUR title in 61 events, second straight, and all in come-from-behind fashion. His 62 is a career low (in 206 rounds), eclipsing 63 (x2), and also matched the course record with four others, though his version was the first that ultimately yielded the trophy, ending the week on 23-under 269.


This was Schauffele's second Sentry after T22 on debut last year (72-72-70-74), where he played in Round 1 with eventual champ Dustin Johnson. The five-shot deficit overcome after 54 holes is the largest in tournament history, previously four shots (x3).


Speaking of two-time past champ Johnson, he closed with bogey-free 67 out of the fourth-to-last twosome to finish in a three-way T4 (eight adrift), along with Marc Leishman (71) and first-timer Rory McIlroy, who began the day in solo 2nd but stalled out with an uninspiring two-birdie, one-bogey 72 out of the final pairing.





Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):



1- (-23, 269) Xander Schauffele (20/1)

2- (-22, 270) Gary Woodland (25/1)

3- (-18, 274) Justin Thomas (8/1)

4- (-15, 277) Dustin Johnson (5/1 fave)

4- (-15, 277) Marc Leishman (25/1)

4- (-15, 277) Rory McIlroy (10/1)




FUN FACT: Schauffele is the ninth straight American to win the Sentry TOC.





With two wins (already), Schauffele is the first, multiple winner on the season and ties his victory total from 2017 (in 28 starts), which garnered him Rookie of the Year honors.


Overall, it’s his 13th top 10, eight of which are podiums, and second consecutive after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in his last official start 10 weeks ago, where he came from three back with a day-low 4-under 68, and then defeated overnight leader and playing competitor Tony Finau with birdie-4 on the first hole of sudden death.


In between, Schauffele posted a T8 (of 18) at the unofficial Hero World Challenge, where he was T6 thru 54 holes (73-68-66-70), and a T16 at the DP World Tour Championship in the season finale on the European Tour.


His blistering 62 included an opening bogey and eight birdies, and was punctuated by two hole-out eagles, including a 107-yard, two-bounce-and-in version at the par-4 12th.


Schauffele also dusted the field by 7.727 strokes in R4, posting 3.703 SG: Approach, 1.774 SG: Around, and 2.243 SG: Putting with 25 total putts, playing his final seven holes in 6-under.


For the week, he tallied two eagles (T1) and 24 birdies versus five bogeys, and as you’ll see a bit later, finished in the top 5 in all five strokes gained sub-categories.



The Californian’s previous low this season (in 16 laps) was a pair of 7-under 65s in R4 at THE CJ CUP (finished T48) and R3 at the CIMB in his season-opener, where he finished 25th.


Form: 1-P1-48-25-7-3-49-MC-35-68-2

Sentry Form: 1-22



Schauffele’s R4 scoring average this season is now 65.75 (ranks 10th) and his R4 scoring average in his four wins is 66.25.



FUN FACT: Three of Schauffele’s four wins have been in limited-field, no-cut events, three straight.



With a Strength of Field rating of 406 (down from 422 last year), the SDSU alum banks 56 world-ranking points and bumps four spots to a career-best 6th in the Official World Golf Ranking, and also nudges one place to 1st in the FedExCup standings for a second time (and fourth overall week) this season.





Schauffele’s Position by Round:



R1: T19 (6 back)

R2: T6 (5 back)

R3: T4 (5 back)



FUN FACT: After an opening 1-under 72, Schauffele’s next three laps were either the day’s low round or tied for the day’s low round.


FUN FACT: Schauffele ends a streak of 11 winners, dating to the 2018 BMW Championship, that had emerged out of the Final or Penultimate Group in R3. He played out of the third-to-last twosome in R3.





Field Scoring Average:



This was the 67th playing of the TOC, 21st consecutive at The Plantation Course:



Scorecard Yardage: 7,518

Par: 73 (36-37)



Cumulative scoring averages:



R1: 71.33

R2: 71.39

R3: 71.24

R4: 69.73


Total: 70.92



Schauffele: 72-67-68-62 for 14.697 SG: Total





Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:



SG: Off-the-Tee


1. Rory McIlroy (4.741)

2. Bubba Watson (3.990)

3. Gary Woodland (3.871)

4. Jon Rahm (3.355)

5. Xander Schauffele (2.863)



SG: Approach-the-Green


1. Justin Thomas (10.861)

2. Webb Simpson (7.268)

3. Gary Woodland (5.526)

4. Xander Schauffele (4.751)

5. Marc Leishman (4.646)



SG: Around-the-Green


1. Dustin Johnson (4.409)

2. Jason Day (3.146)

3. Michael Kim (2.049)

4. Kevin Tway (1.886)

5. Xander Schauffele (1.718)



SG: Putting


1. Bryson DeChambeau (7.304)

2. Andrew Putnam (6.791)

3. Xander Schauffele (5.363)

4. Cameron Champ (4.750)

5. Patton Kizzire (4.148)



SG: Tee-to-Green


1. Justin Thomas (10.458)

2. Gary Woodland (10.398)

3. Xander Schauffele (9.333)

4. Jon Rahm (7.052)

5. Webb Simpson (6.779)



AMAZING FACT: Internally, this writer has kept strokes gained stats that date to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, and as mentioned earlier, Schauffele is the first player in that time frame to finish in the top 5 in all five strokes gained sub-categories.








Gary Woodland: The second- and third-round leader and World No. 31 fashioned a bogey-free, 5-under-par 34-34=68, dipping one spot to solo 2nd.


He drops to 0-for-5 when leading/co-leading after 36 holes and 1-for-8 when leading/co-leading after 54.


The 34-year-old, chasing his fourth TOUR title in 232 events, first since the 2018 WM Phoenix Open 25 starts ago, settles for his 10th runner-up, second of the season in five tries (2nd, THE CJ CUP), and is now the season leader in top 10s with four, three of those doubling as top 5s.


Season Form: 2-41-10-2-5


The Kansas alum hit 12 (of 15) fairways and 17 greens in regulation, gaining 0.998 strokes off-the-tee but losing 0.524 on approach. He carded five birdies at holes 5, 9, 11, 15 and 17, missing a 10'2" birdie try at the 72nd hole that would've forced extra time.


The Florida resident recorded 1.824 putts per GIR and 1.140 SG: Putting. He ended the week with one eagle and 25 birdies (T1) against five bogeys, and ranked in the top 8 in all strokes gained sub-categories, including 2nd in SG: TTG (10.398).


Sentry Form: 2-13-24

OWGR: 22 (UP 9); career high

FEC: 2nd (UP 7); career high





Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Kevin Tway (finished T11): 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader


R2: Gary Woodland (2nd): 0-for-5 as 36-hole leader/co-leader


R3: Gary Woodland (2nd): 1-for-8 as 54-hole leader/co-leader



NOT SO FUN FACT: In the last 100 stroke-play events, dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Woodland was the 11th player (12th time) to hold a 3-shot lead thru 54 holes and the third straight to end up finishing second, third this season, joining Finau, who lost to Schauffele in extra time at the WGC-HSBC, and Brandt Snedeker at the season opener in Napa, who lost in sudden death to Tway.



3-shot lead or greater conversion during this span: 50.00% (6-for-12)



*Note: Last season, all four players who held a 3-shot lead thru 54 holes won, culminated by Tiger Woods at the TOUR Championship, who shot 1-over 71 to win by two over a hard-charging runner-up Billy Horschel (66).





How Schauffele Won on Sunday:



After kicking off with 72-67-68, he began T4, five back, and hit nine (of 15) fairways and 16 greens in regulation.


Playing one group ahead of Woodland, Schauffele opened with bogey-5 at hole 1, but then played his final 17 in blemish-free 12-under, ringing up eight birdies and two hole-out eagles at 9 and 12, the former a pitch-in 3 from 54’2” away that completed a first-half, 5-under 31.


Making the turn in solo 2nd and two back of Woodland, he holed out at 12 and then circled the par-4 14th, now 8-under on the day and tied with Woodland, who was 3-under thru 13 and 20-under total.


Schauffele circled birdie-4 at 15 (from 21 inches), after nearly holing out for a third time, just missing the trifecta from 80’ 7” away, and was now the outright leader by one over Woodland.


He reached 10-under on the lap with birdie at 17 (from 9'4"), the first of the day at the lengthy par 4, which maintained his one-shot advantage over Woodland, and then tamed the par-5 finisher with two mighty blows, highlighted by a 273-yard second to 11’10”.


Schauffele missed the eagle try, which would’ve been the course record on his own, but canned the 2’9” come-backer for the clubhouse lead.


Woodland, also birdied the 17th (from 11’4”), and would need a closing birdie of his own to force a playoff.


He came up 48 yards short with his second (from 267 yards out), pitched to 10’2”, and missed right, relinquishing the hardware to Schauffele.





Schauffele’s Career:



Starts: 61

Cuts Made: 46 (75.4%)


Top 25s: 26 (42.6%)

Top 10s: 13 (21.3%)

Top 3s: 8 (13.1%)

Wins: 4 (6.5%)




4 wins



2019: Sentry TOC (come from behind, 5-shot deficit)

Winning Margin: 1 shot

Career Start: 61

Event Type: Winners only (LIMITED FIELD, NO CUT)



2019: WGC-HSBC (come from behind, 3-shot deficit)

Winning Margin: PLAYOFF

Career Start: 60




2017: TOUR Championship (come from behind, 2-shot deficit)

Winning Margin: 1 shot

Career Start: 30




2017: The Greenbrier Classic (come from behind, 3-shot deficit)

Winning Margin: 1 shot

Career Start: 23

Event Type: FULL FIELD




TOUR Wins by Season:



2019: 2 (Sentry TOC; WGC-HSBC)

2018: 0

2017: 2 (TOUR Championship; Greenbrier)








No traditional draw this week so we’ll focus more on the first-round tee times of the past six winners, who have all had a R1 start time of 12 noon or later:



2019: Xander Schauffele (12:00 pm); 5th-to-last pairing

2018: Dustin Johnson (12:40 pm); 2nd-to-last pairing

2017: Justin Thomas (12:20 pm); 4th-to-last pairing

2016: Jordan Spieth (12:50 pm); final pairing

2015: Patrick Reed (12:10 pm); 5th-to-last pairing

2014: Zach Johnson (12:40 pm); 2nd-to-last pairing



FUN FACT: In last year’s tourney debut, Schauffele played in R1 with eventual champ Dustin Johnson.








4 (of 9) tourneys so far this season did have a traditional draw:






EARLY/late: 3


LATE/early: 1





Low Rounds:



R1: 66: Kevin Tway


R2: 67: Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland


R3: 68: Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey


R4: 62: Xander Schauffele*


*Schauffele career low



FUN FACT: Just two players (three times) in the last 23 events on TOUR won with the low R4 score. Schauffele (now two times) and Francesco Molinari, who fired an 8-under 62 to win his first TOUR title at the 2018 Quicken Loans National. Keegan Bradley recorded the joint-low R4 score to win the 2018 BMW Championship (6-under 64), prevailing over 54-hole leader Justin Rose (67) in sudden death.




Bogey-free Rounds:



R1: (1): Kevin Tway (66)


R2: (4): Xander Schauffele (67); Bryson DeChambeau (68); Brandt Snedeker (69); Keegan Bradley (69)


R3: (3): Rory McIlroy (68); Troy Merritt (69); Matt Kuchar (72)


R4: (5): Webb Simpson (65); Dustin Johnson (67); Gary Woodland (68); Brice Garnett (68); Matt Kuchar (69)



Multiple Bogey-free Rounds (1 player):



Kuchar (x2)








 Season Winners (9):



5 winners were in their 20s

3 were in their 30s

1 was in their 40s




Kevin Tway (Safeway): age 30

Marc Leishman (CIMB): age 34

Brooks Koepka (CJ CUP): age 28

Xander Schauffele (WGC-HSBC): age 25

Cameron Champ (Sanderson Farms): age 23

Bryson DeChambeau (Shriners): age 25

Matt Kuchar (Mayakoba): age 40

Charles Howell III (RSM): age 39

Xander Schauffele (Sentry TOC): age 25




Last Season:



20s: 17

30s: 24

40s: 6





Updated Top 10 FEC Standings (points):



1. Xander Schauffele (1,094); UP one

2. Gary Woodland (771); UP seven

3. Marc Leishman (660); UP TWO

4. Charles Howell III (653); DOWN three

5. Kevin Tway (641); DOWN two

6. Brooks Koepka (593); DOWN two

7. Bryson DeChambeau (590); UP one

8. Cameron Champ (589); DOWN two

9. Matt Kuchar (550); DOWN two

10. Patrick Cantlay (430)





Schauffele’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 33 players):



Eagles: 2 (T1)

Birdies: 24 (3rd)

Bogeys: 5 (T5)


Birdie or Better: 36.11% (T1)

Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 5.20 (2nd)



Par-3 Scoring: 2.83 (2nd)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.80 (2nd)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T4)



Driving Distance (all drives): 297.0 yards (11th)

Driving Accuracy: 47/60 (T15) at 78.33%

GIR: 59/72 (T5) at 81.94%

Proximity to Hole: 40’7” (23rd)

Putts per GIR: 1.661 (2nd)

Total Putts: 115 (T4)

Putts by Round: 32-28-30-25

Scrambling: 9/13 (8th) at 69.23%

All Around: 4th 









You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.
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