Aztec alumnus earns exemption to next year’s championship
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
June 18, 2017 (Erin, Wisc.) - Making his first major championship appearance, former San Diego State All-American Xander Schauffele (San Diego, Calif.) tied for fifth place at the 117th U.S. Open on Sunday after carding a 3-under-par 69 during the final round at Erin Hills Golf Club.
With his total, Schauffele completed the tournament at 10-under 278, along with Bill Haas and Rickie Fowler, finishing five strokes behind champion Brooks Koepka (-15), while Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman tied for second at 12-under, followed closely by Tommy Fleetwood (-11), who took fourth.
By virtue of his top-10 performance, Schauffele also earned an exemption to next year’s U.S. Open, slated for Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
Schauffele, who began the day in a tie for 10th at 7-under on the heels of a third-round 70, managed to offset two bogeys with five birdies to climb five places on the leaderboard. After carding a bogey on the par-4 11th, the Aztec alumnus finished strong with four pars and three birdies, including back-to-back drains on the 14th and 15th greens.
In all, Schauffele sank 19 birdies for the weekend against seven bogeys and one double-bogey to tie for his highest placement in 17 events this season—his first on the PGA Tour. Last October, the Scripps Ranch High product also landed in the fifth position at the Sanderson Farms Championships in Jackson, Mississippi, where he recorded a 15-under 273. In addition, he tied for 11th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April and finished 24th position at the Wells Fargo Championship last month in Wilmington, North Carolina.
A three-time all-Mountain West Conference honoree, Schauffele received All-America recognition following a brilliant senior campaign at San Diego State in 2015, earning third-team distinction from the both the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Golfweek.
In his three years on Montezuma Mesa, Schauffele compiled 21 top-10 finishes, 16 top-five efforts and two individual titles before graduating with a degree in social science. He also owns the school record with a 71.50 career scoring average in 118 rounds played, as well as the program’s single-season standard of 171 birdies set in 2014-15.