Former Aztec star advances out of Memphis sectional
Photo: Schauffele will compete in the 117th U.S. Open in Erin, Wis. Courtesy goaztecs.com
June 6, 2017 (San Diego) - Former San Diego State All-American Xander Schauffele (San Diego, Calif.) clinched a berth in the 2017 U.S. Open Championship Tuesday, emerging from a five-way playoff to grab one of two remaining spots in the United States Golf Association (USGA) sectional qualifier in Memphis, Tennessee.
Bolstered by a bogey-free opening round of 64, Schauffele shot a collective 7-under-par 135 Monday to tie for eighth place in regulation, along with Jonathan Randolph, Meen Whee Kim, Scott Brown and amateur Davis Shore, as the top nine golfers in the 108-player field were slated to advance out of the Memphis sectional.
Schauffele, Randolph and Kim survived the first hole of the playoff after each made par on the No. 16 green, but a delay of nearly an hour from an earlier thunderstorm prompted tournament officials to postpone play until Tuesday morning. Ultimately, Schauffele and Randolph secured the final two places, while Kim finished as first alternate.
With his result, Schauffele will compete in his first career U.S. Open, scheduled for June 15-18, at the par-72, 7,761-yard Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin, Wis.
A three-time all-Mountain West selection, Schauffele landed on two All-America teams following a stellar senior campaign in 2015, garnering third-team recognition from the both the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Golfweek. That season, the San Diego native also collected his second straight all-West Region honor after leading the Aztecs with eight top-five individual placements, including an individual title at the Barona Collegiate Cup, where established a school record for lowest score in relation to par with a 17-under 199.
In his three years on Montezuma Mesa, Schauffele amassed 21 top-10 finishes, 16 top-five performances and two victories before graduating with a degree in social science. He also holds the program record with a 71.50 career scoring average in 118 rounds played, as well as the school’s single-season standard of 171 birdies set in 2014-15.
In his first season on the PGA Tour, Schauffele has appeared in 16 events thus far, posting three top-25 placements, highlighted by a fifth-place tie last October at the Sanderson Farms Championships in Jackson, Mississippi, where he carded a 15-under 273. He also tied for 11th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April and landed in the 24th position at the Wells Fargo Championship last month in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Schauffele will join another Aztec alumnus at next week’s U.S. Open, as Scott Piercy earned an exemption after tying for second in the championship last year with a 1-under 279 at Oakmont, Pennsylvania.