Xander Schauffele’s custom home is still under construction on a plush North County golf course.
His golf game? It’s in pristine shape.
Carmel Valley’s Schauffele is on a worldwide roll. How else to explain winning three times in three countries in three weeks?
The run has catapulted Schauffele, the former San Diego State star, to No. 5 in the world as he sets his sights on this week’s Open Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland.
He enters as among the favorites, although it’s rare for any golfer at any level to stay this hot, this long.
“I’m not sure if that’s like a curse or something,” Schauffele told reporters after winning Sunday’s Scottish Open.
Instead he’ll curse the media, with a smile of course, as they invariably bring it up this week.
“I’m going to ignore all the media as much as possible,” he said. “There’s a few guys that like to tell me about history and all, but I’m obviously in good form and going to try and carry that.”
It was a heavy lift at the Scottish Open, where Schauffele started the final round with a two-stroke lead. But he was down a stroke at the turn and he didn’t seize the lead back until a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 14. Then a two-shot edge went to one, which was his margin of victory.
“I came out of the gates very nicely and kind of hit a wall and was looking a bit sketchy for a little bit,” he said. “It was nice to sort of steady the ship on the way in.”
A work of art? Nope. A way to land another win? Yep.
“It’s what links golf promotes, getting the ball in the hole,” Schauffele said. “I was telling myself that it doesn’t have to be pretty, unfortunately, but I got the ball in the hole and one better than everyone else.”
Schauffele, 28, has left many in his wake of late after winning last month’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut for his first individual PGA Tour title in three years. Then came the J.P. McManus Pro-Am in Ireland before he prevailed in Scotland.
He’s only the fifth American to win the Scottish Open but the third with North County ties. Rancho Santa Fe’s Phil Mickelson (2013) and part-time Del Mar resident Tom Lehman (1997) also won there.
Schauffele is the sixth player in the last 10 seasons to enter a major coming off wins in consecutive PGA Tour starts. Only Rory McIlroy followed up with a major victory.
“Xander is awesome,” Collin Morikawa said before the British Open, which is called the Open Championship on the pond’s other side. “I’ve kind of been trying to figure out how he’s been playing so well.”
Schauffele would like to swipe something off Morikawa’s resume, which includes two major titles. Winning one of the big four — PGA Championship, Masters, U.S. Open and British Open — is the one gap in Schauffele’s career.
Even before his trio of triumphs, Schauffele’s body of work was still impressive. He won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and he teamed with Patrick Cantlay to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this year.
Schauffele is a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour as he again brings the spotlight to the SDSU golf program. An Aztec has won four of the last 16 PGA Tour events, with J.J. Spaun taking the Valero Texas Open.
It’s hardly a surprise Schauffele, a La Jolla native, shined after a stellar career on Montezuma Mesa. He had 21 top-10 finishes at SDSU and was a third-team All-American selection before graduating with a degree in social science.
Now he’s perched on the brink of golf immortality, if he can win a major to complete his major run of success.