3 Questions: WGC-HSBC Champion Xander Schauffele

Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele Wins WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai
Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele during the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on October 28, 2018. Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Xander Schauffele carded a final-day 68 and then edged Tony Finau on the first playoff to claim his third PGA Tour victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Afterwards, Schauffele met with the media in the press room at the Sheshan International Golf Club. Here are a few of the best questions and answers.


ON FINAL ROUND

Q: “Your round of 68 was the lowest of the day. Did you feel that you had the momentum with you when you went into the playoff? And secondly, can you remember what Tony said to you as you finished?”

Xander Schauffele Wins WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai
Xander Schauffele during the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on October 28, 2018. Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: “Yeah, I felt like starting the day, Tony obviously had the lead. I can’t really speak on that too much since I haven’t had to hold a lot of leads in my career. I was definitely in sort of an attack mode, and I was hitting good shots all day, making good putts. I was doing everything that I needed to do.



“So I felt really good about — just about every part of my game mentally, physically. So with a 68, obviously, it was just enough. Obviously Tony played well, as well, but it’s tricky to try and fend off when everyone is chasing you.

“Yeah, Tony, he said congrats, just a genuine smile and a pat on the butt was pretty much it.”


JUSTIFYING ROOKIE SEASON

Q: “You talked out there how you were hoping to win in 2018 to justify your big rookie year. How does that change that? Do you feel like you justified yourself?”

Xander Schauffele Wins WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai
Xander Schauffele poses with the trophy after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on October 28, 2018. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

SCHAUFFELE: “Yes. Yeah, absolutely. People can say whatever they want, but you know, my team and I, we know that we’re doing the right things, and it feels good to know that.

“It just feels good to win again. Those two wins were pretty close in my rookie year and I didn’t really know what I was doing. Not that I had a clue of what I was doing today, but it’s a lot of fun.

“You practice, you play hard, and you do everything that you can to get in this position and it honestly is a great feeling to pull it off.”


ON COMPETING WITH JORDAN AND JUSTIN

Q: “You played a lot of college golf with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Do you feel like your first World Golf Championships win here will provide you with a catalyst, with a push to try and keep up with them, because they have a few more wins in advance of you?”

Justin Thomas (L) and Xander Schauffele
Justin Thomas (L) and Xander Schauffele pose with trophies after winning the FedExCup and TOUR Championship, respectively, at East Lake GC on Sep. 24, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

SCHAUFFELE: “Yeah, I feel like they are still quite a bit ahead of me. They have both become No. 1 player in the world. This definitely helps but I’m not even close to doing that yet.

“But yeah, I think any win you can put under your belt is going to keep me closer to what I consider the two best in our class, or in my class of 2011.”

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