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Xander Schauffele hoping Chris Como’s info will get him winning again

Xander Schauffele hoping Chris Como’s info will get him winning again

Xander Schauffele has licked his wounds from Sunday’s final round of the Players Championship and he’s ready to get back on the horse this week at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Schauffele held a one-stroke lead after 54 holes at the PGA Tour’s flagship event and still remained in front by the same margin with six holes to go, but he made two late bogeys and missed a 7-foot birdie putt at 17 to tie en route to finishing one stroke behind Players champ Scottie Scheffler.

That makes Schauffele winless the last six times he’s been in the final pairing. When asked for his reaction to giving “the haters” on social media more ammunition to the contention that he can’t close, Schauffele said, “I’ll probably join them in the Haterade at this moment. But it is what it is. These suck. When I went to bed last night, it’s not exactly how I envisioned walking off the 18th green. I’ll lick my wounds and right back to it next week.”

Schauffele has had a few days to reflect on his latest close call and has found some positives. He had struggled to figure out TPC Sawgrass since the tournament shifted from May (where he finished second in 2018) to its March date and so while he “didn’t get it done,” he was proud of his performance and noted that he rated his ball-striking in the final round when he shot 70 to be superior than a day earlier when he shot 65.

“When you’re chasing, you can pile up those birdies and get into a nice rhythm. When you’re up front, you’re just watching it happen,” he said. “My dad sent me a text to try to be as proactive as possible and not reactive.”

Schauffele has been coached by his father, Stefan, since he was a kid, but he recently relocated from the West Coast to Florida and began working with noted instructor Chris Como, who has worked with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau in the past and whose current stable includes Jason Day.

Xander Schauffele tees off on hole nine during the fourth and final round of The Players Championship PGA golf tournament Sunday, March 17, 2024, at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Scottie Scheffler won at 20 under par and is the first defending champion in the 50-year history of the event. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

“I really trust him,” Schauffele said of Como last week. “He’s learning that I can be a bit — I wouldn’t call myself a head case but I can be a little too technical…


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