It probably wasn’t part of the script that the DP World Tour officials were hoping for that the first tournament to be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour ended up with an American, Xander Schauffele, taking home the spoils, but that was how the playbook unfolded at the Genesis Scottish Open, where the 28-year-old reigning Olympic champion won by a single shot after shooting a level-par 70 on an action-packed final day at The Renaissance Club.
Schauffele, who arrived in Scotland on the back of a victory at last week’s JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland, had looked set for a slightly more comfortable victory after stretching his two-shot overnight lead early on Sunday morning. But he was forced to dig after bogeying the sixth and failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker to save par at the next, with another dropped shot at the ninth seeing him reach the turn a shot behind fellow American Kurt Kitayama.
Kitayama bogeyed his penultimate hole, but saved par at the last to finish at six under, while Schauffele edged back ahead with a birdie at the 14th and two-putt gain at the par-five 16th to leave himself the luxury of securing victory with a final-hole bogey to post a seven-under total. South Korea’s Joohyung Kim finished one shot further back in third.
Schauffele, who also won the Travelers Championship in June, said: “It was a pretty stressful day, and I probably put in my worst round of the week today, but I just kept grinding and managed to hang in there for the win.
“It’s great to win the first event that is co-sanctioned between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour. It was an incredible week and what an honour to win in Scotland, the home of golf. It’s special. It’s different playing over here. You’ve got to play golf differently. The fans are incredible too, and they pushed me long all day and this is definitely a nice win for my team and myself. It was looking pretty bad for a bit, but this one is extra special because of that.”
Kitayama, Jamie Donaldson and Brandon Wu finished in the top ten to qualify for next week’s Open Championship at St Andrews, while Connor Syme won the Jock MacVicar Memorial Trophy awarded to the top Scot.
Xander Schauffele’s winning gear
Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond S (10°)
Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (14.5°)
Irons: Mizuno MP-20 HMB (3), Callaway Apex TCB Raw (4-PW)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52°), Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (56°), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 WedgeWorks (61°)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft ’22 X Dot