Schauffele Takes Gold at Tokyo Olympics
SAITAMA - (Source: Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee (Golf)) - While one swing by American Xander Schauffele nearly changed the dynamics of the men’s golf tournament Sunday at Kasumigaseki Country Club, it was the (61) strokes of eventual silver medalist Rory Sabbatini, representing Slovakia, that really shook the leaderboard and the chase for Olympic glory. Schauffele ultimately emerged the winner on this hot, sunny day, clinching his golden moment with one final, gutsy par-save on the final hole for a 4-under par 67 and 18-under total. But it took the mental resilience he said came by way of his upbringing, fostered by a father of German-French descent and Chinese Taipei mother who was raised in Japan. Consider it a respectful nod to the culture of the host country, where his grandparents still live.
Schauffele remained undeterred through a scoring assault that was unfolding ahead, led by Sabbatini’s brilliant record-setting round (61) that concluded more than an hour ahead of him. In fact, the perfect scoring conditions led to a seven-player elimination for the bronze medal, which was finally decided on the fourth extra hole with C.T. Pan of Chinese Taipei beating Collin Morikawa of the USA with a par 4 on No. 18. Both had matched the former Olympic record of (63) Sunday to get into the playoff.
The star-packed field of seven for the sudden death determination of the Bronze medalist that included Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (who shot 67), Paul Casey of Great Britain (68), Rory McIlroy of N. Ireland (67), Mito Pereira of Chile (67) and Sebastián Muñoz of Colombia (67). It was so large, it required splitting into two groups.
Matsuyama and Casey were eliminated first, followed by Muñoz, then Pereira and McIlroy. “I was not able to deliver the performance I was hoping for,” Matsuyama said. ”At the same time, the positive is that I was able to contend. At one point of the round, there was a moment where I could potentially catch up and move past the leaders. But I just was not able to put it together at the end. There are somethings that I’ve identified that I need to work on, which I hope to work on moving forward.”
Morikawa bogeyed the final hole after his approach to the 18th green plugged in the steep upslope of the fronting bunker. C.T. Pan sank a par-saving putt for the medal.
Tokyo Olympics Medals:
🏅Gold - Xander Schauffele (USA) 68-63-68-67—266 (-18)
🥈Silver - Rory Sabbatini (Slovakia) 69-67-70-61—267 (-17)
🥉Bronze *C.T. Pan (Chinese Taipei) 74-66-66-63—269 (-15)
*Won a seven-player sudden death playoff on 4th Hole
What They’re Saying
Xander Schauffele Family Dream Realized at Olympic Games (PGATourCom)
Xander’s Golden Moment at the Olympics (Golf Digest)
Sabbatini’s (61) for Silver (Golf Week/USA Today)
Team USA (Men’s Golf) Round-Up (Golf Week/USA Today)
First Look: Women’s Olympic Golf (PGATourCom)
PGA Tour Brunch will publish next on Wednesday, August 4 with a preview of the FedEx-St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship.
FedEx St. Jude Invitational (link)
Barracuda Championship (link)
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