Alexander Victor Schauffele, more commonly known as Xander Schauffele, is currently near the top of the leaderboard at this years U.S Open at Erin Hills, WI.
Schauffele is making quite an impressive showing at his first ever major. He qualified for the Open by grabbing one of the final spots at the Memphis, Tenn., sectional. He shot 64-71-135 and then advanced through a five-for-two playoff, according to FoxSports.
Here’s what you need to know about the PGA Tour Rookie:
1. Schauffele Went To San Diego State
Schauffele began his collegiate career at Long Beach State. He won 2012 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Big West.
Schauffele transferred to San Diego State University the following year. During his time at SDSU, he was a Ping and Golfweek Third Team All-American. He received the Mountain West Conference All-Academic Team Award twice. He holds several SDSU records including all-time lowest tournament score against par (-17), all-time career scoring average (71.50), best par-5 performance in a season (4.5135), most birdies in a season (171) and most eagles in a season (9).
His former college coach at SDSU, Ryan Donovan, told Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski that Schauffele took night classes his final year of college, so that he could wake up early to work on his wedge game before playing a round.
2. Schauffele Started The Open Ranked 352
Schauffele turned pro in June 2015. He entered the 2015 Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament that fall. He was a runner-up in the first stage. He won the second stage at Oak Valley in Beaumont, CA.
In 2016, Schauffele played a full season on the Web.com Tour and finished 26th on the money list. He just missed earning his PGA Tour card, bet ended up earning it through the Web.com Tour Finals.
3. Schauffele Credits His Dad For His Golf Game
Schauffele’s father is half French and German and is head of the company, Bella, which makes ball markers with Swarovski Crystals. His mother is from Taiwan but grew up in Japan.
According to PGATOUR.com, Schauffele’s father has been his only swing coach throughout his golf career. Schauffele’s dad is also his co-manager and mental coach. Schauffle credits his father for getting him into the game of golf.
4. Schauffele Recently Beat Phil Micklson In a Friendly Round
Schauffele’s round of golf with Mickelson happened during a chance meeting at The Grand Del Mar Golf Club. Schauffele was hitting balls on one end of the range with USC player Danny Ochoa. Phil Mickleson and another San Diego tour pro, Charley Hoffman were on the other side of the range.
Schauffele’s short-game instructor at The Grand, Derek Uyeda, introduced him to Hoffman, who then set up the game with Mickleson. Hoffman and Schauffele teamed up and beat Mickelson and Ochoa in the friendly-game.
“I was really nervous teeing off on that first hole, going head-to-head with Phil Mickelson,” said Schauffele. “As weird as it may sound, that helped me, playing nine holes with those two guys. It helped take the edge off – how casual, how cool they were; how nice they were to me.”
5. Schauffele Already Set a U.S. Open First
Schauffele became the first player in U.S Open history to shoot a bogey-free round of 66 or better in his national debut.