Xander Schauffele became the first PGA Tour rookie to win the Tour Championship while Justin Thomas secured the FedEx Cup at East Lake GC in Atlanta.
Just three months ago 23-year-old Xander Schauffele was worried about keeping his PGA Tour playing privileges for 2018, now he is the Tour Champion.
Schauffele started his run with a top-five finish in the U.S. Open and then won his first Tour title at the Greenbrier Classic. He played his way into the Tour Championship with a superb finish last week at Conway Farms – he was six-under for his last six holes. He then produced a battling back nine at East Lake on Sunday to come out on top in the season-ending event.
The rookie one-putted four straight greens from the 11th, saved par from off the 17th green and then fired two superb shots to just short of the par-5 home hole. He putted up to within three feet of the cup and, although his birdie effort nearly missed, it did drop and he claimed a hard-earned victory.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Schauffele said afterwards.
By finishing in second place, USPGA champion Justin Thomas secured the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus that goes along with that.
3 Talking points from the Tour Championship
1 – With the victory, Schauffele earned himself $3.75 million. That was from the prize money going alongside tournament victory plus his share of the bonus pool from finishing third in the FedEx Cup. He has also moved to 32nd on the Official World Golf Ranking. It was the first time since 2009 that different players won the Tour Champs and the Fed Ex Cup – Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
2 – Justin Thomas won the FedEx Cup from Jordan Spieth in second place. Spieth made a run on the back nine at East Lake, holing out from the fairway on the 10th and then nearly again on the 13th. But he couldn’t keep the run going and he ended the week in a tie for seventh. He finished second on the FedEx Cup standings and picked up a bonus of $3 million.
“J.T. obviously is very well deserving of winning the FedExCup,” Spieth said. “Not winning a playoff event, I almost cheated my way into winning the FedExCup when he really deserved it.”
3 – Paul Casey began the final day in the lead but the Englishman, once again, struggled to convert a winning position into an eventual victory. He remained in contention for most of the round but played himself out of it by finding the water on the par-3 15th. Casey hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 2009 Houston Open.
Paul Casey swing sequence:
East Lake GC, Atlanta, Georgia
Purse: $8,750,000 Par: 70
1 Xander Schauffele (USA) 69 66 65 68 268 $1,575,000
2 Justin Thomas (USA) 67 66 70 66 269 $945,000
T3 Russell Henley (USA) 67 71 67 65 270 $511,875
T3 Kevin Kisner (USA) 68 68 64 70 270 $511,875
5 Paul Casey (Eng) 66 67 65 73 271 $350,000
6 Brooks Koepka (USA) 66 69 68 69 272 $315,000
T7 Tony Finau (USA) 68 71 68 66 273 $280,000
T7 Jon Rahm (Esp) 67 67 70 69 273 $280,000
T7 Jordan Spieth (USA) 67 70 69 67 273 $280,000
T10 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 73 66 68 67 274 $236,250
T10 Matt Kuchar (USA) 69 71 67 67 274 $236,250
T10 Justin Rose (Eng) 68 66 71 69 274 $236,250
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage