Xander Schauffele is the PGA Tour’s newest winner. The 23 year-old captured his first victory on tour at The Greenbrier Classic following rounds of 64, 69, 66 and 67, which is good news for all the neutrals out there. Xander isn’t just an exciting young talent, he’s also a genuinely fascinating guy that we’re hoping sticks around for years to come…
1. Cool Name
Let’s start with the obvious: Xander Schauffele? That’s just awesome.
2. A+ Chant
Thanks to his name, this is what golf fans shout when he’s in contention…
3. A Citizen of the World
Xander doesn’t boast just one, or two, or three nationalities. He has four legal nationalities: German and French (from his father’s side), Taiwanese (from his mother), and American (from Hawaii, both sides).
4. Athletic Genes
Two of Xander’s Great Grandfathers were elite soccer players, including Richard Schauffele, a 6-foot-8 German who also competed at a high level in track and field. His father, Stefan, also looked destined to represent Germany in the Olympics as a decathlete at one point in his early 20s.
5. Family Redemption
The reason Xander didn’t was because of a tragic accident, reported here by Golfweek:
Stefan was in his early 20s when he was hit by a drunk-driver in a head-on car collision. A piece of glass cut up his left eye, leaving him blind in that eye. He had six surgeries in the next two years. The time in the hospital away from intense training along with the fact he wasn’t allowed to lift weights or perform any other activity that could assert more pressure on his eye meant his Olympics dreams were dead.
“That was a dark time,” Stefan said.
6. Feel Player
It was that painful episode which led Stefan to golf and Xander, by extension, onto the PGA Tour. Stefan has been Xander’s only coach, and he’s incredibly feel-oriented. It wasn’t until he was 18 that he saw his own swing on camera, and at the U.S. Open, he talked about the philosophy:
“It’s very natural. He didn’t allow me to look at my swing on video for several years. We rarely do lessons nowadays. Just a couple phone calls here, and this is the first time he’s seen my swing in quite sometime now. So very natural. Kind of take as much pain off your back as much as possible. Pain-free has been kind of our motto. Just have a swing with longevity.”
Source: usa today