CROMWELL, Conn. — All day, Xander Schauffele’s expression by no means modified.
With a lot happening round him — by all the ups, downs, elation, dejection and drama that got here with the day and the week — the 28-year-old Schauffele remained stone-faced.
It’s certainly one of his most essential weapons — as essential as being lengthy and straight off the tee, a robust iron participant and a clutch putter.
“You simply lock in,’’ Schauffele stated. “I don’t actually know tips on how to describe it.’’
Schauffele’s locked-in expression by no means modified … till he ended a three-year drought with out a person PGA Tour victory with a taut two-shot triumph within the Travelers Championship on Sunday at TPC River Highlands. Then reduction washed over his face.
Schauffele put an exclamation level on what was a fabulous week of golf for him — he held a five-shot 36-hole lead and a one-shot 54-hole lead — when he birdied the 72nd gap to complete 19-under par, two photographs away from Sahith Theegala and J.T. Poston.
It was Schauffele’s sixth career victory, his first because the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions and the primary time in his career he’s transformed a 54-hole lead right into a win.
“This is an enormous win for me mentally, simply because I form of needed to examine myself,’’ Schauffele stated. “When you’ve been out right here and issues are going simple you simply anticipate to play properly on a regular basis. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step again. And I believed I did that this week.’’
The climactic second of the day — and the match — passed off on the 72nd gap, the place Theegala had taken a one-shot lead after a birdie on 17 after which proceeded to make a multitude of 18 as Schauffele watched it unfold from the tee.
Theegala hit his tee shot right into a greenside bunker to the left of the golf green, with the ball coming to relaxation close to the lip of the bunker.
He tried to go for the inexperienced as a substitute of merely forking out of the bunker and making an attempt to get up-and-down for par, bladed a wedge and left the ball within the bunker, going through an identical shot to the primary shot. This time, he obtained the ball out, but it surely was some 80 yards wanting the inexperienced.
Theegala would take double bogey and drop from 19-under with a one-shot result in 17-under and one shot behind Schauffele.
“To sit there and watch form of what occurred was a little bit of a shock,’’ Schauffele stated. “I knew I needed to form of sack up and benefit from this second. After I noticed what occurred, I knew that there’s an opportunity par would win, and birdie for positive. I used to be simply so locked in in that second to hit that fairway and swing as arduous as I may off that tee. Nothing else actually mattered.
“I knew I needed to hit that fairway and hit it wherever on the inexperienced to make par.’’
He did higher — hitting the golf green with his drive and carding birdie after stuffing his strategy shot to inside 6 ft. And did it calmly, with that stone-faced expression.
It was ironic that Theegala, after his third spherical on Saturday, praised Schauffele for the best way through which he carries himself underneath stress, saying, “Xander is the person. I’ve undoubtedly type of seemed as much as him the previous few years … watching him play. His demeanor is the perfect.’’
In the top, it was Theegala maybe unable to regulate his feelings and decision-making on 18, maybe permitting the adrenaline rush from taking the lead on 17 overwhelm him.
“We have been simply making an attempt to determine what the easiest way to make 4 was and attempt to power Xander to make birdie there,’’ Theegala stated of his resolution to go for the inexperienced from that precarious spot within the bunker. “I knew precisely the place we stood. Never in 1,000,000 years did I feel I might permit myself to blade it. All I needed to do was chunk it. Somehow my physique simply … I simply straight bladed it.’’
The 24-year-old Theegala walked off 18 with his head bowed and shoulders slumped. He was gutted, realizing he’d allowed an opportunity to win for the primary time slip away.
“I do know and all the fellows out right here understand how arduous it’s to win and the way few alternatives there are to win,’’ Theegala stated. “That’s why one thing like that is actually, actually going to harm. But [I’ve] simply going to develop from it. I did all the things I believed I needed to do and it simply occurred to be all the things unhealthy culminated on one gap. I did a lot good.’’
In the top, although, just a bit bit much less good than Schauffele.