Rolex Series

Xander Schauffele wins first Rolex Series title at Genesis Scottish Open

Xander Schauffele is the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open Champion after shooting a level-par 70 on a thrilling final day at The Renaissance Club.

Xander Schauffele

Overnight leader Schauffele looked set for a victory march in North Berwick after stretching his two-shot overnight lead early on - but he was forced to dig in to post a seven-under total and clinch his first Rolex Series title.

The Olympic Champion finished one shot ahead of Kurt Kitayama, with Joohyung Kim one shot further back, just ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Cantlay.

Schauffele finished his third round with a pair of bogeys on Saturday evening but he wasted little time making amends with a flying start to Sunday.

He fired his approach from the middle of the first fairway in to five feet and settled the nerves by sinking the birdie putt. He holed another one from 18 feet at the second and had a four-shot cushion to play with.

Schauffele then went bunker to bunker at the par-three sixth on the way to his first bogey of the day and made it two in a row at the seventh after landing in trouble with his tee shot and a bunker short of the green with his second.

He dropped another shot at the ninth and turned one behind Kitayama, while 15 players were separated by four shots at the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood was within a couple of after three birdies on the bounce from the 13th. He then gave the hole a scare with birdie putts on 16 and 17 but his chance of glory disappeared with his only bogey of the day when he missed a six-footer for par on the last.

It's special. It's different playing over here. You've got to play golf differently. The fans are incredible. They pushed me long all day

Jordan Spieth looked dangerous for most of the day and was one off the clubhouse lead of six under set by Kitayama when a double-bogey at the par-three 14th, after he left his tee-shot way short in the left-hand rough, ended his hopes.

Schauffele settled into his back nine with four straight pars, two-putting from more than 70 feet at the 11th and 12th, before regaining the lead with a birdie at the short 14th. He used the bank to feed the ball down towards the hole and made no mistake with the putt from 15 feet.

The 16th offers up a birdie opportunity and Schauffele took it to ease the pressure as he played the closing two holes.

It was Schauffele's first win in Scotland and he said: "It's special. It's different playing over here. You've got to play golf differently. The fans are incredible. They pushed me long all day and this is definitely a nice win for my team and myself."

It was also the first time the DP World Tour and the PGA TOUR came together and after winning the co-sanctioned event, Schauffele said: "It's incredible. It's just an honour to win the first one."

On letting his lead slip before fighting back to get over the line, he added: "I was trying to find something. Every time I wanted to cut it I hit it way right and every time I wanted to draw it I hit it way left. At least it was going the correct direction, but it was going, you know, miles apart.

"And it was nice to sort of hit a few better shots coming down the stretch and kind of calm the ship here. It was looking pretty bad for a bit but this one is extra special because of that."

Kitayama, Jamie Donaldson and Brandon Wu finished in the top ten to punch their tickets to next week's Open Championship, while Connor Syme won the Jock MacVicar Trophy awarded to the top Scot.

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