What to Know
- Xander Schauffele enters the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the 5th-ranked golfer in the world and will be joined by three teammates in the top 12 in Colin Morikawa (3), Justin Thomas (4) and Patrick Reed (12).
- This is Schauffele's first taste of Olympic competition, but not his first time competing for his country. He won 3 points to help the United States beat Team International 16-14 at the 2017 President's Cup.
- Schauffele's father, an Olympic decathlete hopeful for Germany in 1986, had his Olympic dreams cut short by a crash caused by a drunk driver.
Hometown golf star Xander Schauffele enters the second round of men's golf play at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 5 stroked behind leader Sepp Straka of Austria. He's shooting to get his hands on Team USA's first gold medal in men's golf since the 1900 Paris Olympics, but he has plenty of work to do.
His 3-under 68 wasn't shabby, but he'll have to do more on a gettable golf course that saw 12 golfers shoot 4 under or better before play was suspended due to weather. Schauffele had five birdies on his card, but bogeyed the 12th and capped his opening round with a bogey on the 18th.
Schauffele tees off at 6:14 p.m. (San Diego time) from Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan, along with Abraham Ancer of Mexico and South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
The format at the Olympics mirrors your typical PGA Tour event -- Four rounds of individual stroke play over four consecutive days, with the top three finishers reaching the podium.
Schauffele, a Scripps Ranch High School alumn, entered the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the 5th-ranked golfer in the world and is joined by three teammates in the top 12 in Colin Morikawa (3), Justin Thomas (4) and Patrick Reed (12).
After high school, Schauffele stayed local and played for coach Ryan Donovan at San Diego State University. It didn't take him long to earn his PGA Tour card, and he quickly established himself as one of the game's bright young stars. A win at the 2017 Tour Championship made him the first rookie ever to achieve that feat, and helped his case for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
He's collected four PGA Tour wins, most recently the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions, but is still chasing his first Major Championship.
Schauffele wasn't on Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but this isn't his first time competing for his country. He helped the United States during the 2017 President's Cup, winning 3 points and losing 2 alongside partner Patrick Cantlay. Team USA beat Team International 16-14.
Schauffele, Morikawa, Reed and Thomas will be looking to clinch Team USA's second Gold medal in golf, and first since Charles Sands won it at the 1900 Paris Olympic Games (Golf wasn't included in the Olympic program between 1906 and 2012). Team USA's Matt Kuchar took home Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the year golf made its return after 112 years, and at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, Team USA's Chandler Egan won Silver while Burt McKinnie and Francis Newton shared Bronze.
Schauffele's pursuit for a medal carries a little extra weight. His father was an Olympic decathlete hopeful for Germany in 1986 but had his dreams dashed when he was hurt in a crash caused by a drunk driver.
Before the 2021 U.S. Open, which was played in Schauffele's backyard at Torrey Pines Golf Course, Schauffele talked to NBC 7's Darnay Trip about growing up and competing for a major title in his hometown.
He came up short, finishing in a tie for 7th and 5 stroked behind winner John Rahm, who is representing Spain in Japan.
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