Entertainment & Events

San Diego’s Xander Schauffele on the US Open Leaderboard

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Xander Schauffele (pronounced SCHow-flay), a local San Diego boy (he’s really 23, so not quite a boy) and San Diego State alum, is contending at the U.S Open. His first major, after a strong showing Thursday, was a six-under 66. With that score, he became the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot a bogey-free round of 66 or better in his first national championship start. And even though he followed it with a one-over 73 today, Schauffele is on the leaderboard at five-under halfway through the tournament.

He’s a PGA Tour rookie and only qualified for the Open by grabbing one of the final spots out of the nine available at the Memphis, Tennessee sectional, where he shot 64-71-135 and then advanced by way of the weird ‘five-for-two’ playoff system. He is currently ranked 352nd in the world, having made 17 starts on the PGA Tour this season and made the cut in 10 of them. His best finish this season is a tie for fifth, and has three Top 25 finishes. Needless to say, a good finish at the tough Erin Hills U.S. Open course will greatly increase his chances of making it into the top 125 exempt players for 2017.

Schauffle, who family are members of the Bernardo Heights Country Club, started his collegiate career at Long Beach State. He then transferred to San Diego State for his final three years of eligibility. Only time will tell how he will finish this weekend, but it could make for a great story—and a fabulous memory for him.

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