Xander Schauffele finished the Sentry Tournament of Champions like Secretariat finished the 1973 Belmont Stakes—in a manner few could match, but all could appreciate.
After bogeying the first hole and parring the second, Schauffele played the last 16 holes in an incredible 12 under par, posting a course-record-tying 62 to win by one stroke over Gary Woodland, who started the day five in front of Schauffele.
Along the way there were many dramatic shots. A hole-out pitch shot from 54 feet for eagle on No. 9; a jarred 107-yard lob wedge that bounced twice before jumping into the hole. Then what appeared to be the clincher—a well-struck iron shot from 202 yards on the lengthy par-4 17th that ended up nine feet from the hole, leading to another birdie. But after Woodland matched that birdie, Schauffele stood 278 yards from the pin on the 18th and unleashed a piercing, drawing 5-wood shot that landed on the front of the green and scooted to just inside 12 feet. Schauffele gassed the eagle putt past the hole, but made the comebacker for another birdie. When Woodland couldn’t match on 18, Schauffele punched his ticket to next year’s TOC.
The clubs used to hit the key shots were a Titleist Vokey SM6 for the hole outs and a Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 5-wood on 18. The iron that Schauffele hit the shot on 17 with, however, might be the most interesting. On Friday, Callaway debuted their new line of woods and irons, and Schauffele had the company’s new Apex Pro 19 Irons in the bag at Kapalua.
After using the prototype during the fall, including his win at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Schauffele now has a win in 2019 with them as well. He has told Callaway tour reps that the weighting through the turf feels great for him, regardless of the course conditions. He also likes the look of the thin topline and the leading edge on the iron, and is very comfortable with the distance consistency and how he can shape shots. The grips are Golf Pride’s Z Grip Cord. For the week Schauffele hit 81.94 percent of his greens (59 of 72) to rank T-5.
What Xander Schauffele had in the bag at the Sentry Tournament of Champions
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (Graphite Design BB 7X), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, 15 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, 18 degrees
Irons (4-PW): Callaway Apex Pro 19
Putter: Odyssey O-Works Red #7 CH