Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)


Xander Schauffele on that $5 million Tour Championship payday, battling driver issues mid-round, and making his first hole-in-one

September 04, 2019

Cliff Hawkins

Despite winning four PGA Tour events and ascending into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking in his nearly 26 years on Earth, incredibly, Xander Schauffele had never made a hole-in-one. Not in a tournament, not in a practice round, not in a round with his buddies. Never.

That changed, though, during the third round of the Tour Championship on one of the toughest par 3s on the planet. And it proved to be a rather lucrative ace at that.

But amid a tense battle in the season finale, Schauffele couldn’t afford much celebrating in the moment when his golf ball disappeared on East Lake's beastly ninth hole. In fact, he told the Golf Digest Podcast that he hasn’t even been stuck with a bar tab by his PGA Tour peers yet. And when it happens, we’re pretty sure he’ll be able to afford it.

Schauffele finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy later that day, but even in defeat, he walked away with the biggest payday ($5 million) of his young career. He joined us from the set of a TV production shoot for his new partner, Hyland, to talk about the pressure of playing for so much money, how he battled some driver issues during that final round at East Lake, making the U.S. Presidents Cup team for the first time, and, yes, that first ace.

Plus, Alex Myers, Ryan Herrington and Joel Beall talked about a dramatic final round at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, the upcoming Walker Cup, and Tiger Woods’ fist-pumping first public appearance since undergoing a fifth knee surgery. Please have a listen: