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Gold medalist Xander Schauffele fights PGA Tour Olympics


MEMFIS, Tenn. – Xander Schauffele was hoping to stay awake Friday night and watch another American win an Olympic gold medal in golf.

But because of his struggle to return after earning his own gold in Japan last week — and the consequent early knockout time Saturday morning at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational-Schauffele only reached the 13th hole as Nelly Korda plays the back nine on the same track he won Sunday.

He missed a bit of drama, but Schauffele could be excused if he just could not muster the strength to stay awake for Korda’s 1-win victory.

“For me, I do not think I realized how much it cost me,” Schauffele said after a third round 70, which put him down at 07:45 local time and finished well before the leaders were on the track. . . ‘Every time you’re looking for or near the lead, it takes a little more out of you than you think.

‘If I’m just dealing with it, I’m glad I’m on schedule now. [FedEx Cup] play-off rounds. “

Schauffele, 27, has only a week to rest before the playoffs begin on August 19 at Liberty National.

Before long, he expects to revel in his victory at the Olympics, along with friends, family and fans at his home in San Diego. Schauffele said he does not know Korda personally, but that his housemates this week – Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth – know the sisters. Thomas lives near them in South Florida.

“Obviously she’s on an incredible run, number 1 in the world winning gold at the Olympics; a way you want it, right?” Spieth said after shooting 63 on Saturday. “The best player wins.

“Obviously Xander had the gold medal at home. It was very nice. He was so humble. Like if Justin or I were for the other, we would only wear it during dinner, but we would not take it out. “Justin had to let him go upstairs and get it when I came here to show me. And that was super cool.”

Schauffele said he felt good this week when he started working with a coach, which he could not do in Japan. It’s just the 14 – hour time change and the feeling of being kicked off in the middle of the night that eventually catches up with you, especially in Memphis, where it’s facing more hot and humid conditions.

“It’s also a harder way to travel for jet lag,” Spieth said. ‘So I know he’s been a bit off for the past week, but clearly understood. [It] did not affect his mood at all. ”

Schauffele says he spotted the trampoline near the 18th hole with a congratulatory message scraped in chalk. On the first day of the tournament, he received a standing ovation as he walked to the 14th green.

“I thought, this is new,” he said. “It makes me realize how much it means to people.”



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