Feels amazing to win a major championship, says Xander

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – MAY 19: Xander Schauffele of the United States celebrates after winning on the 18th green during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 19, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Xander Schauffele

I’m a big believer of getting the right foundation, the right people and team around you. I believe if you put in the hard work and you let yourself do what you think you can do, you’re going to enjoy the fruits of your labour. I’ve felt like I’ve been on this sort of trending path for quite some time. I really had to stay patient and keep the self-belief up, and I was able to do both those things.

It feels amazing to win a major championship. Just a wide range of emotions for me, and it’s a very satisfying win no doubt. I really can’t wait to celebrate with my family and team. They’ve been the most concrete thing that I have. They’re steadfast, they keep me in line.

I was kind of emotional after the last putt lipped in. It’s been a while since I’ve won, and as I kept saying it all week, I just needed to stay in my lane. Man, was it hard to stay in my lane during the final round, but I tried all day to keep my focus.

The people closest to me know how stubborn I can be, but I’ve remained very patient not having won the last couple of years. Winning, I said it earlier, is a result. This victory is awesome and it’s super sweet. And when I break it down, I’m really proud of how I handled certain moments on the golf course, which may have been different from the past.

Walking up the 18th green, I was pretty nervous. I saw a little left to right for the birdie putt. I kept reading it, kept kind of panning and it started to look right to left to me and I thought, oh, my gosh, this is not what I want for a winning putt. Fortunately, it was uphill, it was six feet or so, and I ended up playing it straight. It did go left, and it caught the left side. Just so much relief when it lipped in. I don’t really remember it going in as I just heard everyone roaring and I looked up to the sky in relief. I kept telling myself I need to earn this, I need to prove this to myself, and this is my time. Once I sat down in scoring, it was just a whirlwind of emotions.

For all those close misses in the past, I don’t think I’d ever look at it as lacking. I looked at it as someone that is trying really hard and needed more experience. All those close calls for me, even when I finished runner-up at the Wells Fargo Championship last week, that sort of feeling, it gets to you at some point. It just makes this win even sweeter. I know it’s a major, but just winning in general, this is as sweet as it gets for me.

This win is for my team. My uncle is my agent, and he’s been with me from the beginning of the year. My brother, Nico cooks for me. Although he’s not a professional cook, he can make some tasty food, so he’s been willing to help me. Hopefully, he stays out with me a little bit longer as he just got engaged. My wife, Maya, she’s sort of the rock in my life. She’s a constant for me. They all make me feel very special, and I’m just happy to win this one for my team.

My mom, Ping Yi was back at home in San Diego and my dad, Stefan was in Hawaii and I was able to call him before the trophy presentation. I had to hang up pretty quickly because he started to make me cry.  It made me pretty emotional. My dad crept into my mind during an interview after the third round. I said, I’m going to have to sneak back to that ‘commit, execute, accept’ mantra, as that’s something he’s engrained in me since I was about nine years old. He has been my swing coach and my mentor my entire life, and his goal really was to, just like any good dad would want, set your kid up for a successful future.

He sent me positive texts throughout the week. On Saturday night, he texted me a saying ‘a steady drip breaks the stone’, in German! I had to ask him what the translation was. There’s been some famous German philosophers, and my dad, he was a bit of a reader growing up. I’m sure that’s where he got a lot of them from. He’s definitely put them in my brain. Now that I’m working with swing coach, Chris Como, my dad feels like he can kind of take his hands off the wheel. He trusts Chris a lot, I trust him a lot. He’s given me so much confidence in my ball-striking ability, unlocking a few pieces to it.

I always believe in positive self-talk. I will tell myself, I’ll speak to myself. I just kept doing it. When you believe something enough, it’ll happen. I stayed very patient all day and I was looking up at the leader board. There were times previously where I tried to look away from it until the back nine, but in the final round, I was looking at it. I wanted to know exactly where I stood. I wanted to address my feelings when they were happening.

Making those two birdies on 11 and 12 was tremendous after I had made bogey on 10. I just kept fighting and I finally made those putts. It was my moment, and I was able to capitalize on some good iron shots coming in. In those moments, you can kind of feel it, and in the past when I didn’t do it, it just wasn’t there, and in the final round, I could feel that it was there.

All of us are climbing this massive mountain. At the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler (the World No. 1). I won this, but I’m still not that close to Scottie in the big scheme of things. I got one good hook up there in the mountain, up on that cliff, and I’m still climbing. I might have a beer up there on that side of the hill there and enjoy this.

World No. 2 Xander Schauffele secured his maiden major victory and eighth PGA TOUR title following a hard-fought victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday. He opened his week with a stunning 62 to become the first golfer to shoot the lowest 18-hole score twice in major championship history while his 21-under winning total was also the lowest in major history. This is his blog from Valhalla Golf Club.

 Note: Fans can follow Xander Schauffele and the world’s best golfers on the PGA TOUR on www.PGATOUR.com

 

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