XANDER CAPTURES A GOLD MEDAL!
Xander Schauffele, a former Scripps Ranch High School student athlete who played on the school’s golf team and now competes on the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour, won a gold medal for golf in the 2021 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo on Aug. 1, finishing 18 under at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
The pressure was intense as Schauffele’s chances seemed to fade near the end of the competition, but he came through with two final putts for a one-shot victory over Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia.
“I was trying so hard to just stay calm,” Schauffele told the press afterward. “But man, it was stressful. And I made that putt and it was just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and just very relieved and happy.”
The NBC Sports announcer proclaimed him to be “gutsy and golden” as soon as Schauffele sank his final putt to seal his victory.
The Olympic golf competition was so tight that there was a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal.
“I think obviously winning a gold medal and representing our country is a big deal or else we wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you and answering these questions,” Schauffele told CBS Sports. “This is the most honorable thing and the biggest thing you can do for your country.”
This Olympic gold medal was even more meaningful to Schauffele on a personal level because his German-born father, Stefan, was an Olympic decathlon hopeful at the age of 20 when he was in a car accident that derailed his dreams of competing.
Photos of Schauffele on this page are from past competitions at the Farmers Insurance Open played at San Diego’s Torrey Pines Golf Course.