Xander Schauffele says it's 'awesome Scottish golf fans wear the weather with you'

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2022 winner excited to be back teeing up in Genesis Scottish Open in East Lothian as a major champion

Xander Schauffele is looking forward to Scottish golf fans showing what he describes as a “deeper appreciation” of the game than their American counterparts when he makes his first appearance in the sport’s cradle as a major winner.

Schauffele, the 2022 victor, is back at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian for this week’s Genesis Scottish Open as the PGA champion after making his breakthrough in one of the game’s marquee events at Valhalla in May.

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The world No 3 is relishing being back on Scottish soil to play in front of local crowds in the $9 million Rolex Series event, which sees Rory McIlroy tee up as the defending champion.

Xander Schauffele  speaks in a press conference ahead of this week's Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images.Xander Schauffele  speaks in a press conference ahead of this week's Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images.
Xander Schauffele speaks in a press conference ahead of this week's Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images.

In his visit to the media centre on Tuesday, Schauffele was asked how it felt to be playing in front of Scottish galleries again, with huge crowds set to turnout on Thursday through to Sunday for an event that features 13 of the world’s top 20 players.

“Yeah, just an appreciation,” he said of the difference to here than the US, where he plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour. “Not that all fans don't appreciate golf, but there's a deeper appreciation here.

“They know what a good shot looks like. Like when you hit 140 yards from the pin, they know when you've hit a good shot and they clap, and that's always nice.

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“There's a lot of golf that's being watched very closely. It feels like, you know, in the US, a few times we get a lot of rain and wind, the course is pretty empty.

“So it could be blowing 25 and rip and rain here and people will be right by your side in shorts and tee shirt and loving every second of it; maybe a bucket hat that's waterproof. That's the appreciation they have for golf, and it's awesome to have fans wear the weather with you.”

Schauffele’s win at the same venue two years ago had been his most recent until he held off Bryson DeChambeau to get his hands on the PGA of America’s Wanamaker Trophy in this season’s second major.

“Yeah, that was unique,” he said of being victorious on Scotland’s Golf Coast. “I was coming off no wins, similar to what just happened. I didn't win for a couple years. “I was able to win stateside, and then to travel over here straight after and win again, it was really cool. I was super proud and something I'm still proud of.

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“Just to be able to win, of course, but also in a different country is a really tough thing to do and a testament to sort of consistency and good game planning. So it was a big win for my team and myself, and those back-to-backs are important.”

Along with most of the other top players in the field this week, Schauffele has one eye on next week’s 152nd Open at Royal Troon, with compatriot Brian Harman having freely admitted that he was helped enormously by playing in the Genesis Scottish Open the week before he got his hands on the Claret Jug 12 months ago,

“Overall acclimation,” said Schauffle to being asked what he was looking for from the next few days before heading to the west coast for the final men’s major of the year.

“Hitting the putts a little bit harder. When you're playing chips, trying to position yourself on holes, even though you're short-sided, as long as you're into the wind, you have to start thinking that way again.

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“And then the lag putting is really hard. You'll be on the front of the pin and the pin will be on the front, and you have 50 feet, you pace it off, and you're, like, dang. Whereas back home, pin to front of the green you have 15 feet or 18 feet. Getting used to those small things.”

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