Xander Schauffele wins Tour Championship to end stunning rookie season

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Xander Schauffele wins Tour Championship to end stunning rookie season

PGA Tour

Xander Schauffele wins Tour Championship to end stunning rookie season

Here is a recap of the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

WINNER: Xander Schauffele snuck this one in, but in the end, a win is a win.

The PGA Tour rookie earned his second victory of the season Sunday, firing a 2-under 68 to reach 12 under and hold off Justin Thomas by a shot. Schauffele came to the par-5 18th tied for the lead and would end up having a 29-incher for birdie to capture the title. The ball took a trip around the hole but eventually spun in for the closing birdie to avoid a playoff.

Schauffele looked to be in a fight to keep his PGA Tour card just three months ago. That is until he posted a T-5 at the U.S. Open and went off from there. A win the following month at the Greenbrier Classic meant his first Tour title and his card was secure for years to come. But he actually needed a clutch 65-67 finish at the BMW Championship to place T-20 there to move up to 26th in the FedEx Cup standings and sneak into the Tour Championship (where only the top 30 in the standings after the BMW Championship made it).

It’s a good thing that worked out. With this win, Schauffele catapulted from 26th to third in the final FedEx Cup standings, and he earns $2 million in bonus money for that third-place showing on top of the $1.575 million he won for the Tour Championship title. It also means he has two PGA Tour wins as a 23-year-old. Schauffele has often talked about how he’s felt behind on the Thomas, Jordan Spieth, etc. curve, but he’s certainly catching up quickly.

JUST MISSED: Thomas may’ve fallen short at the Tour Championship, but he earns the FedEx Cup crown. Thomas entered the week No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, but his solo second at East Lake leaped him past Spieth (No. 1 entering the week) to take home that title. Back to the Tour Championship leaderboard … Russell Henley and Kevin Kisner finished T-3 at 10 under while 54-hole leader Paul Casey shot 3-over 73 to drop to fifth at 9 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Spieth may’ve missed out on a victory and the FedEx Cup title (more on that below), but nothing can top this eagle hole-out:

QUOTABLE: “It’s just unreal.” – Schauffele, on his journey the last few months

SHORT SHOTS: Dustin Johnson closes in 72 to finish T-17 at 2 under. … Jason Day flounders on Sunday, posting a 74 to drop 10 spots to that T-17 spot at 2 under … Hideki Matsuyama, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings entering the Playoffs, disappoints in these four events. He ends it all with a T-26 finish at 6 over in the 30-man field to place eighth in the standings after all is said and done. … Rickie Fowler also finishes in a tie for 26th at 6 over. … Everybody in the top five in the FedEx Cup standings entered the week with a guarantee of capturing the FedEx Cup if they won the Tour Championship. None of them did the latter, but Thomas got the FedEx Cup crown anyway thanks to his solo second. Here’s how the other four fared – Jordan Spieth (entered at No. 1): His T-7 earned him 340 points. With Thomas gaining 1,200 and only starting the week 200 points down, though, that meant Spieth dropping to second; Dustin Johnson (No. 3): Dropped a spot to No. 4 after that T-17 finish; Marc Leishman (No. 4): Fell to sixth thanks to a T-24 showing at 3 over; Jon Rahm (No. 5): Stayed at the fifth spot after a T-7 finish at 7 under.

UP NEXT: The 2016-17 PGA Tour season is officially complete! But we’ve now got the Presidents Cup on tap this week, and Golfweek will have a full crew out there covering the action. Keep up with everything with our staff on the ground and follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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