Xander Schauffele: Post-Round 1 Interview

THE MODERATOR: Xander Schauffele joins us now at the 106th PGA Championship.

Xander, a heck of a start for you today. What are your thoughts on your round?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it’s a great start to a big tournament. One I’m obviously always going to take. It’s just Thursday. That’s about it.

Q. Do you feel like you’re playing the best golf of your career right now?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Probably, yeah. I feel there’s spurts, moments in time where you feel like you can control the ball really well; you’re seeing the greens really well; you’re chipping really well. But over a prolonged period, it’s tough to upkeep high performance.

Yeah, I’d say it’s very close to it if not it.

Q. JT was saying that you’re hitting it so much further. How much of an advantage has that given you on golf courses this year?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, definitely a big advantage. I felt like out here, you’re just eyeing the fairway most times. It doesn’t really matter if you fly a ball 325 yards. If it’s in the rough, it doesn’t do you any good. You’d rather be 300 yards in the middle of the fairway.

But I think overall, just knowing that I can kind of get the ball out there pretty far without having to go at it all the time is a pretty good feeling.

Q. Mentally speaking after a round like this, do you take tomorrow and wipe the slate clean, or do you use this as something to build on tomorrow, knowing what you’ve already done today?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: A little bit of both. Teeing off 2:00-something tomorrow, the course is going to be — the greens will be probably a little bit bumpier with a lot of foot traffic coming through. Who knows with the weather, it might rain, so the course might be playing completely different.

Just going to bed knowing I’m playing some pretty good golf might just wipe the slate clean.

Q. Do you know the last person to shoot 62 in a major?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Did I get it in before Rickie?

Q. You were after him, the last one. Which round would you say was better if you compare those two days?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I don’t know. I can’t nit-pick. I’ll take a 62 in any major any day.

Q. When you think back on this round, what’s the shot or the putt that you’re going to remember the most?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Probably 12, the hole I played the worst. Kind of pull drew a 3-wood there. I asked Austin how far we had to the pin. He was like 225 out of the rough. I thought, this is going to be a pretty tough par.

So I kind of hacked it up there, and then pitched it up somewhere on the green to 15 feet and was able to make that putt early in the round, which was really big for me.

Q. We’ve talked before about the difference between not winning and, quote-unquote, failure. Obviously this game is the way it is. You don’t win most of the time. How do you cultivate resilience, and how do you hang tight to that resilience that you need?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, I think not winning makes you want to win more, as weird as that is. For me, at least, I react to it, and I want it more and more and more, and it makes me want to work harder and harder and harder.

The top feels far away, and I feel like I have a lot of work to do. But just slowly chipping away at it.

Q. I’m curious if you feel like you could have shot any better than 62 today.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I don’t really operate that way. In terms of wanting to go practice right now, there’s always shots you can kind of pick apart or chips that you can pick apart that you felt like you could have hit better, but I’m very content with how I played.

Q. At what point in the round did you know that you were going to post a pretty low number? Was it early?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: No, not really. I didn’t get up-and-down on 10. I was able to birdie 11 and had a sweaty par on 12. It wasn’t like a dream start. Being 1-under through 3 probably would have been a good start for me anyways, and when you shoot something low, you kind of get lost in the process of what you’re doing versus thinking about how low you’re trying to shoot.

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