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January 5, 2020

Xander Schauffele

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. What a day for you. How would you describe the emotions of this playoff?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, windy. Very up and down. I was happy with the way I played in regulation. I should have won the tournament. I know it. Everyone knows it. I mean, J.T. was right there, but under the circumstances I should have closed it off, and I didn't. I kind of did everything I was supposed to do until the last moment, which sucks. But this is another learning experience, and I guess I'll have to work on some wind putting.

Q. Can you walk me through that putt in regulation?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, I think I got gusted, honestly. On the initial putt, it went -- I honestly thought it was going to go like four feet by, but it caught some speed, and once it started breaking right with the wind, it kept going. I was so convinced that it was going to go back right to left coming back up the hill, but it really wasn't going to do that. It was just bad.

Q. You mentioned a learning experience. What will be your takeaway from this week?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I can win. I think that's pretty plain and simple. I'm good enough to hang with the best, and I just need to be a little bit smarter when the time is right and able to close it out.

Q. Heck of a defense today. I know you're disappointed, but it looked like you kind of fought back on the back nine. What turned it around for you there?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it was windy. That stretch of holes J.T. went 4- or 5-under through, I'd like to see anyone else try it. He was hitting ridiculous shots, making good putts in the wind, and he deserved the lead he got, and I just kept telling Austin let's play smart, stay patient. We finished last year with a bunch of birdies, and we were able to do the same this year.

Q. You had a couple of chances in regulation and then in the playoff. Just tough putts there at 18?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it was kind of stupid on my part. I trusted the wind a lot. I got gusted a little bit on that first putt and was convinced that it was right to left kind of coming back even though it was a pretty straight putt. I was a little dumbfounded when I missed the hole by half a cup. If I had maybe took a little more time, maybe called Austin in, just stuff in the moment that I wasn't really aware of. I was doing great all day until probably that moment. Same thing in the playoff. I was kind of spooked by my first putt going so far by, I left my playoff putt 25 feet short. It was just childish, and you try to learn from it.

Q. How would you assess how the day played out today?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, I'm happy for the most part. J.T. sort of had a little present there on 18. I think I'm more than capable of two-putting from about 35 feet. Obviously it was a little windy. My downhill, downwind putts today I've hit by all day, so why not do it again to try and win the tournament. It was just a little childish, I think. I think I held on pretty decent. J.T. had an incredible stretch of golf through some difficult holes to gain a lead, and I started birdieing the easier holes to try and claw back into it, and it was a whirlwind day.

Q. You've won a lot of golf tournaments, but you've also had your fair share of disappointments. How disappointing is this one?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, I think that's the problem, I haven't really won enough. I've only won four tournaments. It would have been nice to be a little more mature at the right time, sort of assessing the wind and the downhill speed. Just realizing that I've been hitting it long all day. I didn't think about it at all and I managed to hit my winning putt eight feet by and then misreading the second one due to the wind. Just sort of a rookie move trying to close out a tournament, and I'll definitely try to draw back on this in a positive way when the time is right.

Q. That also begs the question, what positives do you take out of this week?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, that I can win. I think I'm plenty good. I don't see why I shouldn't keep playing great golf. This sucks. Maybe I need just a kick in the ass to sort of wake up and do the right things most of the time. Yeah, this kind of burns a little bit, but overall happy with how I handled myself.

Q. I think it's the first time since '99 and Tiger that someone has gotten that close to their two title defenses. Can you just run through obviously being so close?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, just sort of a rookie move. I think my awareness -- in all honesty I was pretty calm all day. I didn't feel much nerves. The first time I sort of felt nerves was walking down 18, which is different than the past, so that's a good sign if I'm trying to find the positives. If I was more aware I would have realized that I've blown all my downhill, downwind putts, and Austin told me it's going to be a helping wind once the ball starts breaking with the wind, it's going to start moving, and I kind of got gusted. I thought it was going to be like three, four feet by and it ended up going six or seven with that extra trickle. It was just sort of a rookie move, not really being aware of where I was and what I did in the past, I guess.

Q. How proud are you of the way you fought back today?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it was just comfortable again. I just needed someone to get out ahead of me so I could chase them down. I mean, if you look at the stretch of holes J.T. went birdieing through, it was an unbelievable stretch of holes. 9 is a birdie hole, 10 was tricky, 11 was tricky. All those downwind holes are so tricky. I thought J.T. played an incredible stretch of golf through that stretch. I wasn't too worried about it. I was waiting for my turn.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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