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May 17, 2024

Xander Schauffele

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Flash Quotes

Q. What kind of attitude have you brought to Valhalla do you think? It looks just quiet and determined at the same time if that makes any sense. Hoping you could say it better than I did, but go ahead.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, when you haven't won a golf tournament in a few years, you have to be pretty resilient. I'm just patient and trying to play the best golf I can and stay out of my own way. I know I'm playing really good golf right now, and all can I could do is focus on my process and my talk with Austin, and that's about it.

Q. Coming off of last week how do you then mentally prepare for this week given how well you played last week but you didn't get it done? How do you come then into a major week on these back-to-back big tournaments?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Not too difficult, to be honest. You're bummed out you didn't win, or I was bummed out I didn't win, but I knew I was playing really well. I had a couple hiccups there on Sunday at the wrong time. Rory played unbelievably well. It was a combo for a big win for him, and I know how I'm hitting it, and my biggest concern was just having enough rest to really learn this golf course in time before we teed off on Thursday.

Q. First time golf course for you, what have you seen in it that you like so much?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I would say I'm not really sure. Yesterday I saw a lot of putts go in, had some good numbers. But for the most part it's a big ballpark, the course, championship feel to me, and typically I like that kind of feel.

Q. What was your initial reaction to everything that happened this morning with Scottie?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: First off, the fatal accident is definitely the worst thing. I'm sure Scottie would agree with that. Anyone passing anywhere near golf tournaments, it's never something that should ever happen. That for starters.

Then you felt like it was sort of a prank or something when you see a mug shot of Scottie. I know Scottie pretty well; we share a physio and we've been playing golf for a few years now, and I know he's a solid guy and there was no mal intent by him to anyone. So hopefully he goes out unscathed. But Scottie's a good dude, so hopefully he's fine.

Q. Can you talk about what you expect or what you need from Chris and Austin over the next two days?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Just sort of bumpers, I guess. I can fall back on both of them if I need help. Typically when you put in some good work you just sort of have to play. You have to make the right decisions, you have to pick the right shots, and you just play golf. So that's exactly what I'm trying to do right now.

Q. Austin's been on your bag for awhile. Do you want him to help you? Will he call you off a shot? Will he help you on reads? I mean basically do you feel that that rapport with each other that he can do whatever he needs to do when he sees something that you're not doing what you need to do?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, absolutely. Austin is, he'll do anything and everything pretty much that I need him to do. He's that kind of guy. Whether it's reading a putt or coming out early to see the wind or watching a bunch of shots on coverage or you know bringing me food or something, he'll do anything to help me.

Q. You were pretty keen yesterday on saying hey, guys, this has just been one round. But is there anything different or challenging about playing with a first-round lead?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Hey, guys, it's just been two rounds. (Smiling.) It's just 36 holes. It's a really good start to a tournament. I'm playing some really nice golf. That's kind of it.

Q. How would you compare this week's test to last week's test? Obviously a lot softer, but, yeah, otherwise how would you just compare these playing styles?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Definitely different just from I would say a window perspective. No matter sort of how low or high you hit an iron, you can get kind of it to stop.

We're off Zoysia right now, which you can kind of get the ball to jump at times. Different kind of rough. Thicker rough. Last week was sort of overseed rye, I believe.

In terms of the biggest differences, just feels like your landing spot. If you have 200 yards out here, you're trying to fly it 200 yards. Last week it would be like, you know, where can we not get up-and-down from type deal because the greens were so firm. This week you still have those moments where if you short-side yourself, doesn't matter if the greens are soft, you're still going to chip it to 20 feet. But I would say landing spots is probably the biggest difference.

Q. Does it help to have a leaderboard that's bunched like this, a course that's soft like this, to just keep your head down, blinders on?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I think so. Yeah. I think as soon as 62 was posted there's just blood in the water. I feel like everyone -- if it was roles were reversed, it's sort of like everyone sort of feels they can shoot low now. That's just kind of how it goes out here. So, yeah, I think it definitely helps to keep the head down, at least for now. It's only two rounds.

Q. It can get hard if you've got yourself a pretty healthy lead through 36 because there becomes an expectation I think by the people around you. Did you sense any of that last week at Quail Hollow?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Different play style. I mean, I didn't expect someone to be 8-under on Sunday, especially the guy I'm playing with. I know all the top players are capable of doing it, but tough timing for me, obviously.

Q. Curious how over the course of your career your mindset has shifted or changed if at all when holding a lead going into the weekend. I know you said it's just 36 holes, but how has that evolved as you've played and gained more experience?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I think when you're trying to climb this mountain here, let's put Scottie Scheffler at the very tip top of it and everyone else sort of somewhere down on the hill side grabbing on for dear life is what it feels like. You just get comfortable in certain times.

So the more times I have a lead, the more comfortable I'll feel, the better I'll sleep. I think I'll just get more confidence the more I can do it.

Q. In your career do you find that you play better when you're happy and content or when you're a little bit pissed off?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: It's a mixed bag. Overall I would say if you take a run of 30 events, I would probably say happy. Just because I'm smiling doesn't mean I'm not happy when I'm out there. There's times where I play well pissed off as well. It just varies.

Q. How did you feel this week, happy and content or pissed off?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: It's a mixed bag. It depends on what we talk about, I guess. You ask me enough questions it will probably piss me off, but most of the time I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky guy.

Q. Kind of an odd Friday where you're playing so late in the afternoon. You go out and birdie four of your first 10. How big was that in kind of establishing that roll again?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it was great. Definitely didn't have the finish I wanted. I felt like I was hitting some really good shots in there, a couple unlucky breaks in the fairway, but that start was nice. Definitely settled me in. Making that long putt on the third hole was definitely a nice snag to make me feel a little bit more comfortable.

Q. I don't want to be a - I don't want to be the bummer of this conversation, but --


Q. Yeah. Thank you. Can you explain what happened on the second shot at 18, because I think out of two days I hadn't seen anything close to that.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah. If you scroll through enough shots today of everyone that was in the middle of the fairway, I felt like they hit a good shot. We're pro golfers, we're not professional mud readers, so I was praying that the mud on my ball wasn't going to do something, and I felt like I made a really nice pass at it, just the same pass I've been making on the last six holes, leading all the way back to the 4-iron I hit on 14 there or 13, and I look up and my ball's just duck-hooking across the property. It was just a mud ball in the middle of the fairway. So that pisses me off, for sure.

Q. What were you most pleased with today, what shot? What shot stood out?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I just hung tough. I felt like I just tried to hit as many good shots after good shots as possible. I felt like I was able to do that, and despite the mud and the delay and all those things, I felt like I really just got in my zone there and made a lot of good swings. So I'm proud of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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