Xander Schauffele continued his strong play in majors with a T3 finish at the Masters, three strokes back of champion Hideki Matsuyama.
With the finish, Schauffele has now finished top-10 eight times in 15 starts in major championships, including a top-five finish in all four majors. After his finish last week, Schauffele moved to fourth in the Olympic Golf Ranking and the third-ranked American behind Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa. The top-four Americans in the Olympic Golf Ranking will be eligible for the 2020 Olympic Games Tokyo.
“I fought hard,” said Schauffele. “I felt like I made it exciting at the end, hit a really good shot on 16. I committed to it. I hit a perfect shot. We thought it was down left to right. It was not down left to right, and the rest is history.”
Currently for Team USA, the top-four Americans on the men’s side include Justin Thomas (No. 1), Morikawa (No. 3), Xander Schauffele (No. 4) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 5). Patrick Reed (No. 7) and Webb Simpson (No. 9) currently sit just outside the cutoff.
Matsuyama’s win, the first of any Asian-born player at the Masters Tournament, will undoubtedly be celebrated in the Japanese player’s home country for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I hope it will affect golf in Japan in a good way, not only those who are golfers already, but hopefully the youngsters who are playing golf or thinking about playing golf, I hope they will see this victory and think it's cool and try to follow in my footsteps,” said Matsuyama after his win. “Up until now, we haven't had a Major Champion in Japan, and maybe a lot of golfers or younger golfers, too, thought, well, maybe that's an impossibility. But with me doing it, hopefully that will set an example for them that it is possible and that, if they set their mind to it, they can do it, too.”