Xander Schauffele shares sure fire U.S. Open strategy ahead of Pinehurst

The U.S. Open and Xander Schauffele go hand in hand. In his six starts, Schauffele’s worst finish was a T14 in 2022. He also has T5, T6, T3, solo fifth and T10 finishes at the U.S. Open.

However, the 30-year-old has yet to take home a U.S. Open trophy. Instead, his first major came at the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

What kind of strategy does he use regarding the USGA’s toughest test in golf? Ahead of the 124th U.S. Open, he explained why his best golf came out this week.

“Just a little bit of extra patience. You have to ramp that up a little more during these weeks,” Schauffele said. “All U.S. Opens seem unique in their own way, but they all feel like par is a great score.

“You have to just plot your way around a property. I was here a week ago, and the course is playing significantly different already. I can only imagine what it’s going to look like in two days.”

Schauffle’s strong play at these past six U.S. Opens came across different kinds of courses. All of them have something in common, though.

“Plotting around a property,” Schauffele said. “It’s old-school golf a little bit. You play to the fat side of a green. It’s okay to lay up on a par 5.”

“Everything that’s — not against, but modern golf is hit it as far as you can, get it as close to the green, wedge it as close as you can, get up and down on par-5s, that type of deal. I think a little bit of strategy with Austin, my caddie, may give us a little bit of an edge.”

Schauffele knows his putter will likely become one of his favorite clubs this week based on how firm Pinehurst’s greens are.

U.S. Open, Xander Schauffele

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

“I grew up in San Diego, but the Texas wedge is my friend,” he said.

His patience strategy will come in clutch this week. Pinehurst is set up to cause issues and carnage, so not rushing things and playing golf in an old-school way may help him win his second straight major.

Schauffele will play alongside Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the first two days of the U.S. Open. They tee off at 1:14 p.m. ET on Thursday and 7:29 a.m. on Friday.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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