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The final leaderboard for the 2017 TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia is in. 23-year-old Xander Schauffele finished one shot clear of runner-up Justin Thomas, leading to Schauffele taking the championship trophy and Thomas taking the FedEx Cup. Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:
(1) Xander Schauffele (-12)
(2) Justin Thomas (-11)
(T3) Russell Henley (-10)
(T3) Kevin Kisner (-11)
(5) Paul Casey (-9)
(6) Brooks Koepka (-8)
(T7) Tony Finau (-7)
(T7) Jordan Spieth (-7)
(T7) Jon Rahm (-7)
(T10) Sergio Garcia (-6)
(T10) Matt Kuchar (-6)
(T10) Justin Rose (-6)
Here are some statistics on the champion and other notables near the top of the leaderboard:
Winner: Xander Schauffele (-12) – This marks Schauffele’s second PGA Tour win, his first being at the 2017 Greenbrier Classic. His win this week wasn’t enough to push him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, and so Thomas ended up taking it.
Just some background on Schauffele leading up to this tournament: he had played a full season on the Web.com Tour in 2016, finished 26th on the regular season money list, and missed getting a PGA Tour card by less than $100. He was able to earn his card through the Web.com Tour Finals. At the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, Schauffele became the first player to shoot a bogey-free round of 66 or better at his debut of the national championship. On the way to the TOUR Championship, he pulled out a win at the Greenbrier Classic, coming from three shots back entering the final round.
Schauffele is the first rookie ever to win the TOUR Championship or any FedEx Cup playoff event for that matter. His win this week moves him to third in the FedEx Cup standings, to 32nd in the Official World Golf Rankings, and gives him a three-year exemption on Tour through the 19-20 season. I think this kid has huge potential — just look at what he has accomplished in his very first full season on Tour. The fact that he’s in his early 20s means that we’re probably going to see a lot more of him at the top of leaderboards in future tournaments, perhaps rivaling the likes of Spieth and Thomas.
Final round: 3 birdies and 1 bogey for a 2-under 68. After a bogey at 4, Schauffele played steady golf the rest of the way, although he nearly missed a short par putt on the last, likely due to nervousness and excitement; this would have put him in a playoff with Justin Thomas. Scores in regulation: 69, 66, 65, 68 (268).
Justin Thomas (-11) – Thomas has had a phenomenal run this 16-17 season: 5 wins including a major championship, the FedEx Cup and Player of the Year status. He nearly won this one as well. It’s impressive to witness how much he has developed into one of the best players in the world. Expect him to be a part of the conversation all throughout next season.
Final round: 5 birdies and a bogey for a 4-under 66. Thomas made a little run with birdies on 16 and 17, but wasn’t able to convert on the par-5 18th. Scores in regulation: 67, 66, 70, 66 (269).
Paul Casey (-9) – When is this guy ever going to close? It’s insane to think how many times he’s been in contention as of late — seemingly ever week. I think he’ll probably get it eventually, but it really should have happened already.
Final round: 4 bogeys and a birdie for a 3-over 73. Yet another over-par final round. Scores in regulation: 66, 67, 65, 73 (271).