THE PLAYERS Championship

Friday, March 15, 2024

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA

TPC Sawgrass

Xander Schauffele

Quick Quotes

Q. Only bogey of the day, double I guess came at 11. How important was it then to kind of respond quickly and finish the way you did?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it was just a terrible swing. Was a bit uneasy. Watched two great shots into that green and thought I could pile one on there and sort of cut the lead even more, and to go backwards on a par-5 is never what we're trying to do. Then compounding a terrible wedge shot on top of it. So happy to birdie the next and a bonus to make the eagle on 16.

Q. What is the value -- right now you're projected in the final group with Wyndham -- when someone is leading by that much, to be in the group with them to kind of see it, maybe put some pressure on them?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Exactly what you just said. All you're trying to do is put some pressure on someone. He's been playing incredible golf for quite a few months now and he's got the power and precision and he's very confident right now. So it's important to be in that final group just to try and put some pressure on him and try and get going.

Q. Can you talk about the degree of difficulty for your second shot on 18? You had to punch out; seems like such a difficult shot for us.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it's scary, for sure. You're on pine straw, ball's kind of floating. If you're on the hole, I don't know from camera, but like the 18th fairway is really firming up. I hit a hybrid like 295 yards, which I didn't think I could do, that's why I ended up in the pine straw. So any ball that's sort of bounding left or not cutting into the hit on 18's just going to roll and roll and roll into the water. So, I hit -- Austin and I talked about hitting it on the 18 logo behind the green with a little fade, and it was as good of a shot as I can hit.

Q. What did you hit?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: A 6-iron from -- it was 150 yards front. Trying to fly it like 110 yards.

Q. What are you doing well this week, besides taking it one shot at a time?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, you like my cliches, along with every other TOUR pro out here. I mean, I'm probably putting a little bit better. I got to look at it. Converting some putts.

Putter's been a bit weird this year. Putted really well at AmEx, and once we got on to my coast, yeah, poa and some bad weather, I really just lost some confidence with the putter. So nice to be on some smoother surfaces and making some good putts.

Q. Obviously you want to lead, but are there things that you like about chasing? Is there an element to that where there's a little bit less pressure? I know there's 36 holes to go.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it's a bit early for that, to be honest. Yeah, I've won from behind, and I think it should be maybe a little bit easier, but for the most part we're just all here -- like, we try to stick to our own process and get in our own world, and you kind of forget where you're at when you do that well.

Q. A few years ago Scottie hadn't won and then he kind of broke through, and then obviously we see what he's been doing. Wyndham kind of did that at Quail last year, and obviously he's played really well in the big events. Do you see a similar path potentially with him that Scottie's been taking, has taken to got the way he's playing right now?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: I'm not sure. Probably ask him that question, to be honest. I kind of just worry about myself in these moments and don't really think about what other people are doing.

Q. They did a swing breakdown last night of what you try to do technically, but curious, you were third on TOUR last year in strokes gained total, one of the most complete players on the PGA TOUR. What level are you trying to access with Chris that maybe you hadn't before?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: First. Yeah, the second, then first. Or just first preferably.

Q. How do you get there?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Hitting it a little bit further would help. There's definitely an, you know, above 180 ball speed average with a certain trajectory or height, there's an advantage there. Depending upon what property you're playing on, you can get a really big advantage if you're kind of living in the mid 80s relative to high 70s. You can cover bunkers that are sitting around that 300 mark easier. Then just trying to maintain sort of the iron play within and the wedges within. When you start adding some distance to your bag it affects everything else down the bag, so it's a tricky thing to balance.

Q. How did you discover those goals or benchmarks you wanted to hit?

XANDER SCHAUFFELE: It's just, everyone's got the stats. It's just hard to get yourself to do it and stay healthy and everything that comes along with trying to make yourself better from third place and not make yourself worse.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
141966-1-1002 2024-03-15 22:57:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129