Does Xander Schauffele lack clutch gene amid Genesis Invitational flop

Let me start by saying that I believe Xander Schauffele to be one of the best golfers on the planet. That’s not solely based on his Official World Golf Ranking, but from watching his play throughout his professional career.

But if I am being honest with myself, I have to wonder if maybe he struggles when the lights are brightest.

Schauffele entered Sunday’s final round of the Genesis Invitational in the final pairing with close friend Patrick Cantlay. Yet, by days end both players were an afterthought as they approached the 15th tee box.

Following his tee shot, he walked past me and I could see the visible disappointment on his face.

The Genesis Invitational - Final Round, Xander Schauffele

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Once again, the No. 5 ranked player in the world missed an opportunity at a win. But that’s far from an anomaly.

In five tournaments this year, he has four top-10’s. That speaks to his talent and level of consistency. But does it also speak to his inability to close.

Since his last PGA Tour win at the Travelers in 2022, he has logged tons of top-5s and finished runner up a number of times. He even has multiple second place finishes in the Tour Championship in the last few years.

Personally, I do not know if I subscribe to this notion. After all, he is legitimately one of my favorite players on tour. But even I was left shaking my head at another missed opportunity Sunday.

What do you think? Does Schauffele struggle to close or am I living in the moment? Let us know in the comments below.

Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social media platforms.

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