Xander Schauffele wins the U.S. Olympic Golf gold with 2 clutch putts

Four feet between his golf ball and the cup was all that separated American Xander Schauffele from an Olympic gold medal, and he couldn't help but let his mind wander.

Xander Schauffele wins the U.S. Olympic Golf gold with 2 clutch putts

Schauffele would consider it as special as a major. He has missed the Masters many times and this championship would be no different. His father wanted an Olympic medal to share, after his own dreams were crushed by a terrible car accident that claimed his left eye.

Schauffele bows his head and closes his eyes to return to the present.

He said, "I just remembered that this is only a 4-footer," Sunday. It's easy to make it. No big deal."

It was a big deal. It was huge.

Schauffele was under more pressure than he needed to win the prize in a wild conclusion to men's-golf. Nine players were left in the running for a medal after the three last players measured their putts at the 18th green.

Schauffele was the one who putt most important. He had to take a wedge and a putt to par and 4-under 67.

He said, "I put more pressure on me wanting to win this than anything else." My dad dedicated a lot of his life to getting a medal and it was taken from him. ... For me, it was more than just playing golf. It was more than just golf for me. I feel so lucky to be here.

Rory Sabbatini set an Olympic record with a 61 -- with two bogeys on his card -- that nearly was good enough for a sudden-death playoff for the gold. He was thrilled to win the silver medal for Slovakia.

What about the bronze? That was a complicated question.

Hideki Matsuyama's dream of adding gold to a Masters green jacket ended when he missed too many putts along the back nine at Kasumigaseki Country Club. For the bronze medal, he still had a 12-foot birdie to putt. He also missed the putt, which meant he was in a seven-man playoff with players from seven different countries to win the final medal.

Matsuyama was eliminated on the first extra hole, along with Paul Casey, with a bogey.

After less than a month of recovery from COVID-19 the Japanese star was 1 shot from the lead with only four holes to play and ended up without a medal.

There is no gold, silver, or bronze. He still wears a green jacket.

Rory McIlroy, Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz were bounced on the third playoff hole with pars. C.T. C.T.

Stefan Schauffele, who was watching the medal ceremony from the 18th green, cried behind his dark sunglasses as his son wrapped the medal around him.

He was only 20 years old when he was invited by Germany's national decathlete team. A drunken driver hit him, leaving him blind in his right eye. He couldn't compete in the sports that he loved.

He discovered golf and passed it on to his son.

"Because what happened to me, it was golf," the father said. He promised himself that he would make sure his children find out how talented they are in whatever they do. The father stated that golf was the case in this instance. "That was due to the fact that I had never discovered how talented I was."

Schauffele's mother was born in Japan. Schauffele has grandparents living in Tokyo who were unable to watch him because of the ban on spectators.

Sabbatini ended the round with a fist pumping birdie on 18th hole. He finished 1 shot behind Schauffele who had six holes left and had two good scoring opportunities.

One swing and it was all over again.

Schauffele's tee shot was sent well off the fairway at the par-5 14th. He then went into the bushes. To get out, he had to accept a 1-stroke penalty. He took three more shots to reach green and putt for bogey at 5-foot.

Matsuyama was 1 shot behind. He was tied for first place.

Schauffele kept cool in California and made two clutch putts towards the end.

Schauffele stated, "I tried so hard to stay calm." It was stressful. It was a great relief to have that putt.

Sabbatini was a happy man with silver. He was born in South Africa and decided to become a Slovakian citizen at the end 2018 through Martina, his wife. Martina had a relative who ran the small Slovak Golf Federation. This week, his wife was his caddie.

He was therefore eligible to compete in the Olympics. Now, Slovakia is the proud owner of its third medal at the Tokyo Games. It won a gold medal in women's trap, and a silver medal in men's kayak. Sabbatini was the first Slovakian to participate in Olympic golf.

Sabbatini stated that the sole purpose of the tournament was to produce future generations of Slovak golfers. "It's not the most popular sport for children to play, but they do want to travel to Slovakia to play. So hopefully we can inspire future Olympians.

Date Of Update: 02 August 2021, 10:38

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