Xander Schauffele won the Scottish Open for the fourth time in the last 12 months

North Berwick, Scotland — Xander Schauffele Makes up for lost time.

Schaffel took his fourth win in the last 12 months on Sunday to win the Scottish Open after more than two years without a win. .

Next up is another test on Scottish soil, the purest of all, the Open Championship at St Andrews. Schaeffel goes home to golf, where he was one of the best players in the world.

This is the first time the PGA Tour has allowed a European Tour event to be incorporated.

“It’s an honor to win first,” said Schaffel, who now has seven career titles on the PGA Tour.

His 8-foot par save on the par-3 17th at The Renaissance Club gave him a 2-shot lead, and the 28-year-old from San Diego played smartly from there. To avoid trouble he took an iron off the 18th tee and missed an 8-foot par that only affected the edge.

Schaffel finished with a 7-under 273, 1 shot ahead Is Kurt available? (66)

Kitayama had a 1-shot lead on the back nine and missed a 6-foot par putt on the 17th hole, then had to wait to see if his score would be good enough.

Kitayama’s consolation was one of the three spots in the field at The Open, his third appearance at golf’s oldest championship. Two other places went Brandon Wu And Jamie DonaldsonWho tied for sixth.

So many people got a chance to get into St Andrews. Rickie Fowler He has played in every Open Championship since 2010 and reached the final round of the Scottish Open. But he finished with 75 and returned home across the Atlantic.

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Ryan Palmer He was level until he played the back nine with two bogeys and no birdies and was 2 shots out. It was difficult Alex Smalley, only needed a par on the 18th to secure a spot. He bogeyed.

It wasn’t easy for Schaffel either.

He started the final round with a 2-shot lead and birdied the opening two holes. After five holes he was 4 shots ahead. When he reached the back nine, he was 1 shot behind.

“It was stressful,” Schaffel said. “I’m not going to put makeup on the pig here. It was a pretty average day, probably my worst this week. You can’t get ahead in links golf. I was ahead, behind, ahead, behind. I kept putting my head down.”

It started to turn in Schaffel’s favor when he made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole to regain the lead, then birdied the par-5 16th to set up a 2-putt birdie that extended his lead to 2 shots. . Equally important on the 17th, he made par to keep his cushion by putting it through the hole 8 feet from behind the green.

Schauffele has now won two consecutive PGA Tour starts — not counting his win at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland earlier in the week — heading into the final major of the year. The last player to win twice in a row before a major tournament Dustin Johnson In 2016, he later finished ninth at the Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Dating back to the Champions Sentry tournament in Kapalua in 2019, he had been winless for more than three years and it was staring him down.

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But Schaffel won Olympic gold at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. joined with Patrick Cantley Now he’s added two more of his own to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in late April. That takes him to No. 5 in the world.

“To get over the hump, honestly, it was huge,” he said of his first PGA Tour win in New Orleans this year. “It was definitely a kick-starter for me, you could tell.”

Joohyung Kim, the 20-year-old South Korean took a narrow share of the lead with a spectacular play on the 17th in which his ball rolled 5 feet off the back slope for birdie. But he bogeyed the 18th and shot a 67 to finish third. He moved into the top 50 for the first time at number 39.

Jordan Spieth Again he took part in adventures.

He held a 1-shot lead until he dragged his tee shot into the tall grass on the 14th, longed out to make double bogey, and then bogeyed the fairway with a hand peg on the 15th. Spieth had two birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine and shot a 72 to tie for 10th.

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