6 lessons from Xander Schauffele’s sixth career PGA Tour title
Patience, perseverance, focus, finish — this win had it all.
His resume — which in the last year has added an Olympic gold medal, a Ryder Cup championship and yet another top-five finish in the FedEx Cup — speaks for itself. The Hyland brand ambassador didn’t need to win the Travelers Championship to establish himself as one of the elite players on the PGA Tour.
But there are times — as a competitor, a business leader or even a recreation league player who is a little too serious (allegedly) about getting the best of Bob in accounting — that a win just feels extra gratifying. That was the case for Xander when he won the trophy at the Travelers Championship and claimed his sixth PGA Tour title June 26 with a dramatic two-shot win in Cromwell, Connecticut.
That’s not to say Xander hasn’t been winning.
On the contrary, in addition to the gold medal and Ryder Cup win, he was part of a Presidents Cup victory and was a back-to-back runner-up in the FedEx Cup standings. And a couple months ago, Xander teamed up with good friend Patrick Cantlay to claim the Zurich Championship in New Orleans. That’s a heck of a lot of success.
For Xander, just one thing was missing: Beating that darned Bob from accounting. Oh wait … the Travelers Championship win. That was Xander’s first individual title on the PGA Tour since January 2019 — a span of 1,200 or so days. So yeah, this one was extra sweet.
Xander followed the Travelers Championship victory with one-shot wins in the J.P. McManus Pro-Am and the Scottish Open. The latter was his seventh PGA Tour title and vaulted him to fifth in the world golf rankings.
How’s this for momentum heading into the British Open: Xander is the first player to enter a major championship with a two-tournament winning streak since Dustin Johnson in 2016.
There are lessons all of us can learn from Xander’s Travelers Championship win. Here are six that stand out:
6 lessons to learn from Xander’s latest PGA tour title
“I was getting a little impatient,” Schauffele said after he clinched the Travelers Championship with a birdie on the final hole. Xander had eight runner-up finishes — eight! — between individual PGA Tour victories. He tied for second in the 2019 Masters. (He was one shot behind someone you may have heard of: Tiger Woods.) He had four other top-seven finishes in major tournaments in 2019, ’20 and ’21. After winning the Zurich Classic in late April, Xander posted these results in the four tournaments that followed: tied for fifth, tied for 13th, tied for 18th and tied for 14th. He was playing well. He just needed a breakthrough.
That brings us to a quality that is absolutely critical — whether you’re a star golfer or a tech worker trying to shake off a recent setback.
Xander said it himself after the Travelers Championship. He liked how he was playing. But he hadn’t put all four rounds together.
He did that in Connecticut, with back-to-back rounds of 63 to start the tournament. He shot a 67 in the third round, then followed with a 68 on Sunday. The finish was pretty cool, too.
Sahith Theegala, playing in the group ahead of Xander in the final round of the Travelers Championship, recorded a double bogey on the last hole. That gave Xander a one-shot lead.
It wasn’t yet time to break out the champagne and pose with the winner’s trophy.
“My mind was telling me to hit a good drive and then use your sand wedge or lob wedge in there and make birdie,” Xander said after the tournament. “To sit there and watch what happened (to Theegala) was a bit of a shock, obviously. I really had to try and focus on the task at hand.”
I’d say it worked.
Schauffele only needed a par on 18 to win the tournament. He hit his approach shot within 3 feet of the cup, setting up a birdie putt and ensuring win No. 6 on Tour.
As he was reminded after the Travelers Championship, Xander had never won a PGA tournament in which he led after 54 holes. That’s no longer the case.
With the tournament on the line, our brand ambassador delivered. And we are so proud of him.
Winning a June tournament a week after the U.S. Open isn’t going to be in the first couple paragraphs of Xander’s career bio. That doesn’t make it any less special or meaningful.
Every win — the small victories at home, notable team achievements at work — matters. And some stand out more than others.
“This is a big win for me mentally,” Schauffele said of the Travelers title. “Just because I sort of had to check myself.”
When things are going easy, he added, “you just expect to play well all the time. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back.”
World-class athletes, the most innovative business leaders, people who are as good as anyone at what they do — I’m sure they all have moments in which they question themselves. Taking that step back, knowing you’ve put in the work and are more than capable, can make all the difference.
For Xander, it added up to his second PGA Tour win of the season and a 12-spot improvement in the FedEx Cup standings. The X Man has a very real chance at finishing in the top five for the fifth time in six years. (Not bad for someone who debuted on Tour in 2016!)
Xander’s big win occurred as he and his wife, Maya, were getting set to celebrate their first anniversary. It’s been a heck of a year for Xander and Maya, and all husbands should have such good timing.
Granted, most of us don’t get a seven-figure winner’s check for our most notable achievements. Sometimes we might not even get an email or text.
Still, we should celebrate our wins — big and small.
We’re proud to have Xander on our team at Hyland. He didn’t need to finish first in the Travelers Championship to prove how good he is.
That doesn’t make it any less awesome, and I think all of us can learn something from how it transpired.