How To Bet Xander Schauffele Following PGA Championship Win

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Xander Schauffele holds the Wanamaker trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky.
(AP Photo/Jon Cherry)
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelGolf May 22, 2024, 7:30 AM

Maybe you were banking on Scottie Scheffler at last week’s PGA Championship, only to see your outright wagers get arrested, too. Perhaps you went all-in on Rory McIlroy before divorcing yourself of some cash. Or you could’ve tried to muscle up with a Brooks Koepka ticket, leaving yourself feeling a bit weaker at week’s end.

If you bet one of the favorites at last week’s major and still didn’t have the eventual winner, it might’ve been due to a lack of confidence in Xander Schauffele’s ability to close, based on his recent run of Sunday afternoons without a victory.

Chances are, you watched his final-round 65 and came away with a differing opinion than you’d started, now more convinced that he has what it takes to get it done in the clutch.

I’m a firm believer that there are no “floodgates” in professional golf anymore – and maybe there never really were. The occasions where a player broke through for a much-needed triumph and then continued compiling more wins in the aftermath are few and far between.

That said, it’s hard to watch Schauffele in that moment, making a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole when it mattered the most, and think that he’s done winning for the remainder of the year.

It’s not like he’s never climbed this peak before. He owned seven PGA Tour titles even before the PGA Championship, plus an Olympic gold medal and enough Ryder and Presidents Cup match victories that any reputation as being soft down the stretch was unfounded.

And if you thought so before, those beliefs have likely faded away, replaced with a confidence that he can close when he’s in contention.

Like many bettors, the first instinct might be to chase that sentiment.

Well, you won’t be able to do it this week, as Schauffele takes a deserved week off from competition, presumably puffing a victory cigar while still sipping champagne from the Wanamaker Trophy.

All of which begs the question: When and where should we bet the X-man moving forward?

Chances are, he’ll follow the current off week by skipping next week’s RBC Canadian Open, as well, considering he’s never once traveled north of the border to play that event.

After that comes the Memorial Tournament, where he’s long displayed a solid floor, if not a ceiling. In his last five starts at Muirfield Village, Schauffele has never finished worse than 24th but never better than 11th, posting at least one score of even-par 72 every time.

The hunch here is to hold off on that one and save your Xander stash for the next week when he’ll possibly be the second-favorite after Scheffler when it comes to U.S. Open odds. He’s never played Pinehurst No. 2 in competition, but Schauffele’s career results at the year’s second major look like a guy who’s knocking on the door to win one of ‘em. He was T-5 in his tourney debut in 2017, then followed with results of T-6, T-3, 5th, T-7, T-14 and T-10. Clearly, the style of play necessary for this event suits him.

Whether you back him there or not, he’ll offer another opportunity just one week later. Once again, the Travelers Championship is a PGA Tour signature event, meaning the PGA Tour’s best players will convene in Connecticut. He won this tournament two years ago, nipping Sahith Theegala on the final hole, and owns four top-20s in five career starts.

Schauffele will likely continue his previous victory tour a few weeks later at the Genesis Scottish Open, where he won in his debut two years ago but finished a disappointing T-42 last year.

The game’s best will head to Royal Troon for The Open Championship after that, which has decidedly been Schauffele’s worst major. Not that he owns a poor record by any means, but a share of runner-up honors in 2018 has never been backed up with anything better than a 15th-place finish.

He’ll undoubtedly defend his gold medal from Japan at Le Golf National in Paris, though it’ll be foreign soil for him in every way, as he was left off the 2018 United States Ryder Cup team which lost to Europe at that venue.

From there, he’ll likely close the season by playing in each of the three FedEx Cup playoff events.

The FedEx St. Jude Championship doesn’t seem to offer much optimism, as he’s finished T-57 and T-24 in the two editions since it moved to TPC Southwind. The BMW Championship has been much kinder, as he owns a pair of third-place results and three top-10s in seven career starts, though none of those occurred at Castle Pines, host of this year’s event, which could throw a wrinkle into our prognostications.

And last but not least, there’s the Tour Championship. The season finale is a weird one, of course, considering the staggered scoring start which was implemented in 2019. Schauffele won the event two years previously and has never finished worse than seventh, three times ending as runner-up since the new format.

That doesn’t tell the entire story, though.

Since the beginning of staggered scoring, he’s never finished outside of the top-six in total strokes – a market that will be available during that week. On two of those five occasions, he either finished first or tied for first without the scoring start.

Add in the fact that Scheffler, who seemingly plays well anyplace, anytime, has never triumphed at East Lake, and a play on Schauffele winning with and/or without the staggered start should be intriguing, even if it does come at a nominally low number.

That leaves plenty of options, though, over the next three months for those bettors who watched him close out his first major championship and believe that more wins are coming soon.

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About the Author

Jason Sobel

Read More @JasonSobelGolf

Jason Sobel is a Brand Ambassador for BetMGM. He joins after six years with Action Network. Prior to Action, Jason spent a total of 17 years in two stints at ESPN (1997-2011; 2015-18) and four years at Golf Channel (2011-15). He also currently works as a host for "Hitting the Green" on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio and contributes to the channel's on-site coverage during major championships. He's won four Sports Emmy awards, more than a dozen Golf Writers Association of America accolades and has earned an honorable mention in the Best of American Sportswriting series.

Jason Sobel is a Brand Ambassador for BetMGM. He joins after six years with Action Network. Prior to Action, Jason spent a total of 17 years in two stints at ESPN (1997-2011; 2015-18) and four years at Golf Channel (2011-15). He also currently works as a host for "Hitting the Green" on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio and contributes to the channel's on-site coverage during major championships. He's won four Sports Emmy awards, more than a dozen Golf Writers Association of America accolades and has earned an honorable mention in the Best of American Sportswriting series.