Xander Schauffele makes a surprising admission about his 240-yard hole-in-one

August 25, 2019

Xander Schauffele, squarely in the middle of the final showdown for the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup and the resulting $15 million top prize, made his first-ever PGA Tour hole-in-one on Sunday in rather brilliant fashion.

Or so it seemed.

With water short along with two bunkers guarding the 240-yard par-3, the 9th hole at East Lake is a tough test that most players would happily take a par on and walk away. When Xander came to the hole, he looked to adopt a similar strategy. He pulled a 5-iron and aimed at the center of the green — but then the ball started drawing. It curved 40ft in all, according to TopTracer, before eventually landing on the perfect line and rolling straight into the hole.

In the clip above you can hear Xander calling for his ball to land soft, to sit, and to get a good kick. He wasn’t even looking at the hole when his ball did eventually drop. Why? Because as he admitted after his rain-delayed third round, he didn’t hit it the way he wanted to.

“I pulled it, I’m not going to lie,” Schauffele said. “I yanked it.”

And there’s a lesson to be learned here for regular golfers.

As Scott Fawcett advocates for in his innovative DECADE golf system, it’s easier to not lose strokes than to intentionally try to gain them. In other words, play the percentages. If Schauffele would’ve chased that pin, he would’ve pulled it left of the green and struggled to make par. But instead, he aimed for the center of the green, gave himself enough room for error, and walked away with an ace.