‘Change your life’: Xander Schauffele breaks down PGA-winning putt

The longer Xander Schauffele spent thinking about his PGA Championship-winning putt, the more cluttered his mind got.

“I was nervous,” Schauffele told GOLF’s Subpar podcast in the days after winning at Valhalla to claim his first major. “I was shaking. My hands were — it wasn’t great.”

Schauffele joined Subpar to discuss his PGA Championship victory, getting that major monkey off his back and the thought-process with that clutch winning putt, which gave him a one-stroke victory over Bryson DeChambeau.

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But before the putt, he had to chip it in tight. That particular chip wasn’t easy for him, he said, since it was more of a punch shot. But once he knocked it close all he needed was the birdie putt to win.

“Then that putt, I saw left edge at first, and then I was like, this could be right edge,” Schauffele said. “And I ended up playing it kind of straight. I pulled it, it started a little left and then lipped in. My hands were shaking, I just told myself like, big muscles, stop reading this thing so much, let’s just hit this and commit to it. Don’t call [my caddie] Austin in. Let’s not get all these opinions and freak yourself out. I didn’t want to sit there and psych myself out about an uphill 6-foot putt. I was like just keep it simple, you have done this all day, just smoke this thing and I made it.”

And if that didn’t sound like his mind was racing enough, he knew exactly what it meant for his career, too. He’d no longer be known as the best player without a major.

“I was sitting there and was like, you make this you win. You make this and you change your life,” he said. “This is what you’ve wanted your whole life. I was like, change your life, let’s do this. I was thinking so much crap while I was going through my routine, that’s why I was like, the longer you take, the more stuff I was going to think, so I was just like, let’s get this thing in the house.”

You know what happened next.

You can listen to Schauffele’s complete Subpar interview here, of watch the video below.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.