The final round of the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open had its twists and turns, but Xander Schauffele is the one walking away the winner as the No. 11-ranked golfer in the world continues a dominant stretch. An even-par 70 in the final round at the Renaissance Club was enough for Schauffele to hang on for the win at 7 under as he held off Kurt Kitayama by a single stroke.
Schauffele began the day two clear of the pack as the 54-hole leader and wasted no time in extending his lead with back-to-back birdies to open the final round. Schauffele would later stumble with three bogeys in his final four holes on the front nine, going from a four-stroke lead to a one-shot deficit behind Kitayama. But a 1-under 34 on the back nine was enough to send Schauffele out on top when the dust settled.
“It’s special,” Schauffele said during his post-round interview on CBS. “It’s different playing over here. You’ve got to play golf differently. The fans are incredible. They’ve been pushing me all day. This is a nice one to win for my team and myself.”
Safely put, there’s no golfer with more momentum than Xander Schauffele as the golf world now sets its sights on the Old Course at St. Andrews for the 2022 Open Championship. Schauffele’s win Sunday at the Renaissance Club is his second in as many starts after previously emerging victorious at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in late June. Overall, it is his third win in his past seven starts.
With the Scottish Open title in hand, Schauffele now finds himself with seven PGA Tour wins and nine professional victories overall. He’s still seeking his first major title, and he’s now sure to enter St. Andrews as one of the betting favorites as the hottest name in golf. Schauffele joins No. 1-ranked Scottie Scheffler as the only two golfers to win in consecutive starts this season. Grade: A
Here’s a breakdown and grades from the rest of the final leaderboard at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open.
2. Kurt Kitayama (-6): Kitayama brought the heat at times in a Scottish Open performance from which he can take away plenty of positives, even in coming up just short of the victory. Kitayama’s showing at the Renaissance Club was booked by 4-under 66s on Thursday and Sunday, while 1-over 71s were carded on Friday and Saturday. In the grand scheme, two holes really made all the difference for Kitayama over the course of the event. Take away a four-putt double bogey on the par-3 9th on Friday and a triple-bogey on the par-4 8th on Saturday, and Kitayama is likely walking away a winner this weekend. All told, he’ll take what matches his best finish this season on the PGA Tour while earning a spot in the 2022 Open Championship. Grade: A-
3. Joohyung Kim (-5): Kim wasn’t exactly a name on folks’ radars Sunday morning as he began the day five strokes back at 2 under for the event, and it wasn’t until late in the final round that he started to enter the picture. Back-to-back birdies on par-5 16th and par-3 17th brought Kim to T2 entering his final hole of the day. What first looked like a chance for him to become the leader in the clubhouse at 7 under quickly morphed into a costly three-putt bogey, eliminating Kim from contention with Kitayama already in the clubhouse at 6 under. Still, that’s three rounds of under-par golf from Kim as he records his best finish in five PGA Tour-sanctioned events played this year. His previous best this season was a T17 finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May. Grade: A-
Rick Gehman is joined by Greg DuCharme and Mark Immelman recap the 2022 Scottish Open. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
T4. Patrick Cantlay (-4): Cantlay saved his best round of the tournament for last, carding a 3-under 67 on Sunday that ultimately gave the No. 7-ranked golfer in the world a top-five finish and the momentum that comes with entering the Open Championship. It appeared early on that Cantlay might be orchestrating the round of the day with a 4-under start through eight holes, but he proceeded to play the remainder of the round at 1 over. Nevertheless, that’s Cantlay’s eighth top-five finish on the PGA Tour season as he now sets his sights on attempting to win the first major championship of his career. Grade: B +
T10. Jordan Spieth (-2): It appeared briefly Sunday that Spieth might be making a charge to win his second event of the PGA Tour season when he came within one shot of the leaders following a birdie on the par-4 13th. But that hope was short-lived, as a three-put double bogey on the par-3 14th effectively ended his chances at contention. Spieth hadn’t carded a single-hole score worse than a bogey all weekend before his costly miscue on the back nine. Spieth ended the round playing his final five holes at 3 over. In the end, this one is certain to sting for the three-time major champion given what could have been. Grade: B-