Xander Schauffele after loss at Wells Fargo: He’s Rory McIlroy, you know?

“He hits it 350 yards in the air downwind and he has shorter clubs into firm greens than anyone else,”-Schauffele said

by Sead Dedovic
Xander Schauffele after loss at Wells Fargo: He’s Rory McIlroy, you know?
© Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Sport

While many expected Xander Schauffele to clinch victory after a brilliant start at the Wells Fargo Championship, it didn't happen. When facing an opponent like Rory McIlroy, it's hard to expect an easy task and a win. Despite the 30-year-old holding a one-shot lead, McIlroy showed his best on the final day, demonstrating why many believe in him and his abilities. Schauffele, after the tournament, highlighted that he found himself admiring McIlroy's qualities, saying:

“He’s Rory McIlroy, you know?"- Schauffele said, as quoted by Golf Monthly.

Northern Irishman knew how to capitalize on the mistakes Schauffele made, patiently waiting for his chance. After winning at the Zurich Classic, McIlroy emphasized his desire to carry the great form into this tournament, which he succeeded in doing. Rory made eagles at the 10th and 15th holes. 

On the other hand, his opponent struggled to keep up with his pace, making many unforced errors. Xander believes it's a tough mission to stop McIlroy when he finds his rhythm. Although Schauffele was excellent, Rory capitalized on his mistakes and secured the victory

“He hits it 350 yards in the air downwind and he has shorter clubs into firm greens than anyone else,” added Schauffele.

“When he's on, he's on. Hats off to him for winning. Yeah, he played unbelievably well.

Overall I felt like I was doing pretty well for most of the day and then had that costly stretch and he capitalized like no other. Big reversal there.”

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

Schauffele highlighted his satisfaction with his driving accuracy during the tournament.

He mentioned hitting impressive iron shots, which he hadn't accomplished in a while, both left to right and right to left.

In summary, he stressed the need to improve his short game, which has historically been a decisive factor in his tournament performance.

Xander is one of the golfers many believe could have achieved more in his career, considering how often he has finished as a runner-up with a chance to win. Nevertheless, this 30-year-old refuses to be discouraged by that fact, believing he can accomplish more in the future. 

The next significant opportunity for a breakthrough will be the PGA Championship. The fact that he has never won a Major before will likely be quite motivating for him. Schauffele has probably deserved to win Majors with his qualities, but things haven't gone as he expected.

Xander Schauffele finished 18th at last year's PGA Championship, ready to offer something entirely different this year. Although some may not associate him with winning the competition, those familiar with the quality of the 30-year-old American believe he has the potential to go all the way. Majors have often surprised us in the past, so this time could be no different.

This year, Schauffele hasn't particularly impressed many, considering some of his best results, such as T3 at The American Express, T4 at The Genesis Invitational, T2 at the Players Championship, and 2nd place at the Wells Fargo Championship. Schauffele will need to work on some aspects of his game if he wants to offer his best in the upcoming period. The last tournament showcased his strengths, and many expect that Schauffele can deliver the same performance at the PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy aims to win PGA Championship

His opponent in the final, Rory McIlroy, is also seeking to win his first Major after ten years without achieving it. The Northern Irishman intends to approach the PGA Championship seriously, ready to seize the moment and finally secure a Major victory. McIlroy will be one of the favorites to win this competition, but the pressure he feels every year when it comes to Majors often disrupts his plans.

Rory McIlroy has been known to commend Schauffele, considering him a brilliant golfer who represents a tough challenge. 

Speaking about Valhalla in 2014, Rory reminisced about his excellent performance then, when many expected him to lift several more Major trophies after that year. 

However, Rory is likely surprised himself by the fact that he hasn't won a Major in the 10 years since then. 

He believes he can replicate the same success as in 2014, feeling good at this moment. 

After two victories at the Zurich Classic and the Wells Fargo Championship, the 35-year-old golfer has gained confidence. McIlroy's confidence is clear, as Rory considers himself a significantly better golfer than he was ten years ago when he won the PGA Championship.

 Although he hasn't been able to win Majors, Rory highlights his successes on the PGA Tour.

Many believe it's time for McIlroy to finally silence his critics and show that he's ready to end his streak of poor performance.

Xander Schauffele Rory Mcilroy