Xander Schauffele on his albatross? "We'll just call it what it is"

Xander Schauffele made an incredible albatross on the par-5 5th hole on the Stadium Course in La Quinta, the first one on the PGA Tour since the 2022 John Deere Classic.

Matt Chivers's picture
Sun, 22 Jan 2023
Xander Schauffele makes AMAZING ALBATROSS at The American Express on PGA Tour

Xander Schauffele hit by far the shot of the week at The American Express on Sunday, holing an amazing albatross on the par-5 5th hole on the Stadium Course.

Schauffele began the final round on 15-under, eight shots behind Jon Rahm and Davis Thompson, and he reached the 541-yard hole earlier on, the easiest hole on the course.

No albatross can be sniffed at and the 29-year-old hit an iron shot from 226 yards which landed a couple of feet above the water. The ball bounced and rolled in and Schauffele celebrated.

He immediately moved on to 18-under, but he will likely be too far back from Rahm and Thompson, particularly the Spaniard who has birdied his first two holes of the final round in California.

This was the first albatross since Stephan Jaeger made one at the 2022 John Deere Classic. For such a rare score, you'd think they would be fewer and farther between.

Schauffele is a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour and his play this week represents encouragement compared to his appearance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions when he withdrew with back pain.

The American, who finished fourth at the Hero World Challenge, won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Genesis Scottish Open and the Travelers Championship in 2022.

Schauffele later told the media he believed his caddie thought his golf ball had sailed into the water. 

He said: 

"He looked away. I think he thought it was in the water, to be completely honest. We'll just call it what it is. Usually he's the one yelling and hollering at the ball, but he was pretty quiet. So I think he was just throwing up a prayer there."

Schauffele added: 

"Wind was varying a little bit off the right. It was kind of in, kind of down. I was trying to just hit it -- I was off a pretty good upslope, so I just tried to hit a 4-iron pretty much at it and have it turn toward the center wanting to get maximum distance.
"Kind of played it out to the right. Hit it really solid. Didn't say anything in the air because I was a little bit worried. So it was nice when I saw it hit on ground and then I actually saw it go in. So that was pretty special."

Rahm eventually held off the rookie Thompson to claim his second PGA Tour win of 2023. 

Then he cracked an underrated joke