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Xander Schauffele wins gold for Team USA in men’s golf

A clutch birdie at 17 and a fantastic up-and-down earns Schauffele the win, holding off an incredible charge from Rory Sabbatini.

Xander Schauffele of Team United States prepares to putt on the 13th green as caddie Austin Kaiser looks on during the final round of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on August 01, 2021 in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A clutch birdie on 17 and a terrific up-and-down after a duffed drive 18 was enough to give Xander Schauffele of the United States the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Schauffele finished with a -18 over the four rounds, with his 63 on Thursday the highlight. The four-time winner on the PGA Tour had yet to lift a trophy on tour this year, but he’ll never forget his effort to become the Olympic Champion. He was the second choice at +800 to win gold at DraftKings Sportsbook before the tournament began behind Collin Morikawa at +650.

An unbelievable final round of 61 for Rory Sabbatini secured him the silver. The South African accepted Slovakian citizenship in 2018, which allowed him to play in the Olympics because of the limit of two players per country would not have included him in the nation of his birth.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama missed a putt on 18 from 12 feet as well to secure the bronze, and instead there is a seven-way playoff for the bronze medal being conducted right now. The following golfers will play 18, 10, and 11 on a loop until someone emerges as the sudden-death winner for third place:

C.T. Pan

Collin Morikawa

Mito Pereira

Sebastián Muñoz

Rory McIlroy

Hideki Matsuyama

Paul Casey