Xander Schauffele has no PGA Championship hangover lingering at the Memorial

Xander Schauffele had quite a celebration after his PGA Championship win last month.

But luckily for him, his hangover did not linger into this week’s Memorial Tournament, where he carded a clean 4-under 68 during Thursday’s opening round.

“I’m happy with how I played, with how I stuck in there, and really happy my short game bailed me out on a day that could have been a lot worse,” Schauffele said.

“I know I need to clean up some of that longer stuff. This course is really hard, and the wind is supposed to blow really hard tomorrow, even more than today, so I know I need to clean it up.”

Schauffele made zero bogeys on Thursday, thanks to his putter. He gained nearly four strokes on the greens, ranking first of the 73 players in the field during the first round. He made numerous par saves, especially at the 5th, 8th, and 9th holes, to keep a clean card on the front nine.

Xander Schauffele, PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament

Xander Schauffele hits a putt during the first round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

He then kept it rolling on the back, opening the closing side with a 16-foot par save at the 10th.

“If I didn’t make some of the putts I needed today, it would have been a 2-over or probably worse,” Schauffele said.

“I saw the lines sort of quickly, even from the get-go. I was looking at leaving putts in the heart short. So, as soon as I got the speed down, I was rolling.”

Schauffele did not have his best stuff from tee to green, but he has not played competitively in three weeks. Yet, he did reveal that he began practicing again on the Thursday after the PGA Championship—the same day as the opening round of the Charles Schwab Challenge.

“I started practicing, believe it or not—I know you saw some weird shots today, but I was practicing—I started practicing on Thursday after I got home,” Schauffele said.

“I was hungover on Monday, I had media on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then I started golfing on Thursday.”

At least that hangover has subsided now, or else Schauffele would not have seen his lines as clearly as he did during the opening round. But somehow, thanks to his hot putter, Schauffele sits two shots behind leader Adam Hadwin and one back of Scottie Scheffler, who sits in solo second.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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