Xander Schauffele, a Scripps Ranch High alum, has not fared well in the biggest tournament on his home turf.
He missed the cut four of the five times he played in the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for 25th in 2019.
He arrives at the Torrey Pines Golf Course for the Open, beginning Thursday, among the top-ranked men in the field, at sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. That’s behind only second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, a tournament winner four years ago.
“I haven’t had much success here and I’m looking forward to changing that, and if it’s my first time without fans, then so be it,” Schauffele said of the pandemic-driven ban on public attendance.
After the first round Thursday, Schauffele, 27, was tied for 48th place, finishing with a 2-under 70.
He said his poor performances in the Open have been because he’s “consistently been sick” during the tournament.
“Even though I’m coming off my offseason, I should be the freshest I should be or can be,” he said. “I feel much better now, getting back to full strength and definitely looking forward to the challenge here at Torrey.”
Schauffele hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, with 14 Top 20 finishes in his 20 tournaments.
That includes finishing fifth in the U.S. Open, tying for second in the Tour Championship, second in the CJ Cup and tying for third in the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Schauffele tied for fifth in his most recent tournament, the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which lifted him to a career-best fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking. He dropped to sixth after not playing in the last two PGA Tour events.
Updated 8:10 p.m. Jan. 28, 2021
– Staff and wire reports