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Xander Schauffele hopes to get over major hump at PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele hopes to get over major hump at PGA Championship
Xander Schauffele hits a tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the RBC Heritage on April 19. Schauffele is hoping to build on his strong performance at the Masters. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

San Diego’s Xander Schauffele has yet to win a major championship, but he has come awfully close. He finished tied for second in both this year’s Masters and last year’s British Open, and tied for sixth at the 2018 U.S. Open.

He seems to be at his coolest and most composed in the biggest events.

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“I feel major weeks, I seem to maybe focus more,” he said. “I just feel freed up, in a sense. I feel a little more freed up than other tournaments because everyone — like I say about every major, there’s so much going on.

“Even sitting here right now, I feel like I want to practice a little bit more, just to prepare for this monster of a course. But at the end of the day, you just sort of have to relax and do what you always do, and that’s play good golf.”

Spieth slam

Jordan Spieth said he tries not to fixate on his quest to become the sixth golfer to complete a career grand slam. He needs only to add the PGA Championship to his mantle.

“That would be a dream come true for me,” he said. “But I also recognize that if I continue to stay healthy and play well, I’ll have, I don’t know, 30 chances at it. One of them is bound to go my way, right?”

Not rested, but ready

Brooks Koepka is on a roll, having finished fourth last week in the AT&T Byron Nelson, and second last month in the Masters. He has won three of his last seven majors, including last year’s U.S. Open, played just up the road from Bethpage at Shinnecock.

“I like my chances this week,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing good. You know, if I do what I’m supposed to do, then yeah, I think I’d be tough to beat. But at the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen. You’ve got to go out and play four good days. So we’ll see when the gun goes off on Thursday.”

With two U.S. Opens and a PGA title under his belt, Koepka believes he can win at least 10 majors.

“I don’t see why you can’t get to double digits,” he said. “I think you keep doing what you’re supposed to do, you play good, you peak at the right times.

“Like I said, I think sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win. Half the people shoot themselves out of it, and mentally I know I can beat most of them, and then from there it’s those guys left, who’s going to play good and who can win. I don’t see any reason it can’t get to double digits.”

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