| Asian An­gle

Xan­der Schauf­fele, the sea­son-end­ing Tour Cham­pi­onship win­ner, prob­a­bly epit­o­mises best what the PGA TOUR is all about these days, writes Chuah Choo Chi­ang.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Chuah Choo Chi­ang

Xan­der Schauf­fele, the sea­son-end­ing Tour Cham­pi­onship win­ner, prob­a­bly epit­o­mises best what the PGA TOUR is all about these days.

Born in La Jolla, Cal­i­for­nia, the 24-year-old has a name which is not typ­i­cally Amer­i­can, holds a United States pass­port and has a fa­ther who is half French, half German and mother who is half Tai­wanese. “I have a very in­ter­na­tional back­ground, but I haven’t had the op­por­tu­nity to travel a whole lot,” said Schauf­fele, who rose to fame by winning the sea­son-end­ing TOUR Cham­pi­onship in Septem­ber, which helped him fin­ish third in the FedExCup stand­ings.

“My dad’s half French, half German. My mom’s Tai­wanese grew up in Ja­pan. It’s cool that golf has kind of al­lowed me to start here in Malaysia, then Korea, then China. Grow­ing up, it was al­ways a dream of mine to play on the PGA TOUR and to kind of use golf as a tool to travel. I’ve never - I have a very in­ter­na­tional back­ground, but I haven’t had the op­por­tu­nity to travel a whole lot.”

Schauf­fele and the merry band from the PGA TOUR should buckle up and pre­pare for a wild ride in the fu­ture af­ter spend­ing three weeks com­pet­ing in the mega PGA TOUR events in Asia.

Af­ter a two-week break, the PGA TOUR’s 2017-18 sea­son started in full earnest in early Oc­to­ber with the Safe­way Open in Napa, Cal­i­for­nia, won by Bren­dan Steele. Then, the TOUR headed full steam to the Far East for the eighth stag­ing of the CIMB Clas­sic in Malaysia, fol­lowed by the in­au­gu­ral CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in South Korea and World Golf Cham­pi­onships-HSBC Cham­pi­ons in China.

The three Asian stops are part of the TOUR’s ex­pan­sive 49-leg FedExCup sched­ule which will visit five other coun­tries out­side of the United States. For a ris­ing star like Shauf­fale with such a colour­ful fam­ily

her­itage, the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand his hori­zons is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing prospect.

“I’m just ex­cited to start the year off kind of on a dif­fer­ent foot in­stead of in the States,” said Schauf­fele. “If you want to be one of the best play­ers in the world, you have to be a global player. You have to col­lect fans in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and play well in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. I’m just re­ally look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented,” he said.

While Shauf­fele is amongst the Class of 2011 that in­cludes Jor­dan Spi­eth, Justin Thomas, Emil­iano Grillo and Daniel Berger who have burst onto the PGA TOUR scene, the old guard is just as equally ex­cited about how the game is grow­ing around the world.

Re­cently in­ducted World Golf Hall of Fame mem­ber, Davis Love III, re­called the old days when he used to fly out to the oc­ca­sional tour­na­ment in Asia. “In 1985 when I started on the TOUR, I never thought I would be play­ing in Malaysia in be­tween play­ing at Peb­ble Beach and then New York, then Malaysia, then back to play­ing in Mis­sis­sippi. You know, it re­ally is amaz­ing. They just seemed so far away… and now it’s just part of our TOUR,” said the 53-year-old. “It re­ally isn’t the U.S. Tour. It’s the PGA TOUR.”

A 21-time PGA TOUR cham­pion, Love wel­comes the global ex­pan­sion and snapped up the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in the CIMB Clas­sic in Malaysia, which was in­au­gu­rated in 2010.

“I’ve watched the TOUR grow re­ally around the world. With the Canada Tour, the Latin Amer­i­can Tour, play­ing two events now in Mex­ico, three over here (in Asia), it’s re­ally grow­ing. It’s an in­ter­na­tional game,” he said.

“We have to em­brace that that we’re go­ing to play around the world. Our TOUR is go­ing to be kind of the world tour. Guys are com­ing from all around the world to play our TOUR as the pre­mier place to play, so we have to come over here and play. It’s a great streak. My goal would be to get in all three of them next year; it would be a nice goal.”

Chuah Choo Chi­ang is Se­nior Di­rec­tor, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of the PGA TOUR and is based at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

"My dad's half French, half German. My mom's Tai­wanese grew up in Ja­pan. It's cool that golf has kind of al­lowed me to start here in Malaysia, then Korea, then China."

Justin Thomas cel­e­brates with the tro­phy on the 18th green af­ter winning the FedExCup and sec­ond in the TOUR Cham­pi­onship as Xan­der Schauf­fele cel­e­brates with the winning Calamity Jane tro­phy at East Lake Golf Club

Schauf­fele cel­e­brates with the Calamity Jane tro­phy af­ter winning the TOUR Cham­pi­onship

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