JapanXander Schauffele made a spectacular escape at the last hole of the closing round on the afternoon of August 1 to win the individual gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men at -18 points.
Schauffele holds the top of the table with a score of -14 after 54 holes East Kasumigaseki, par71. Following him are 13 golfers about five strokes away, of which the closest is Hideki Matsuyama with a score of -13, then T3 (-12) includes Paul Casey (England) and Carlos Ortiz (Mexico).
This morning, all in the last match from hole 1. After 11 holes, Schauffele still maintained the top spot with a score of -18 thanks to four birdies and no bogey. But at this point, Rory Sabbatini became Schauffele’s biggest rival.
Because Sabbatini was seven holes ahead, finishing at -17 with his last game 61 strokes – breaking the Olympic-round record of 63 set by Matt Kuchar at Rio 2016. The Slovakian golfer is the fifth player to hit 63 in a round. at Tokyo 2020, after Austrian golfer Sepp Straka in the first round, Schauffele in the second round, Im Sung-jae in the penultimate stage, Collin Morikawa and CT Pan in the closing round.
Today, Sabbatini scored two bogeys but came 10 birdies and an eagle. The 45-year-old golfer hit nine fairways, went to the green according to the 14-hole standard, and was not entangled in bunkers.
And Schauffele entered the 14th hole, par5 and closed the bogey, making the score level with Sabbatini. But with the bravery of the world’s fifth player (OWGR table), Schauffele returned to the top of group -18 after birdie on hole 17.
However, he missed again at the top of the 18th, par4 hole – hitting 181 yards into the woods to the right of the fairway. This mistake cost him just 100 yards on the second shot. At that time, he needed to keep par to avoid a play-off (side hole) for a gold medal with Sabbatini. And Schauffele completed the goal on the green with a wedge, 0.6 meters from the hole and a finishing stroke.
“I had a good time today. So happy,” Schauffele said after finishing the last hole.
Sabbatini had to receive the silver medal.
Schauffele was born in 1993, won four PGA Tour Cups after six years of professional, Sabbatini holds six titles in the same arena over 23 years. German-French-Taiwanese Schauffele holds American citizenship while Sabbatini holds dual citizenship – of South African origin, plus Slovakia in 2019. In Tokyo 2020, Sabbatini plays under the flag of a second nationality.
Men’s golf recorded up to seven players who had to enter the play-offs to compete for a bronze medal, including new champion The Open Collin Morikawa, former world number one Rory McIlroy, Matsuyama, Casey. But the Japanese ace and Casey were eliminated after the first extra hole. The playoffs ended on the fourth extra hole, with CT Pan from Taiwan holding par while Morikawa bogey.
The women’s individual event with 60 players started from August 4, still at the East Kasumigaseki Stadium.
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