And, the beat goes on.
For the seventh time in as many years, the Greenbrier Classic crowned a champion Sunday afternoon that had come out of a pack of contenders chasing the third round leader.
Xander Schauffele carded a workmanlike 3-under par 67 on the Old White TPC on Sunday, and it was just enough to pull out his first PGA Tour event and the $1.28 million prize money that comes with the Springhouse Trophy.
Schaffele was in a dogfight with a trio of other contenders, but he put the hammer down on the Old White signature par-3 18th when he hit a pitching wedge to within 3-feet, 3-inches of the closely tucked pin placement and calmly sank the clinching birdie putt.
Schauffele added his name to the list of first time PGA Tour winners who have hit the big time by winning at The Greenbrier.
“I think it honestly just changed my life,” Schauffele said after the victory. “I need a little bit of time to take it all in.”
Schauffele held off late charges by Robert Streb and Jamie Lovemark, both of whom had chances to force a playoff down the stretch before missing putts on key opportunities.
Likewise, for Sebastian Munoz, who hit a brick wall in his outward nine on Sunday with four bogies on his way to a final round 72 that left the Bogata, Columbia native tied for third, two behind the winner. Munoz had entered the day poised to be the only wire-to-wire winner in Greenbrier history.
Schauffele, who opened the final round in third place, wasted no time in closing the gap on Munoz. He birdied the first hole and picked up another on the par-3 8th to head to the back nine at minus-2. His only hiccup came with a bogey at No. 11, but a key birdie at 16 and the eventual winner at 18 were enough to claim the big prize.
Schauffele had given hints of his potential last month when he finished fifth in the U.S. Open. The 23-year-old took up golf after giving up soccer because his coaches had wanted him to switch from offense to defense, a change that has now paid big dividends.
Schauffele pocketed more money Sunday than he had in his entire professional career entering the Greenbrier week. The win also moved him up to No. 27in the FedEx Cup standings, ensuring him a spot in the upcoming championship, not to mention exemptions on the PGA Tour in the future. Schauffele, Streb, Munoz and Lovemark all earned spots in the British Open in two weeks, by being the leading four players not already exempt.
Other players of note had interesting finishes on Sunday. Phil Mickelson, who made the Greenbrier cut for the first time this year in four tries, finished with a 6-under 64 to tie for 20th. Davis Love III, who was looking to replace former Greenbrier pro Sam Snead as the oldest winner in Tour history at 53, fired a final-round five-over 75 after heading to the final round at -10.