Patience pays dividends for Schauffele

06 February 2021 20:30:15 GMTPlus10

Xander Schauffele is hoping his patient approach will pay dividends after claiming the lead at the halfway stage of the Phoenix Open.

A strong finish from Schauffele saw him play the final seven holes in six under par to shoot an overall round of 64 at TPC Scottsdale.

It left Schauffele on 12 under par, one clear of veteran Steve Striker and Keegan Bradley, and he had a superb end to the round to thank for hitting the top of the leaderboard with birdies at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 18th as well as an eagle at 15 with a red-hot putter aiding the sublime streak of low scoring.

Stricker, quite remarkably, is one of those leading the chase as he hopes to land his first win on Tour since early 2012. Should he win the 53-year-old Ryder Cup captain would become the oldest ever champion on the PGA Tour.

"I know it's a long shot, and I've got to play my very best, just like anybody else does out here," said Stricker as he assessed his chances of breaking a record currently held by Sam Snead.

Scottie Scheffler, on ten under par, has played himself into contention, while Brooks Koepka and a returning to form Jordan Spieth are among those on eight under, but Schauffele is the man in control as he looks to end a two-year trophy drought.

That's what the team and I talk about, just getting back to the old mentality where I am more patient," he told Sky Sports. "I don't push as much, kind of let the round come to me.

"If you're playing well, if I try and force things sometimes it works out, but sometimes it doesn't. So try and kind of stay in our lane and keep doing what we're doing."

Schauffele is 101.00 to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open with Scheffler is 4001.00. Koepka is 1.001 and Justin Thomas can be backed at 4001.00.

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