AUGUSTA, Ga. – Xander Schauffele is in what has become familiar territory. He’s close to the top of the leaderboard in a major championship.
He’s hoping Sunday isn’t more of the same when it comes to finishes.
Schauffele shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to get to 7 under through three rounds of the Masters, leaving him four shots back of Hideki Matsuyama going into the final round. He’s had five top-five finishes in majors, including a tie for second -- one shot behind winner Tiger Woods — at Augusta National in 2019.
And now comes another chance for a major breakthrough.
“I think I’m playing really good golf,” Schauffele said. “I was excited for today after yesterday, some of the iron shots I was able to hit. I’m excited for tomorrow as well.”
He’s had chances before.
Schauffele briefly was atop the leaderboard on the back nine at Augusta National in 2019, but failed to make birdie on the par-5 15th and wound up losing to Woods by one. He didn’t even seem disappointed then, almost thrilled to be part of witnessing history. And in 2018, he was tied for the lead going into the final round of the British Open — losing there by two shots to Francesco Molinari.
“It’s all part of the process,” Schauffele said. “I’m a huge fan of putting myself in position with nine holes to go and learning from each and every mistake, and also the things I did well in those moments. Looking forward to tomorrow.”