There are probably easier ways to sneak inside the cut line on the Friday of a PGA tournament.
But there might not be a more satisfying way than what Xander Schauffele did on Friday evening at the Genesis Invitational.
With the projected cut line for the tournament sitting at +1, Schauffele was at +3 for the tournament heading into his final two holes. When he put his tee shot on 17 into a fairway bunker, sticking around for the weekend seemed unlikely.
After laying up to around 173 yards from the pin, Schauffele did this:
Slam dunk!@XSchauffele holes it for eagle to get inside the projected cutline @TheGenesisInv pic.twitter.com/JsTAN7YkCF— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 18, 2023
Slam dunk indeed.
The eagle for Schauffele moved him to +1 on the tournament, and after making par on 18, he sits at +1 after two rounds, right on the cut line. With play suspended Friday due to darkness, it is not yet confirmed that he will be sticking around for the weekend, but thanks to that incredible eagle, he at least has a shot.
Perhaps the best part? This is one the best shot Schauffele has posted during the early part of the 2023 season. Check out what Schauffele did during the final round of the American Express a few weeks ago:
ALBATROSS FOR XANDER!@XSchauffele holes out from 225 yards to move to 18-under @TheAmexGolf pic.twitter.com/TLGu90jdIN— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 22, 2023
That’s right, the albatross, or double eagle.
Schauffele covered every inch of the Par-5 5th hole with two swings. His tee shot covered 341 yards, coming to a stop along the right side of the fairway. With around 226 yards left to the pin — and a good amount of water to carry — Schauffele pulled the 4-iron from his bag.
As one does in that situation.
His second shot carried the water by a matter of feet, landing just in front of the green before rolling into the hole.
Schauffele finished the American Express tied for third.
Not a bad start to the season.
Sure, the return of Tiger Woods is the big story at the Genesis Invitational, but if Schauffele indeed makes the cut — and charges up the leaderboard — how he made the cut will be a big story as well.