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SDSU alum Xander Schauffele hopes to make first cut at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State graduate Xander Schauffele is looking to make his first cut at the Farmers Insurance Open this week.

After missing the mark his previous two times, he admitted Torrey Pines golf course is difficult for him, especially when it comes to driving the ball.

Schauffele turned professional in 2015 and it didn't take the San Diego native long to start winning.

"At 23 years old, to come out and to win the Greenbrier, to go on and win the Tour Championship, finish third at the FedEx Cup," said Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour Commissioner. "There have been 330 players since we started the FedEx Cup that have qualified for Atlanta, there have been 11 rookies, and only one of those rookies won and Xander did it last year."

After such a successful rookie season, Schauffele earned the 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.

"It's cool being here in San Diego and having friends and family in this room," said Schauffele. "It's just really crazy and it's nice to touch that trophy."

Schauffele says in preparation for the year ahead, he's taking a closer look at his golfing statistics.

"I have a small list on my phone of areas I need to improve," he said. "People who are big into stats know what I'm good at and what I'm really bad at so if you look at my stats, you'll know what I'm working on."

Besides learning to be more patient and calm with his game, Schauffele says the biggest takeaway from his rookie season was learning from the veteran players.

"Charlie Hoffman is a local guy and he's been really kind to me. I've picked his brain here and there on how to handle just scheduling and honestly just where to go," said Schauffele. "There's been times where I've texted him just like where is the locker room or something stupid like that. Sometimes he answered and responded and other times he didn't."

As for playing in his hometown on the prestigious course at Torrey Pines, he knows he'll have to perform well if he wants to make it into the weekend.

"I consider myself a pretty good driver of the golf ball but I've never driven it well here and if you can't do that, you're never going to play well," Schauffele said.