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xander schauffele olympics

‘Should have stayed fat’: Schauffele’s hilarious reason for shock withdrawal

The American proposed an unorthodox plan after a back injury forced him out of the Sentry Tournament of Champions
 

Xander Schauffele was in high spirits despite a shock withdrawal from the Sentry Tournament of Champions, hilariously joking that he should have “just stayed fat” instead of adopting a disciplined diet after a back injury forced him out of the first PGA Tour event of 2023.

Having spent the whole-off season having to bat away questions linking him to LIV Golf, poor Schauffele lasted just one round and eight holes in Kapalua as caddie Austin urged him to bow out on day two due to the niggling back pain – the same injury which caused the American grief at December’s Hero World Challenge.

“I’m going to go home,” Schauffele said after the withdrawal. “I’ve never had a scan or anything, so I’m going to go home, get a scan, just try to be as smart as possible.

“Austin told me on 9, he’s like, ‘You know, we have a lot of tournaments coming up on the west coast swing, and it’s a big swing for us. Are you going to look back and feel really proud of yourself for like gutting it out and maybe hurting yourself more? Or should we pull out and be smart here because we have a long way to go?’ So yeah, it kind of went like that.

“It feels like a very similar deal to the Bahamas. In the Bahamas I started to feel better each day with the pills and the treatment and everything. I’ve never had any sort of issues. It’s just not getting better. It actually feels worse when I swing.”

After the disappointing early withdrawal, Schauffele then turned complaints into gags as he blithely joked that he should ditch his healthy pro-athlete lifestyle and instead adopt a more unconventional approach.

“I’m 29. I need to preserve my health,” the Olympic Gold Medallist continued. “I feel like I’ve done a really good job up until this point and the fact that I can’t really pinpoint what it is is a bit frustrating. So once I get the scan and look at it and have all the pros look at it and then if they tell me that I’m okay, then I think I’ll start to feel better and stop flinching at what I’m doing.

“The irony hurts. I try to exercise more, eat better and do everything better and I should have just stayed fat and more mobile, I guess, and not worked out and try to do all these good things and I would have been like a golfer from the early ’90s.”

Well, that’s one all us club golfers can certainly relate to.

Schauffele is currently scheduled to play in the American Express on January 19, but will now have to await the results of an MRI scan to see if he will be teeing up in California.

George Cooper

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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