‘Should Have Stayed Fat’ - Xander Schauffele Withdraws From Sentry TOC

The American was forced to pull out of the PGA Tour's first elevated event of 2023 with a persistent back problem

Xander Schauffele leaves the sixth green during the second round of the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele joked that he should ditch his healthy lifestyle after withdrawing from the Sentry Tournament of Champions with an ongoing back issue.

The 2019 champion was one-over through eight holes for his second round and two-under overall when his caddie Austin suggested it might be prudent to bow out with a congested run of events to come.

He said: “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’s the same problem Schauffele initially complained about in the Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge and it also forced him to sit out this week’s pro-am in Kapalua. Having enjoyed a fairly injury-free run at the beginning of his career, the 29-year-old admits it is a cause for concern and that he should have had it scanned before arriving in Hawaii.

“It feels like a very similar deal to the Bahamas,” he added. “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.

“I'm going to go home - 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. I should have done it after the Bahamas, but it was so funny, I felt so great after, I was back to full routine after that. So that was probably a little immature on my part, to be completely honest.

“But yeah, I'm 29. I need to preserve my health. 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.”

And if all that doesn’t work, taking a more laid back and unconventional approach in a throwback to the old school professionals of yesteryear is always an option.

“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.”

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x