Xander Schauffele Shares Legitimate Factor In Jordan Spieth Scorecard Mistake And Suggests 'Softening' Of Rules

Spieth was disqualified from the Genesis Invitational due to signing an incorrect scorecard on Friday - but Team USA peer Schauffele said the Texan was "really sick" at the time

Xander Schauffele hits a shot during R3 of the 2024 Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele has suggested a softening of golf's scorecard-signing rules after Jordan Spieth was disqualified from the Genesis Invitational on Friday despite apparently requiring an emergency bathroom break in the aftermath of his second round.

Spieth followed up his five-under-par 66 on Thursday with what he thought was a one-over-par 72 on Friday. However, an oversight on the Texan's card meant he had actually posted 73 as a result of a bogey on the par-3 fourth.

Before Spieth was able to sit down and correct the mistake, Schauffele said that he had heard the three-time Major winner was "really sick" during his second round and needed to head to bathroom.

Upon returning to the scoring area, Spieth was informed he had been ejected from the tournament with no leniency offered up due to the situation. It was a decision that caused plenty of debate among golfers online, with veteran tour caddie Kip Henley stating the benchmark had been reset for "the dumbest rule in all of sports."

While Spieth admitted "full responsibility" for the error, his friend and Team USA buddy, Schauffele argued that losing the 30-year-old from such a prestigious event over a clerical error could easily have been avoided.

Schauffele said: "[Marking your card] is part of the tradition of the game. I mean, Jordan, he knows, he knows what happened. He was really sick and he had a rough last hole and I can see how it all went down. I heard he had to go kind of ask some questions around the -- I heard he had to go to the restroom and came back like a minute later and the card was wrong.

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"Maybe there needs to be some sort of softening on the rules, but for the most part we all kind of know what goes on in there. It's really unfortunate it happened. I know Jordan, it's really unfortunate. This is a tournament people -- he's a big pull for us, he's a top-three pull for us on Tour, so it's not good that he's not here."

Spieth's enforced exit followed on from tournament host, Tiger Woods' withdrawal due to illness earlier on Friday. Woods later posted a message on X to say that he had contracted influenza and would not be returning to Riviera Country Club in order to rest at home.

Without Woods and Spieth in attendance, Patrick Cantlay saw his five-shot advantage shrink to just two on Saturday, although he still holds the 54-hole lead on 14-under in front of Schauffele and Will Zalatoris.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.