KAPALUA (Hawaii) — A nagging back injury has become something more mysterious in the Bahamas. Xander Schauffele, who pulled out of the Sentry Tournament of Champions Friday and plans to have an MRI to determine whats wrong.
Schauffele, the No. Schauffele, the No. 6 player in the world and a 3 time winner last year on PGA Tour, felt he couldn’t swing at full speed so he stopped on the par-5 9th hole.
Schauffele was fine after the Hero World Challenge on Dec. 4, and throughout his practice until he arrived at Kapalua. He felt pain again Monday and withdrew from Wednesdays pro-am. However, he struggled through the first round.
Schauffele stated, It feels very similar to the Bahamas. I felt better each day in the Bahamas. … It is getting worse. It actually feels worse when you swing.
Schauffele was 1 over for the round when he withdrew. He claimed that he was struggling with tee shots and chunking irons, and that his head was in a terrible spot .
He won the Tournament of Champions in 2019, but lost in a playoff the next year. Schauffele found it more frustrating not to be able to identify the cause.
He is a San Diego native and has four more tournaments on the West Coast schedule. He starts with The American Express in La Quinta (California) in two weeks.
He claimed that his caddie said to him, We have many tournaments coming up. Do you think you will look back and be proud that your efforts were successful? Or should we be smart?
Schauffele stated that he regretted not having an MRI when he returned to Las Vegas from the Hero World Challenge. However, he felt stronger and better by the time that he left and didn’t feel the need to have an MRI.
I was back to my full routine, he stated. That was immature on his part. Im 29. I need to maintain my health.
Schauffele will not return home empty-handed. He will receive unofficial money from the $15 million purse for last place at $200,000 He also receives $1.25million, which is 25% of the $5million bonus for finishing at No. 7 in the Player Impact Program.
Players receive 25% of the bonus money for this week, and the rest when they fulfill their obligations under the PIP program.