Xander Schauffele spent two days scrambling to find a new driver after the R&A deemed his Callaway Golf driver illegal.
Beginning last year at Carnoustie, the R&A started testing British Open Championship players' individual drivers to make sure they comply with equipment regulations regarding coefficient of restitution (COR), which is a measure of how much energy is transferred from the golf club to the ball at impact, and characteristic time (CT), which is a measure of how long the driver face and golf ball are in contact.
Schauffele's driver failed the test conducted Tuesday, marking the first time that has happened. The R&A does not publish test results, so it's unclear by how much the driver failed the driver testing regulations. The COR limit is 0.830, meaning 83 percent of driver energy can be transferred to a ball at impact. The CT limit is 239 microseconds, with a tolerance to 257 microseconds, making that the true limit.
As a result, Schauffele had to use a new driver in the first round, and he hit just six of 14 fairways in shooting 74. With time to tweak, Schauffele roared back on Friday with 6-under 65 to post 3-under total heading to the weekend.
“Yesterday it wasn't really matching my bag, which was a bummer. I was getting a little upset on the golf course,” Schauffele said. “Today I was testing a little bit on the range again with two different heads. But moved a few weights around and sort of found a good setting.”
The four-time PGA Tour winner said he expects to feel more comfortable with the driver in Saturday's third round.
"I have a legal driver now, and I sort of put that one to rest and happy to see that ball performing like it did today or the driver performing like it did today, so that was very comforting," he said. "Like I said it will get better every day. We've still got two more."
As for the rest of the field, Schauffele wonders if there are other illegal drivers in play. The Long Beach State product had no qualms with testing equipment, but he wished the R&A would have tested the drivers of every player in the 156-man field rather than a 20 percent sample.
“I had a little bit of a run-in with them because they only test 30 players. I thought it was a little bit unfair,” he said. “I would gladly give up my driver if it's not conforming. But there's still 130 other players in the field that potentially have a nonconforming driver, as well.”
Apparently, Schauffele wasn't the lone player among the 30 who had their drivers tested to be carrying an illegal driver. Golf Digest reports multiple drivers were ruled illegal from several different manufacturers.
Update on the Xander/driver controversy. Multiple sources tell Golf Digest Schauffele may not have been the only player to fail the CT test, with 3-to-4 manufacturers at fault.
Asked about other failed tests, the R&A told us it wouldn't comment further on the process. #TheOpen
— Joel Beall (@JoelMBeall) July 20, 2019