Xander Schauffele discusses back injury, current health at Sentry Tournament of Champions
PGA Tour

Xander Schauffele discusses back injury, current health at Sentry Tournament of Champions

A picture of golfer Xander Schauffele WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - AUGUST 21: Xander Schauffele of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 21, 2022 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


Xander Schauffele pulled out of the Wednesday pro-am ahead of this week's Sentry Tournament of Champions, setting off concerns that the three-time winner in 2022 would pull out of the limited-field event.

However, Schauffele's day of rest was good enough to get him to the first tee on Thursday and into the competition at Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course. Schauffele didn't play poorly on Day 1, shooting 3-under 70 to start the event. That left him, though, six shots behind the trio of co-leaders in Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and JJ Spaun.

After his Thursday round, Schauffele explained where he is with his health and the back injury that had him concerned.

The issue is "somewhere on my back, posterior chain," Schauffele said. "Yeah, I was moving. I walked around, swung. I attempted to swing the club a few times."

Schauffele is yet to have an MRI on his back to see what might be spotted. When asked how he was feeling after the round, Schauffele said he was "great," but then added, "I've been told I'm fakely optimistic at times."

The condition appears to still be a mystery. This flare-up appears to be similar to what happened ahead of last month's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Schauffele said he is having several people trying to help him out on the issue.

As for how it impacts his golf game, Schauffele said it really just gets in the way of how quickly he can swing the golf club.

"Speed's down. Kind of just swinging, a little powderpuffing it out there on a few holes," he said. He's also hoping there's no longer-term impact once he gets past this particular episode.

"We'll see," he said. "I mean, hopefully it doesn't affect my swing that bad from like the feel of it all once I'm healthier."

 

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